Heinous, Harmless or just plain yuck?

I stopped to use the facilities while I was at the supermarket doing the weekly shop. There is a downside to all that coffee I drink. Anyways.  There was another stall that was occupied and the woman inside was having an interesting cell phone conversation as she took care of business.

Heinous or harmless? Is talking on the phone one of those things that shold be suspended when nature calls? Or have we sunk so low that even a little tinkle cannot interrupt our conversations? Should I have made a lot of noise so that she would know there was someone else there? Did she have an expectation of privacy to hold her conversation? What are your thoughts?

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10 Comments

  1. Haha. On collegehumor there is a column called “work sucks”. It is people writing in complaints or funny stories from work. This was theer yesterday:

    “Part of my job is to give directions to callers and generally it’s a pretty mundane process. Recently, a woman called me asking to get to a festival we were having—simple enough. When I started giving her the directions, she said, “Oh, I can’t take down the directions right now. I’m pooping. Can you hold on for a couple minutes? I was so shocked that I actually waited until she was done and could go get a pen an paper.”

  2. I think one gives up an expectation to privacy when holding any conversation in a public place. You should feel free to give unsolicited advice or make commentary on her conversation – join in, in the spirit of the public chat she clearly wanted that to be! (I have been known to add a few honey-do’s and grocery items to my colleagues’ lists as we ride down the elevator after work, their spouses on the other end of their ears.)

    Now, if the person on the other end of the conversation is subjected to tinkling and grunting noises, it’s either humorous or just plain yuck, depending on whether it’s a friend they normally would have gone to “powder their nose” with, had they been dining together in person. You know, some women simply cannot stand to use a public bathroom ALONE. In fact, some simply cannot stand to be alone at any time – INCLUDING while “doing their business.” I’ve never understood it, but I’ve been to restaurants that had two toilets in one stall – two GROWN-UP sized toilets in one stall – so I believe it.

    Studies have shown that cell phones carry an appalling amount of e. Coli. THAT is disgusting. Moral: Don’t borrow anyone’s cell phone unless it’s a dire emergency or you’re carrying Clorox wipes.

  3. Lili says:

    In a word: gross. I was once privy to a conversation under such circumstances where the woman on the phone actually asked the other people in the restroom to be quieter.

  4. Batya says:

    disgusting for sure
    Now that phones are so portable, not like in the previous century a million years ago when I was growing up, I think people have lost the concept of privacy and limits. What will those people do if phones are more like video chats or whatever?

  5. i think that if she was speaking on the phone in the bathroom i don’t think it matters to her that anyone would hear. this doesn’t bother me as much except for the fact that it was in a public bathroom. which makes this even more gross than if she would have been at home. no matter, one should be able to do one’s business without having to hear someone talk on their cell possibly speaking at the top of her lungs .

  6. fille says:

    I think it is yucky, impolite and a lack of respect.
    Because you hear the noise…
    I always interrupt and call back when I have an urgent need…

  7. Baila says:

    I hate using public bathrooms where everyone hears everything. I only use them when I absolutely have to. I would be mortified to be sitting in a bathroom on a phone–both because of the other women in the other stalls and because of the person on the other end of the conversation. And that’s how people drop their cell phones into the toilet, which is REALLY disgusting.

    BTW, in Israel, many public bathroom stalls are completely enclosed from floor to ceiling with a real door on them. Not necessarily soundproof, but it does feel a bit more private.

  8. Mel from Monsey says:

    Of all the problems in the world, thia ia just a drop in the ocean.

  9. conservadox says:

    harmless (though I guess I am in a minority) but it depends on what you are talking about- there are some conversations that I perhaps would not want the world to hear, others I wouldn’t mind. (For example, any conversation involving “Thanks, I’d love to accept the Nobel Peace Prize! is one I would happily engage in while pooping!)

  10. lady lock and load says:

    One time I took my young teenage daughter to Modell’s for sneakers and a guy was cursing and ranting on his cell phone. We were horrified and moved away.

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