Technological developments over the last 200 years have affected the way we understand the world and what we now understand and accept to be rational and reasonable. Manners and mobile phones have emerged as a topic for debate particularly in relation to whether someone conversing on a mobile phone should be forced to hang up in order to be served in a coffee shop. The question may well not be one of manners in a society that has broken most of the accepted rules, but one of perceived respect. We live in a time poor world where multi tasking is the only way to get through a day. With the ability to converse on mobile phones with people we actually want to or need to speak with in our spare moments, should we instead be expected to be engaging in pointless conversation with strangers who are performing services such as making coffee? In coffee shops all over people are consuming coffee alone save a voice on the other end of a phone, it’s how we have come to manage our lives and do business and it has been portrayed recently in the media as bad manners. Some media goes so far as to suggest that people on phones shouldn’t be served unless they hang up and give the server 100% attention. Is the reverse true in this situation, does the customer get 100% of the servers’ attention until they receive what they requested? Remember when you and a friend who was physically present were having a conversation and a waiter arrived at your table? In generally accepted terms the waiter would have waited for you and your companion to pause before addressing you, this was accepted as standard manners. It may be said that this is exactly the same situation with the exception that the waiter can only see one person not two, what has changed here is that due to advancements in technology we can now have a meeting with all the same outcomes as a face to face meeting, remotely. The wait staff though is operating in a customer focused business which hasn’t considered the...
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