Snap Shot #31: Please Refrain

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I walk into the waiting room for my dermatologist appointment that I’ve put off for the last two years. As the receptionist gathers my details, I notice a sign standing on the counter. “As mobile phone use can annoy other patients and interfere with pacemakers, please refrain from using your phone in the waiting room.” I groan. It’s exactly what I had intended on doing – using my phone to kill time – just like any other person forced to wait around these days. But no – as it looks like I’m about to be thrown back into the last century, I take a seat and pick the least trashy magazine on offer. I’m reading a National Geographic article about scientists taming foxes in Siberia when another patient takes a seat and pulls out his phone. I’m annoyed by the very fact that he’s ignoring the sign while I have to read about Siberian foxes. But I decide to let it slide. At least he’s not making any noise. Until he starts tapping out an email, each letter echoing around the room. Bloody hell. Has this guy never heard of muting your phone? I try to let it go. But I fail. “Excuse me – I don’t know if you saw the notice but it asks if you can refrain from using you’re your phone as it can annoy other patients. Go ahead and use it if you want but can you at least mute it? Thanks.” The guy is taken aback. “Oh – fine – I wouldn’t want to annoy anybody.” He puts his device away and he too steps back into the previous century by picking up a magazine, possibly, like myself, for the first time in years. As my adrenaline fades, I start to become quite intrigued about the taming of Siberian foxes. Then another patient walks in, sees the receptionist, sits down and pulls out his phone. Terrific. He too decides to catch up on his emails. But rather than the normal typing sound, he’s set his keypad to emit bizarre froggy noises. You’ve got to be kidding me. I try to hold off for as long as I can, sensing that the guy I’d previously lectured is silently challenging me to do the same to Mr. Froggy. Finally, I do. “Excuse me – I don’t know if you saw the notice but it asks if you can refrain from using you’re your phone as it can annoy other patients. Go ahead and use it if you want but can you at least mute it? Thanks.” He looks back at me. “But it’s not making any noise.” I stare at him, incredulous, unsure of how to respond. Precisely at that moment, I hear my name called out by the dermatologist. Saved by the skin guy. As I follow him out of the waiting room, I offer a parting shot. “Sounds like it’s making stupid froggy noises to me.”

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