Turn off your cellphone. Yes, you, the guy in the meeting at work who is OBVIOUSLY not getting a work-related call. Hey, we all slack off and spend time at work checking email and talking on the phone to friends, but why did you even bring your phone with you into a meeting in the first place? It says to everyone "I'm paying attention to this meeting, but I'm not really so invested in it that I wouldn't get up if I got a really good personal call." You, the guy who's cell phone rings four times in the same meeting because you have not set any sort of boundaries with people who SHOULD KNOW THAT YOU ARE AT WORK, but call over and over as if to goad you into answering--turn that shit off.

And you, the lady who is leading the meeting and giving a presentation. You have not only brought your cell phone to the meeting, you have placed it on the table in front of you so EVERYONE can see it when it rings. Go ahead, take the time to see who it is on the caller id and then speculate what the call might be about. At this point, your phone has already interrupted your presentation and caused us all to wait while you regroup and figure out what it is you were saying. Is it really that important to be available to anyone who calls at all hours of the day? Is it important enough to inconvenience the rest of us?

And to you, lady in the movie theater who's husband is late and has obviously just planned on calling you so you could come get him and he wouldn't have to wander around in a dark theater because THE MOVIE IS ALREADY PLAYING--you should have your phone taken away and bashed into a million plastic bits in front of you. There is NO excuse for answering an audibly ringing phone in a movie theater with the movie playing just because someone doesn't know how to walk in a theater and look for you. The phone could have AT LEAST been put on vibrate, but then, why bother when you are going to talk on it in a regular voice and then get up and disturb everyone around you anyway?

You people and your cell phones. Look, it's not that the cell phone is in itself an evil thing. I have one, and yes, it's useful from time to time on trips, and yes, it costs me less than a landline. I don't take it with me to work, because I've been working in offices for at least six years now and up until I got this phone, the people who needed to get in touch with me have always been able to call my office line. They still can, and they still do. They can email me too. I don't take it into movies because frankly, there's nothing world-shattering that I need to know about instantly that can't wait until a movie is over. I don't have a pregnant wife about to go into labor, I don't have parents in the ICU, I don't have a brother on the ground in Iraq going into battle... and neither do most people whose cell phones go off at any and all times. The thing is, answering or even having your phoen on in a situation like a meeting is a signal to everyone else that your life and your priorities are more important to you than everyone else's time and attention. It's an arrogance that comes from thinking that you have to be connected to anyone anywhere at any time. There are very, very few people for whom that is true. In fact, almost every call anyone has ever walked out of a meeting to take or answered in a theater has ended with "I'll call you back in a minute." Guess what-- this is the same thing that voice mail says, and everyone has voicemail.

I'm tired of the self-centered people who assume that it's okay to interrupt my life with their petty calls. Show some humility and respect for your fellow man, and turn that fucker off. Better yet, tell all the wanks who keep calling you at inoportune times that they had better get another way to get in touch with you. That way, when you get up to go to the bathroom, if for some reason you haven't fastened your phone to your hip, it won't ring with some assanine ringtone jingle for five minutes until you get back. Dick.