Recently, I passed through airport security in Nashville behind a guy who went through the entire procedure without getting off his cell phone.
When my turn came, I said to the agent, "Don't you think security measures kinda demand that a passenger end a phone conversation so you can do your job?"
"Oh, no," said the dutiful agent. "We wouldn't want to get in the way of his music dealings."
This struck me as bizarre. I'm in George Bush's America where national security is king and airport agents are making the protection of their music industry a priority? But, OK, things get pretty insane in the United States and so be it.
But when I'm standing behind someone on a cell phone while I'm going through the check-out counter at the grocery store I want to grab the thing out of that person's hand and stomp on it.
I don't mind someone on the phone while they're in line - having a phone conversation probably has more redeeming social value than thumbing through the tabloids. But once your turn comes up in front of the cashier, get off the freakin' phone.
This is a person doing a job in the service industry, not in the slave trade. I've seen people on the phone pass over the credit card, sign off and take the bill without having a nano-second of eye contact with the cashier.
This is called objectifying, dehumanizing behaviour. Stop it, now.
Simple human decency demands that you treat people like human beings.
A thank you wouldn't hurt either.