To think people should not be checking their BlackBerry's all night, at the table, when you have invited them for dinner?

(137 Posts)
strandedatseasonsgreetings Tue 07-Dec-10 14:05:07

We had some good friends - a couple - over for dinner last night. I cooked up a storm, made a curry and a side dish, we had some wine, it was all lovely. Except the male half of the couple kept reading messages on his Blackberry all night.

Now he has a very senior job in a large company so I assumed it was work and thought nothing of it. My dh also had his Blackberry on the table as he is always on call. But he had it there for important calls only.

However, towards the end of the night, Mr I'm Very Important confessed he had been checking messages about the (American) football results all night. I was fuming (inside - I didn't say anything except to take the piss a bit).

That's rude isn't it? They are really good friends of ours but not sure I would invite them again.

Greenmantle Tue 07-Dec-10 14:06:37

I would be extremely pissed off if I were you. Very rude. Could he not have waited until the end of the night to check final scores?

onceamai Tue 07-Dec-10 14:06:50

YANBU. Poor form, with manners like that he's probably won't get any more senior.

Chil1234 Tue 07-Dec-10 14:07:51

YANBU... "Height of bad manners" as my mother would say. If they return the dinner invitation, show up with a newspaper and make a big play of reading it whilst eating. Same thing.

lucy101 Tue 07-Dec-10 14:08:35

It is rude and I would be annoyed... but I might also say something but it's very tricky. It would be a shame not to invite them again... perhaps you can think of something jokey/gentle to say next time... but it's very hard when it is other people's manners.

My DH on our first date took several calls from mates. I liked him but said I wouldn't go out with him again if he took a call... he didn't do it again! I think he just had no manners and didn't see it was wrong.

santadefiesgravity Tue 07-Dec-10 14:09:25

It is very rude. Dh gets on my nerves when he is on his blackberry all the time. Mostly on facebook messaging friends. I'm like - is my company not good enough.

gramercy Tue 07-Dec-10 14:09:31


There soooooo needs to be a Code of Conduct regarding new technology. Keeping a phone on to check for an urgent message is (semi) ok, but looking at sports results/checking facebook whatever is tantamount to saying "You are not interesting enough to occupy my full attention".

I'd have submerged his stupid Blackberry in the curry.

TheMollyRogerandtheIvy Tue 07-Dec-10 14:10:10

This is a huge pet hate of mine. there is no excuse.

An ex-friend of mine used to do this.

She would come round for dinner/wine/a movie and would spend the entire time with her phone in her hand, nodding half-heartedly as I talked while she text people.

In the end I told her just how bloody rude she was. It's one of the reasons we are no longer friends.

YANBU at all.

strandedatseasonsgreetings Tue 07-Dec-10 14:11:23

I love chil1234's suggestion about the newspaper!!

He isn't British (Jamaican) so it could be a cultural thing? (although I know plenty of other Jamaicans and don't think they behave like this).

I wonder if he thinks because he is so busy and important he has to use every opportunity he gets to catch up on, important matters.

KERALA1 Tue 07-Dec-10 14:12:53

Unanimous YANBU. Sends out all sorts of messages none of them good. Possibly acceptable if person explains something has blown up at work, is very apologetic and mimimises blackberry fiddling. Otherwise no way.

Blu Tue 07-Dec-10 14:13:00

Incredibly rude.
And I think your DH's Blackberry should not have been ion the actual table, either. Either oin vibrate in his pocket or in the side, but if it was on the table, your guest may have thought it was acceptable.

Dead rude. Did is partner not tell him to stop it?

strandedatseasonsgreetings Tue 07-Dec-10 14:16:43

Blu - you make a good point about dh's blackberry, I hadn't even noticed it until Mr Important confessed he was checking football results and dh's was pointed out as well.

His wife uses hers a LOT as well (although not last night) so I don't think she thinks there as anything wrong with it.

I hate the bloody thing and I think it is one of the reasons dh is so stressed all the time, he can't get away from work. I caught him answering (non-urgent) messages from a colleague on sunday - and told him to tell his colleague to bloody well wait until the working week so get his answers.

PaisleyLeaf Tue 07-Dec-10 14:18:56

You should have texted him. 'More wine'?

LadyBlaBlah Tue 07-Dec-10 14:20:30

yanbu he should have had an iPhone.

