Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Mobile Phone Etiquette

I have been in internal turmoil all morning. You see, I have been debating what topic I would like to approach first. There is just so much I would like to tackle! To start, I would like to tackle a topic which I feel applies to all and is a frustration of many: Mobile Phone Etiquette.

Pictured: My dream/future phone/God.

Mobile Phones (or, as they are often and incorrectly called: "Cell" phones) have become ubiquitous in our society. I read a survey yesterday that said 99.5% of college student own a mobile phone, and unfortunately these misguided youngsters are not being taught how to properly use these tools. Below are some general guidelines which I feel are imperative, common sensical, and grossly ignored.

First of all, let me state that I believe in a concept of "Polite society." It's a very midwestern trait. Some may call it "Passive aggressive" or "Repressing emotions" or "Sociopathic," but it works for me. These guidelines are based on these principles.

1. Never EVER use your mobile phone in a restroom, be it public or private. Seems common sense, right? Well, it isn't. As stated in my previous post, I work on a college campus. It seems like at least once every two or three days I walk in to use the facilities and hear a student in a stall, having a conversation. Or even worst: standing at a urinal, having a conversation (which although impressive, is still disturbing). Restrooms are basically echo chambers. This means that any unintentional sound I or you will make will be amplified and carried to the person on the other end of the phone. Also, out of respect for the person on the other end of the phone, you should never have a conversation while in a private restroom. I've had friends tell me "Well, I mute it when I flush..." this doesn't matter. It's still disturbing, disgusting, and disrespectful.

2. Never interrupt an in-person conversation to answer your phone. This is another one of my big pet peeves. If I have enough respect for you to meet with you in-person, why should you interrupt my conversation with you to talk with someone who isn't with you in-person? (That sentence really does make sense, just take a minute and deconstruct it.) My time is very valuable, so if I take time out of my day to spend with you, you should respect that time and not make me wait awkwardly while you talk with someone about whom I do not care. Exceptions to this rule: If it is a mutual friend. This would be a good opportunity to put the person on speaker phone (with their permission, of course), and have a group conversation. Second exception: if you are expecting an important call. However, if you are expecting such a call, you should inform the person with whom you're meeting that you may receive a call that you will need to take.

That brings me to my next point: 3. Always inform someone when you put them on speakerphone. Also inform the person of who, if anyone, else is in the room. Part of my midwestern roots is a strong tendency to gossip. Therefore, it's important for me to know exactly who can hear me at all times.

4. Always silence your ringer in restaurants. I think movies and theaters go without saying, but restaurants should also be on this list. Restaurants can be a very intimate environment. People are meeting and having important conversations, dates are occurring, people are generally relaxing and having a good time. The last thing any of us wants is to hear "Single Ladies" blaring from your pocket. C'mon, I know I'm not the only one with the "Single Ladies" ringtone, put your hands up.

5. Talk discretely in your phone when in public. I think we've all experienced this: walking down the street, behind someone talking WAY too loud on their phone, "...well I went to the doctor, and he said the rash would clear up with the antibiotic cream." "...and then the tequila shots came out! Long story short, I ended up vomiting in my panties!" " he says, yeah, you were good, but you might think about shaving down there next time." Sure, it's entertaining, but if I'm walking down the street with my Grandma, I don't need to deal with this shit. Keep it at a whisper, you pirate hooker.

6. That horrible invention, the "Ignore" button: Never EVER use your ignore button when someone calls. Basically, what this does is sends the caller on the other end straight to voicemail. When I call someone and it rings twice and goes straight to voicemail, basically what it tells me is "I DO NOT WANT TO TALK TO YOU!" Just deal with the vibration for the additional five seconds out of respect for me. Thanks.

7. Texts, texts, and more texts! Here is when it is appropriate to text someone: When you are sitting alone and no one is talking to you. That is it. Do not text while driving, talking, walking, in class, or 5 feet away from the person you're texting. If I see you doing one of these activities, I will go out of my way to cause you physical harm.

8. Never talk on the phone/text while you are ordering food/coffee/smoothies/etc. As stated in my first post, I work in food service as a second job. One of my biggest frustrations about taking food orders from people is trying to do so while they are having a conversation with someone else. It always takes twice as long to take your order, your food ends up colder, and some of my spit may "unintentionally" end up in your food. I think the movie "Waiting" got to this point the best: Never mess with those who prepare your food. It just isn't a good idea, that's all I'm saying.

Basic guiding rule for using your mobile phone: Never use you phone while trying to do something else. Focus on one task at a time, because, believe it or not, multitasking does not work. For anyone. In any situation.

I hope you found this useful! I can tell you, it was very cathartic writing this post! Have a great day, PGB fans!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

So... what's this all about?

Where to begin? Well, I suppose I should start at the very beginning, because it's a very good place to start!

My name is Clayton. This is me:

As you can tell, I'm very gay (which explains 1/3 of my title). You may be asking "What's this all about?" Well, if you're referring to your existence in existential terms, I'm afraid you're out of luck because I don't have an answer for you. If, however, you're looking for an explanation for this blog then... I'm afraid you're out of luck because I don't have an answer for you!

Here's the honest truth: I'm incredibly pretentious (which explains another 1/3 of my title). Anyone who knows me will confirm this fact. Therefore, I consider my knowledge to be valuable and useful. I've been wanting to write a blog for a long time but I was having trouble thinking of a theme. It seems that all of my favorite blogs have a very specific theme from which all topics radiate: be it fashion, food, music, movies, etc. they are all very specific. However, I have issues with commitment. Thus, I have been struggling focus on a specific topic on which I want to focus.
You see, I consider myself a renaissance man.

Much like Leonardo Da Vinci, only less beard-y. Therefore, I have a lot of topics on which I would like to muse. I would say that I would like this to become an open forum for conversation on a variety of topics through which everyone's voice is equal, but that's not true. You see, it's MY blog, and MY voice is the most important! (Can you tell I'm the youngest in my family?)

What to expect from this blog: You can expect a variety of posts on a variety of subjects, men's grooming tips, indie rock, beer, fashion trends, theatre, exercise, cooking tips, relationship advice, and a lot in between! My high school drama teacher, Mr. Lippold, had a saying that had a strong impact on me in my formative years: "I don't know a lot about anything, but I know a little about a lot of things." I've tried to live my life by this advice, and think that I have experienced a lot in my time.

I hope you enjoy, and please let me know if you would like me to write about a specific topic. I am always open for suggestions!


P.S.- I still have 1/3 of my title to explain! You see, I work as an Academic Advisor at a large state university. The job pays well, but my near decade in College and multiple degrees caused me to go very much into debt. Therefore, I just don't make enough at my day job to survive in a lifestyle to which I see appropriate. So I had to get a second job... slinging burritos at a local burrito joint to drunk college students. It pays the bills and gives me entertaining stories for my friends. So there you go! All questions have been answered.