Tag Archives: Etiquette

There are few things I find more disturbing than adult tantrums.  It’s annoying but excusable for a child to throw a fit to get their own way.  I am generally quite patient with the parent who refuses to give in to a child throwing a fit because his mother won’t buy him a toy gun.  In fact, I admire the fortitude of those parents, while I move politely away from the noise.  But when an adult does it it makes me feel a little sick.

I was enjoying breakfast with my paper (Javier Bardem in the Good Weekend) in a Marrickville cafe this morning .  The cafe was busy but not full.  I had sat at a corner table for some privacy, there were some high tables with stools still available.  I had just finished my pancakes and was settling in comfortably with the paper and an orange juice when I heard an annoying whining sound.  I tried to ignore it but it was very persistent and so I finally gave it my attention.  A woman, much older than me and so definitely old enough to know better was whinging in an infuriatingly high voice about how she had canceled a reservation elsewhere so she could eat here but there were no tables available.  She didn’t want to sit at the taller tables/benches.  The waitress patiently told her there were tables outside, ‘but I don’t wanna sit outside’ she responded in a high pitched snivel.  I stopped listening to her words but the ringing in my ears continued until out of pity for the waitress I huffed ‘I’m going’ and stood up to pay.

The waitress rushed over to the manager and by the time I got to the counter to pay I was told that my meal was on the house.  I was surprised and insisted I would pay but he refused.  He also refused to charge the lady who’d been sitting at the table next to me and had stood up to leave at the same time.  He was clearly very embarrassed by the whiner’s behaviour.  As I left she was sitting at my table while the waitress tried to placate her further.  I heard her complaining ‘no, I am not at all happy’.  I felt like throwing the nearby bucket of ice over her stupid whining head.

I have a friend and a relative, both males, who just do not understand mobile phone etiquette. Their inability to understand that answering your mobile phone in the middle of a conversation or at the dinner table is rude astounds me. One of them, we can call him Furiously Annoying Frank, will not only answer his phone while you are mid-sentence, but has also been known to make a call while you are mid-sentence. Leaving me standing there open mouthed and astonished at the action and just how rude it is, while he chats away, then hangs up and casually says ‘so, where were we?’

The other, we shall call him, Infuriatingly Inconsiderate Ivan, left the table during Christmas lunch every 15 minutes to answer a call from the same person! He then came back with a smile and lightly laughed off the protests from everyone else at the table. What is even more infuriating is the fact that he rarely answers or returns my calls. I mean, seriously!

I have, until recently, held my tongue about this. I didn’t want to nag or be rude myself. But one day over dinner with Furiously Annoying Frank I accidentally slipped that his phone etiquette left a lot to be desired. He was stunned. He honestly had no idea what I was talking about. At my birthday brunch recently he answered his mobile at the table and chatted for a while with a friend. He then looked surprised when I commented (once you start commenting it’s hard to stop).

I find it astonishing that they don’t even realise that their actions are downright rude and inconsiderate. So, I shall help them along by giving some basic guidelines to mobile phone etiquette.

1. Do not answer your phone whilst talking with someone. If you are expecting a very important call, apologise when your phone rings and explain that you have to answer it.

2. When having dinner, or any meal, with anyone, put your phone on silent or turn it off. Do NOT, under any circumstances answer it. Again, if you are expecting an important call, explain that to the others at the table at the beginning of the meal.

3. Do not play with your phone or text anyone during movies. The light is really f*&#ing annoying.

4. When you are ordering or paying for anything, do not have your phone to your ear. If you are mid-conversation, ask the person you are talking to to wait for a moment, and then give the salesperson your full attention. They are not robots. This includes buying a ticket on the bus.

I expect that neither Furiously Annoying Frank or Infuriatingly Inconsiderate Ivan will read this, and even if they did they probably would have no idea that I am talking about them. I know, I know, I’m harping on and letting this affect me way to much, and I know I most likely do things that are just as annoying. But it does feel good getting it off my chest.