Phone Etiquette

Dreams 10.31.13
It has been very difficult to remember my dreams. Last night I literally had to stare at my phone reminder for about 5 seconds in order for it to set in.

I was participating in an improv/acting class. The class had about 10 students. We didn’t have a proper classroom. The instructor just led us down a hallway and when we reached a dead end, an area that seemed to double as storage space for misshapen stage platforms, we stopped and instinctively fanned out.

People spread themselves out sitting on the floor and on the odd-shaped platforms. There was 1 loan chair which the instructor took. When everyone were mostly settled in I got up from my seat on the floor to look around the corner as if to check for people, then quickly ran back to my seat on the floor right beside the instructor’s chair. I noticed a disapproving look from him but thought I must’ve been too self conscious.

Then the class began. One of the students to my left got up and started doing some random performance. I took out my phone from my pocket, pushed the power button to go to the lock screen then swiped the toggle switch to silent. Then without another thought, returned the phone to my back pocket so I could focus on class.

However, before it got there, it started to ring. The ring tone was my usual, Mario 3 underwater world theme music. I fumbled at my phone and pushed a random button until the rig turned off. But then I could still hear a low audible him emitting from my phone. At this point everyone noticed me but were trying hard to pretend they couldn’t hear. I tried to surround my phone with my clothes, my sleeves, to muffle the sound. It worked to some degree but whatever came out of it was still audible.

I was thoroughly embarrassed. Torn at whether to completely disrupt the class by standing up and walking out or to continue to sit there with a muffled ring going off, hoping it would shut off soon. One of the students to my left looked at me and mouthed the words, “Is that you?” I mouthed back a yes and sorry.

Shortly after that everyone applauded. I was relieved that during the applause my phone sounds were no longer audible and after the applause died down, the instructor began to speak and give the student comments on his performance. I was super relieved that phone was now behaving. Not a sound came from it now.

The instructor only spoke for a few minutes then got up from his chair to hand some notes to the student. Then he slapped a note in my lap to my surprise without saying a word before plopping himself back on his chair.

The note listed the names of all the songs that I had used as ringtones on my phone, some I didn’t think were even heard during the incident. Below it was a very stern note that said, I’ve always disliked you – this is your last chance, no signature and no invitation to discuss.

Instantly I felt the urge to get up and indignantly defend myself for the injustice that seemed to be raining on my head. But then I stopped myself and wondered how I could have prevented this disaster. I kept thinking my phone was stupid but ultimately knew that if I had more respect for the class, I should have turned it off before attending class at all. I felt embarrassed and annoyed with myself but determined to be better about it for the next class.


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