We were in the coffee shop yesterday when I had another great chance to observe humanity in action. A couple came in and sat at a nearby table. She was quite tiny, but he was a tall imposing man. As they sat he pulled out his phone and began to dial. As it rang he waved her toward the counter. She went; he began to bark into the phone in a loud commanding voice.
Leaning forward, this fellow gave the person on the other end a long list of instructions as though he was speaking to an inattentive child. The call was still going on as the woman returned. She set the coffee and snack in front of him and he acknowledged her with a nod as he continued to direct the person he had called. We all could easily hear him.
This fellow obviously owned a small business and, it was equally obvious that he maintained full and complete control. He finished his call and spoke to his companion. “The cell phone is a wonderful thing,” he declared loudly as he leaned across the small table. Only silence answered him. She was reading a paperback book. “Ellen, did you hear me? I said the cell phone is a wonderful thing.”
“What? Oh certainly, dear. It allows you to keep order in the universe, even when we are away. Why don’t you call the shop and make sure they got that last bit right?”
“Good Idea,” he declared as he sat back and began to dial. I saw her smile as he once again began to direct the action from his chair in the coffee shop. She went back to her book.
A number of years ago, as we travelled to the Arctic, we met a man named Mike. After Mike did us a great favor I asked for his e-mail so we could let him know we arrived safely and so we could thank him properly. He didn’t have e-mail. I asked for a cell number, he didn’t carry one. When I asked why he replied, “It is harder to hit a moving target.” He then shook my hand and walked away.
So, tell me folks, what do you think of the debate. Do you agree with Mr. Coffeeshop, or Mike? Perhaps you are like me and your opinion lies somewhere in the middle.