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Cell phone faux pas at the White House
Cell phone faux pas at the White House

It’s a beautiful moment when an etiquette breach is handled in a gallant manner.

Enter Robert Gibbs, White House press secretary. In a recent briefing, Gibbs politely asked reporters to set their phones to vibrate mode (common courtesy - it would seem - during any meeting…or is it just us?).

When a cell phone started ringing, Gibbs took action: confiscation.

Not even 30 seconds later, another journalist’s phone rang. He boldly replied and left the briefing.

Talk about rude!

Take a look at how Gibbs handled the manners misdemeanour:

Perhaps, these phone addicts should review the basics of mobile telephone manners.

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Dear Ms. de P.,
I have always wondered why ‘vibrate’ is the option suggested instead of ‘off’. I know some gentle folks who get some pleasure from the former option. I do hope whoever invented that ’speed’ made pots of money. At any rate, I reiterate that bringing a cell phone to any public gathering, including a lowly press conference, is akin to allowing one’s 6 year old child to tag along. I grant you that at the age of 6, some children do begin to from brats to people, but they remain nonetheless uninvited guests. My advice to your gentle readers is to turn the cell phone off whenever there is any chance whatsoever of sharing space with another gentle person. Phew! I need a martini! EG

  • jay Remer
  • 17 Aug, 2009
  • 5:12 pm

Dear Monsieur EG
I couldn’t agree more, it is beyond vulgar to leave one’s mobile telephone on at any public gathering - even a ‘lowly’ press conference. But at a White House press conference? It’s simply outrageous. Watching this short motion picture leaves me speechless, and just shaking my head at any gentle reader who finds it appropriate. The same goes for intimate gatherings such as dinner or a meeting. When you’re in another person’s company, you’re in another person’s company. End of story, and I am so pleased we agree about this topic. Make that two martinis!
Warm regards

  • Prunella de Pedant
  • 17 Aug, 2009
  • 5:25 pm

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