Hold the Phone

We’ve all been there. It’s awkward, annoying, and somewhat disturbing to be in a public restroom, minding your own business when someone in another stall takes a phone call. There you are listening. You can’t help it. They might whisper or somehow try to cover the fact that they are in a restroom, but some seem to have no conscious about it at all. They just talk away regardless of the signature echo of the porcelain environment.

tp phone

I once had a co-worker who said to take a call in the bathroom was the height of arrogance. I don’t know if I agree with that, but I do think it is rude and can’t bring myself to do it. It would just feel wrong to tell Aunt Mabel about little Billy’s birthday party from that position.

When did we as a society get to the point where no phone call can wait two minutes? (Or ten for the fiber-deficient.)

While we’re on the subject of bathrooms, I’ve got a little complaint to the people of New York City. I understand you are a crowded place. But seriously, there should be some limit to the number of urinals you can put in a bathroom. When a broad-shouldered hayseed from Georgia comes to see a show, his visit to the bathroom should be a solitary affair instead of one that makes him feel like he has been recruited into the follies kick line.

By far the worst bathroom in my experience was in the Army. I remember being corralled into our barracks on the first day of basic training. After the drill sergeant-induced shock eased, I took a quick trip to the bathroom only to find it lacked a significant item – doors. Not a door or partition in the room. Just four elevated toilets, four urinals, and six sinks. Yes, we spent eight weeks getting to know each other very well (or holding it all day hoping to find solitude at night).

For the male reader, what is proper etiquette for talking to a fellow bathroom-goer? If we agree that phone use is wrong, is it wrong to say hello to the man next to you? I am okay with a terse, non-looking, “Hello” or “Sup”, but don’t try to engage me in conversation. No matter how friendly the banter, that crosses several lines I am just not comfortable with.

Okay, back the original point. I believe I have found the perfect solution to the bathroom phone talker. It is something everyone can do, and if we all do it, we might create a social moray that ends phone conversations in public restrooms for good. When someone answers a phone call in a public restroom, it is our civic duty to out the heck out of them.


Then FLUSH again!

And add a few more FLUSHES for good measure!

Whatever the person on the other end of the line might hear, they are certainly going to hear the unmistakable swoosh of a toilet flush.

You know what happens if we all do this?

A movement starts.

Well, not that kind of movement, but you get the idea.

18 thoughts on “Hold the Phone

  1. They just talk away regardless of the signature echo of the porcelain environment.

    For years, I had a job where I had to take calls from work regardless of time or place. Naturally, the people on the other end of the line came to abuse the privilege of always being able to reach me – so whenever they called I found the nearest restroom.

  2. Love it! Really enjoy reading your posts from across the globe in Melbourne Australia where I am sure we have the same bathroom problems.

  3. “When did we as a society get to the point where no phone call can wait two minutes?’ Can’t stand sitting next to someone in the bathroom, talking on the phone. REALLY? How gross!! So, FLUSH it is from here on out! Thanks for the idea. Here’s another one for you…..how do you solve the problem of walking behind someone in the aisle, who’s walking very slow because they have to read and/or answer a text? Really, you can’t go ANYWHERE without the d@^^ phone, for just a few minutes? Man, these kids would just have a cow if they lived in my era, where the phone (that beautiful olive green) was on the counter, then the wall, and the phone cord was about 2′ long! You stood or sat on the floor or nearest chair, if the cord could reach! No call waiting, either. You just kept calling until you got through!!! OH MERCY! I kind of went off the deep end! Sorry for the rant, but once I got going, I couldn’t stop! hahahahaha!!!

  4. You should see the lack of privacy bathrooms in China. No doors on stalls, sometimes just a long trough that you straddle over. Then every 5 minutes a huge gust of water come swooshing through to was any undesirables away. Bad thing is that sometime those undesirables are just too darn sticky and stubborn and don’t leave. Yuck.

  5. LOL, Like I said earlier, I look forward to seeing there is a blog from you. When they are serious, I think about what you wrote and ponder for awhile. When they are lighthearted like this, I laugh, then realize how very talented you are. Again, glad I found you and your blog. Margy

  6. Camera phones! I walked into the public toilets and saw a man at a urinal (you know where two hands reside when in the act), an in one was a phone! “Selfies! Weird selfies!!” was my first thought as I hitched up one urinal away (can never be too careful in these situations). One shared smile and “sup” later, we knew each other well enough to share the humour. Turns out he was texting not snapping. So I extracted the “selfies” and replaced with another “weird” – “Weird Weird” – which is far safer in that moment and place than “Weird selfies!”
    True story!

  7. Hahaha rotfl that had me in stitches ask the way Mark.Humor is the antidote for a pick me up. Flush it is for me from now on. Cell phone in public it’s annoying sometimes.like the folks who talk like their talking to their deaf grandma. Chezzz! Give me a break. I enjoyed ask of it buddy.

    Much love Tom

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