Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Common Courtesy Cop

It is annoying, you know the loud mouthed jerk talking on a cell phone while seated next to you in a restaurant, or on a bus, or on a train, or in an elevator. It is even scary to see someone walking down the street apparently having an animated conversation with no one in particular, scary until you realize they are hooked up to a cell phone (and maybe still scary when you think about how animated they were on a phone). I have often wondered why some of these people bother getting a phone and calling plan in the first place since they talk loud enough to be heard in the next state. Still though, its not much different from someone without a cell phone and who is simply having a conversation at way to loud a decibel level in a public place.

Sure some of them do not realize how loud and obnoxious they are being, and all it takes is someone to politely ask them to keep it down; but many of these blabber mouths lack common courtesy, and in that they lack respect for others. They either just keep it going, or even get louder, if someone politely asks them to tone it down. That can be a cause of conflict with those around them, especially the person who was annoyed enough to ask them to tone it down in the first place. So how do you handle the situation if you are the one who is offended or upset about a loud, obnoxious blabbermouth who is incessantly blabbing on a cell phone? I would do it with courtesy, and with respect, and if that did not work, well I would try to enlist the assistance of others who also seemed offended; all the while keeping it civil. I really try to remain civil, but I will admit if some gets in my face I can become pretty loud and gruff myself.

That does not mean I would start trying to grab things from people, or start slapping people, or yelling obscenities at them (though I have done so on occasion, I really try to keep it civil). As to the grabbing and slapping, I see moves like that as not only rude and disrespectful but as a physical threat. If someone came at me to grab something from my hands, or if someone slapped me, well I would defend myself as necessary and then I would restrain the person until police arrived. There is a good chance that something like this could happen to me or you. To me because I sometimes take the Long Island Railroad, and it seems to me that there is a self appointed vigilante common courtesy cop riding the rails of said RR. He was recently charged with a couple or few misdemeanors, and was tried in court, but won his case, see:
Man Who Yelled at Phone User Acquitted. I think he feels vindicated that his manner of accosting people on cell phones is the proper thing to do. I think he is an asshole rude and crude in his dealings with folks who are being too loud on cell phones; and I think it would be better handled in a polite and courteous manner. Now this guy is a retired cop (after only 10 years on the job as per the report I read) and is now a lawyer. He reportedly has several law suits filed against other LIRR passengers and against the MTA (the outfit that runs the LIRR). Are you getting the picture? This guy is, I think, an overinflated, pompous, rude, arrogant, nasty jerk someone who is thinking only of himself, and feels he must push himself onto others to make the world right. Right for whom - well for himself I would think, and not for you or I.

Being rude in an attempt to counteract the rudeness of another in no way overcomes the rudeness of others, it solves nothing. Too bad he does not realize that. He seemingly has missed the point that if you want to be a common courtesy cop, then you need to do so with common courtesy, and respect, toward others. If you do not do so with courtesy - well then you have become exactly the type of person against whom you are crusading. Err let me correct that last sentence - you have become worse than those others if only because you are doing as they do while seeing yourself as their better. That is out and out hypocrisy as I see it. I pity this guy, I really do; but I must say that should he ever take a physical swipe at me, it is not pity that he will feel in return.

All the best,
Glenn B

3 comments:

Ma Kettle said...

I often wonder what the solution is...I mean sometimes the conversations I over hear embarrass the heck out of me. Not that I am a prude, but I am embarrassed that one takes their conversations to public.

I really do not wish to know the tidbits...the "well you know" and on and on.

And those that are so animate...what in the world is going on? I think that the voyeurism has progressed to allowing others to peek(or hear) for the thrill of the person on the phone.

Glenn Bartley said...

I agree with you. I think those folks could use a nice polite "Excuse me, but would you mind keeping it down" or whatever else would be appropriate. Most seem to take the hint.

All the best,
GB

Jungle Mom said...

he was out of line. The fact that it has happened more than once must mean he was unreasonable.
About the only thing I speak up about is smoking as I have asthmatic children. This is not a problem here in the US though.