Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Walk and talk at Starbucks

I am beginning to think that there ought to be a mandatory class in cell phone manners before people can get their phones. Why? My night was ruined by a battle-axe squawking into a phone for 30 minutes oblivious to the fact that the ENTIRE cafe could hear her side of an Enterprise clerk's struggle to locate her rental car reservation.

If I'd have been that clerk, I'd have put her in a Ford Fiesta that just got back from a cross-country road trip - carrying four heavy smokers who'd been eating Taco Bell all the way. She was rude.

Let's back up. Everybody gets calls. Either take it and talk quietly, go outside, let it ring to voice mail and call them back when you're not SCREAMING over the coffee shop noise or just don't bother trying to take phone calls inside a Starbucks.

Don't take the call, put it on speakerphone so that you and your husband can get in on the action, lay the phone on the table then spend thirty minutes yelling at a clerk.

Because now we ALL know that you think Alex from Enterprise is a "misbegotten son of a b**** who effed up your reservation on purpose" and who is intentionally keeping you from getting to Fort Lauderdale in the morning.

And because we all know that you are wearing an enormous powder blue velour jogging suit. To be fair, you do get up and move about quite a bit. QUITE A BIT.

I don't know what was worse - the yelling or the constant coming and going of the drone. And if she was going to walk and talk - the LEAST she could have done was take it outside. But she didn't - presumably so as not to inhale the exhaust fumes from passing cars.

Her lips move, her hips move, her legs move. Everything but the brain cells. Powder Blue Penelope apparently gets tired of sitting, because she starts roaming around, making laps of the cafe and doing figure eights. She wanders over to visit the napkins. She looks at the tumblers on display. The Christmas merchandise gets a look. All the while, some poor clerk is getting it about something.

As best I can tell, she wants an upgrade - yet a larger car doesn't seem to be available. As is often the case with some people who have not been told "NO" enough in their lives, "Madam, we do not have a larger car available" does not seem to compute.

Phrases like "THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE" and "I HAVE TO HAVE A BIGGER CAR" as well as "WHO ELSE CAN I TALK TO?" and "THERE HAS TO BE SOMETHING ELSE YOU CAN DO. I RENTED ONE LAST YEAR!" spill from her lips like milk from an upturned pitcher. Alas, it did not seem to move the Enterprise clerk.

I can tell she's getting agitated, because she starts walking more - and getting more aggressive. She stomps a bit and gets a little louder. I was waiting for spittle to fly, but it didn't. She just yelled more and passed the phone off to the husband to try a little "Good Cop, Bad Cop." It still didn't work.

Finally, after thirty minutes of this - and after I'd given up any hope of anything but staring blankly at the computer and playing Connect 4 on my iPhone - she snapped the phone shut with an angry motion and yelled across the cafe to the husband "WELL. They said call tomorrow."

Honey. Notes. On. Your. File.

Please don't yap incessantly at the Starbucks. The normal din of conversation is bad enough. You making some poor clerk's life miserable might just lead someone to throw a cup of Pike Place Roast at you!

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