Acanthus Tue 07-Dec-10 14:20:47

And did he then get on his high horse and say that his work is Very Important and he's Expected to be Available? <twitch>

onceamai Tue 07-Dec-10 14:21:29

What a brilliant idea - I shall remember that one Paisley Leaf grin

christmasheave Tue 07-Dec-10 14:23:23

YANBU - rude as hell.

strandedatseasonsgreetings Tue 07-Dec-10 14:24:27

Ladyblahblah - unfortunately can't use Iphone's here.

Love the ides of the "more wine" text, wish I'd thought of that!

Unfortunately dh does have a legitimate reason to always be on call so I can't tell him to turn it off. Although there have been days when I have hidden the damn thing....

Poledra Tue 07-Dec-10 14:27:22

'Twas very rude - I keep my BlackBerry somewhere I can hear it if I'm out (as it's the number the babysitter has) but wouldn't dream of checking email!

We had friends arrive with their children one evening to stay the weekend - I was not happy that I had to spend nearly 2 hours on the phone trying to sort out a mess with shipping for work and was most apologetic to our friends.

Hullygully Tue 07-Dec-10 14:35:02



GetOrfMoiLand Tue 07-Dec-10 14:36:11

I agree that it is bloody rude to check football results, there was no need for that.
However, re work emails, lots of bastard companies expect you to be 'on' at all times, so for some people there is no avoiding it.

strandedatseasonsgreetings Tue 07-Dec-10 14:39:11

Getorf - I agree which is why I excused it while I thought it was work. But when I found out it was football I felt like a mug.

GetOrfMoiLand Tue 07-Dec-10 14:40:29

Yes, that is bloody rude.

The fact he admitted it as well, he has no shame.

YoginiBikini Tue 07-Dec-10 14:43:55

He was rude but its hardly a good reason to not invite good friends to your house again

And Jamaican/cultural thing? hmm

strandedatseasonsgreetings Tue 07-Dec-10 14:44:42

why hmm at Jamaican/cultural thing?

YoginiBikini Tue 07-Dec-10 14:48:18

As you say, you know plenty of other Jamiacans who don't behave like this, so why jump to the conclusion?

Hullygully Tue 07-Dec-10 14:53:59

<snigger at Jamaican> Perhaps he was getting messages from his dealer about ganja?

Ephiny Tue 07-Dec-10 15:08:53

YANBU, it's very bad manners.

dbm Tue 07-Dec-10 15:09:57

Just plain rude of guest and DH. If someone is genuinely on call they can explain at outset of the evening and leave phone in convenient place so it could be heard if the genuine call came in. I'm with BunnyLebowski although I haven't terminated my friendship. One of my friends sends/receives texts all the time; she saw the disparing scowl on my face and said that at least she'd got a life! I have only let her off cos she's been going thru a divorce. Love the 'more wine?' text. Dont get why an iphone would be any more polite? Dont get the cultural comment on being Jamaican either - its not polite, thats it.
We are too attached to these devices - me included - but we need to enjoy the here and now and concentrate on who we're with not someone/something/somewhee else

Hammy02 Tue 07-Dec-10 15:46:29

Some people seem to need their phone nearby as a sort of crutch. Some celebs always seem to have a mobile in their hand when they're just walking along. FFS. Most things can wait.

brass Tue 07-Dec-10 15:46:32

MIL does this. Think she thinks she's being very hip or something.

They're all here on Christmas Day. She will probably be texting SIL throughout the meal. What would you say?

maltesers Tue 07-Dec-10 15:50:39

Yes he was rude to be checking bloody football results. . .ignorant and bad manners.
.. Its ok if you are checking ur phone to see if the nanny/babysitter or whatever has texted or called about the kids. . .but not the darn football.. . .cheeky devil.

mummyofcandc Tue 07-Dec-10 15:52:34

New to Mumsnet and feel VERY stupid, but what does Yanbu stand for????

iwouldgoouttonight Tue 07-Dec-10 15:55:41

Do you think its rude to do this in your own house? DP has his iphone with him at all times and is often checking cricket scores/checking emails/playing games at the dinner table.

I hate it and think its rude, and doesn't set a very good example to the kids but he doesn't seem to think its a problem.

