As many of you know, I have never been a big fan of cell phones, particularly as people use them when driving their cars. My loathe for them was such that I vowed to be the last man on the planet to own one. Well, after seeing countless housewives in the grocery store talking on them, the multitude of idiots using them in cars, kids on tricycles, the homeless gabbing away, even prisoners using them, and finally seeing nobody else in line ahead of me, I finally succumbed and acquiesced to get one. Actually, my wife got it for me as she was frustrated in tracking me down and felt it was time to bell the cat.

Unlike a lot of people, I see the cell phone as something used in emergencies and not as an integral part of my daily life. I can do very well without one. No, I do not need a cell phone to relieve the tedium of waiting in traffic, the radio will do just fine; nor do I find it necessary to entertain someone while sitting on the toilet or standing in the shower. There is a time and place for everything and I do not believe cell phones fall into these categories. Then again, this is not the first time I’ve been accused of being old fashioned, and likely it will not be the last. I tend to believe I am more pragmatic about the use of the cell phone than most and have no intention of allowing it to change my life style. Consequently, I hereby pledge the following in the use of my cell phone:

  • That I will not use it while driving an automobile. If I really need to use it, I’ll pull off the road to talk on it thereby not causing a traffic hazard.
  • That I will not use it in the bathroom. I’m sorry, if another party wants my full attention, they will just have to wait.
  • That I will keep it muted or off in a public venue and if I find it necessary to talk to someone in a public setting, I will excuse myself so that I do not interrupt others.
  • That if I find myself in a situation where I must either focus my attention on either a pressing problem at hand or talk to another party on the cell phone, I will quickly determine which has priority and devote my attention to one or the other, but not both. In other words, I may ask the caller to excuse me so I can finish what I am doing and will call them back when it is convenient for me to do so.
  • That I will be judicious in distributing my cell phone number. I don’t need another blockhead calling me regarding some inconsequential nonsense. If I give you my number, it means I trust your judgment, value your friendship or business, and recognize you will not redistribute it to others unless I ask you to. Further, I will do likewise to safeguard the cell phone numbers I have in my address book.
  • If I have a voice mail message that says I will call you back, I will, but if I have a voice mail message stating I will be unable to return calls, don’t hold your breath.
  • That I will not send text messages while driving or performing some critical function.
  • That I will read the manual even though it is written incomprehensibly by programmers who haven’t got a clue what “user friendly” means.

In other words, I pledge not to let the cell phone run my life, but I’ll run it instead. I may be the last man on Earth to get a cell phone, but, alas, I fear I’ll be the first to use it rationally.

Such is my Pet Peeve of the Week.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is the Managing Director of M. Bryce & Associates (MBA) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at [email protected]

For a listing of Tim’s Pet Peeves, click HERE.

Download Tim’s eBook (PDF), “The Bryce is Right! Empowering Managers in today’s Corporate Culture” (free DOWNLOAD).

Copyright © 2009 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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