There’s a guy on the train most mornings who is really annoying. Why is he so annoying well he starts off by being one of those people who views being on a train as the ideal time to continue his social life. That’s right he’s a social caller.
In case you aren’t sure about the definitions you have four different kinds of people on trains (in relation to telephone use).
Perfect Saint – Mobile phone is off and stays off for entire journey.
They called us, don’t blame me – They receive a call on the phone. They look suitably embarrassed, explain the situation or answer the question quickly and hang up. If a conversation of more than one minute ensues then this person has become a social caller.
I just called, to say, I’m on the train – sometimes you do just need to initiate a call on a train. Normally to let the person at the other end know that the train has finally left the station and seems to have some intention of finally getting you home. This should be less and less necessary because you could always text. But we do know that texts can, on occasion be as delayed as the trains. So yes, it can be acceptable. But if the conversation strays off of the unavoidable reason for your call then you’re into social caller.
Social Caller – Oh dear, you stupid pitiful scum of the earth. You’re on the train, you’re bored. You’ve forgotten to bring a book or magazine and despite having a phone which you could play a game (with the sound off please) or write an e-mail (or for that matter blog post criticising your fellow passengers) you decide that it would be a good use of your time to catch up with your friends by giving them a call. This is just simply not fair. Us poor saps are sitting here while you yammer on about what’s going on this weekend, what’s happening with your boyfriend or on one memorable occasion as you wonder if the fact you’d missed your period means anything! And it goes on and on. And sometimes the person on the other end has better things to do or dies and the conversation ends. We on the train think, for one blissful moment that the pain has gone away. But there you are scrolling through your speed dial looking for your next victim. And it all just gets worse and worse.
So, now we have the definitions sorted lets get back to my social caller. Well the first thing to note is that it’s in the morning. The used to be a rule, a social code, that although nobody liked mobile phones on trains at any time on morning commuter you don’t talk to somebody even if there on the train right with you. Silence is the order of the day. But there’s no stopping this guy. Second this guys got a shrill camp voice and ends every sentence with a raised voice like it’s a question. Even when it’s not. And finally he’s depressed. So he just talks interminably about why everything is wrong in his life since he was dumped, and how he just doesn’t seem to have any energy any more. The worst is when he’s dials and then we all wait to see if the next person is going to pick up. He says, “pick up, pick up, pick up” as it rings. And then when nobody answers he says, “why don’t they ever answer”. Perhaps it’s because it’s seven fifteen and they’re asleep or they have decided that the very last thing that they want to wake up to is your depressed whiny voice droning on and on until the end of the world. Or perhaps they hate you. This is what I shout at him – in my mind.