Dear Mrs. Crabby,
Well I have just about had it with this stupid digital age! I run a hospitality/party planning business with a storefront in our town. It seems every single time someone comes in to plan their party, in the middle of explaining an important element for their party, their damned cell phone will ring or buzz or something and they’ll either start talking on the phone or messaging or tweeting or whatever. Most times without even an “excuse me!”
One client was so bad at this that when she left her phone on the counter to go look at some paper samples, I casually slid it into the trash and carried the container to the back room. Unfortunately I forgot it was there and it got tossed out. But I figured she had that coming, after so many rude interruptions.
Every day there are rude interruptions from these little boxes from hell. When I go to work I shut my phone off. I lived just fine for over 40 years without having to instantly talk to someone who wanted to talk to me about what color shoes I am wearing or if I am having my period or what I had for breakfast. If it’s an emergency, they can call the shop phone.
What is wrong with people? Society has no class and no manners any more. It takes twice as long to plan people’s parties now with all the interruptions. And no one is paying for that time, I tell you what!
What can I do?
Anti Smartphone Susan
Hon, the digital age is here to stay. At least until some world leader hits the Big Kaboom button or aliens knock out all our satellites. You’d best shut up and suck it up on this one.
The alternative here would be to re-train your customers using very basic conditioning techniques. Have a dish of chocolates out and every time their phone rings, put the chocolates away, only to bring them out when they are off the phone. You could even dare to throw a chocolate into their mouth as a reward for not answering the phone.
Verbal cues are also good. Work the following phrases into your conversations: “There’s no call to…”, “You don’t want to answer to…” “It’s stupid to pick up everything…” and such like.
In addition to this, post a sign saying “Warning – turn off your cell phones! There is a hacker in the area!!!” The signs used to ask nicely, but proprietors are finding that these are being ignored, as people can no longer read anything that isn’t digitally flashed on a tiny boxed screen. Print the word “Hacker” in giant red letters. That will stand out and have effect.
Hope this helps, hon,