Serendippy Tue 07-Dec-10 15:56:55

YANBU (You are not being unreasonable, mummy )

Rude. Next time get your DH to say, 'I realised it was a bit rude of me to keep my Blackberry on the table, we can always check the results after dinner'.

heliotrope Tue 07-Dec-10 15:59:26

Very rude, and yes I would include in your own house. My oh knows there is no reading or texting at the table and the children will soon find out too (only 3 and 0!).

FindingAManger Tue 07-Dec-10 16:01:43

It's not a Jamaican cultural thing at all - it's just a "very fucking rude & please don't ever invite me to dinner again" thing (group BBQ maybe, sit down at the table dinner - now way)

ShoppingDays Tue 07-Dec-10 16:03:22

YANBU. If he comes round again say with a smile you've decided it's going to be a blackberry-free zone.

AbsofLatkes Tue 07-Dec-10 16:05:53

Very, very rude. Unfortunately DP does the same thing (checks football results) so I am banning his blackberry from dinner tables. I couldn't really muster up much sympathy when the t'internet on it was broken and he couldn't go on it to look at fecking lequipe (stupid French sports newspaper/website).

feistychickfightingthebull Tue 07-Dec-10 16:09:39

YANBU, I found myself morphing into such a character and decided to get rid of my facebook account and blackberry. They can be rather addictive

dbm Tue 07-Dec-10 16:10:55

shoppingday is right - keep it light hearted but a phone free zone at the table is perfectly reasonable
iwouldgoouttonight - try it, none of us are perfect but if we're attached to phones etc then we're not with the family, might as well forget conversation etc; TBH though we often have the tv when its just us at home on so we really aren't perfect!

mummyofcandc Tue 07-Dec-10 16:12:41

My DH used to do this too!! Until I actually walked out of a restaurant once! Went all the way home by myself. Think it took him a while to realize something's amiss!!! Had huge fight, but message sunk in!! Now he is VERY considerate.

feistychickfightingthebull Tue 07-Dec-10 16:13:17

OP, I just read your 'Jamaican, cultural' comment and am baffled by it. WTF has being Jamaican got to do with being on a blackberry. Are you implying his lack of manners is because he is Jamaican? Seriously pissed off by that comment, it is dumb

mugggletoeandwine Tue 07-Dec-10 16:14:48

I can't stand this.
I have several friends who feel the need to look at their phones every few minutes.
It didn't make a noise, nor get up and perform a tap dance so why are you looking at it?

Either have coffee with me, or fuck off and look at your phone.

One of my friends answers her phone in company and then chats too which I hate. Either ignore or answer and say you'll call back.

Blackberry checking is an addiction, innit wink?

Much like MN... (I am dooooomed). But so far I have never checked 'threads I'm on' during any dinner party grin.


newwave Tue 07-Dec-10 16:18:54

TBH, I used to do that sort of thing, always checking texts and e mails God knows why, it was a company/business phone and i do need to be in contact about 12 hours a day but like your guest i took it to stupid lengths. Now at 7pm the company phone is switched off until 7 am and is only on Saturday morning.

A habit worth breaking

Bunbaker Tue 07-Dec-10 16:24:22

"but looking at sports results/checking facebook whatever is tantamount to saying "You are not interesting enough to occupy my full attention".

I totally agree. I have already posted about this on another thread, but I really, really don't get why so many people are so self important that they feel they have to be contactable at all times.

I understand about doctors being on call or babysitters being able to get hold of you or other similar reasons, but surely when someone has invited you out and cooked a lovely meal it is because they want your company. That includes being able to have an uninterrupted two way conversation. I have a friend who is always texting and it irritates the hell out of me. I don't think she realises how rude it is.

Incidentally I'm not convinced that there are that many jobs that require people to be on call all the time (emergency services excepted of course).

LeQueen Tue 07-Dec-10 16:26:57

Incredibly rude and crass.

A friend of a friend became an Ambassador last year, but when she comes to dinner at my friend's house, she leaves her Blackberry in her bag for the actual hour and a half whilst they're eating. If she can do this, I fail to see what anyone else's excuse is?

mugggletoeandwine Tue 07-Dec-10 16:28:52

I annoy my friends by not being contactable at all, but as I say to them, sometimes I don't want to chat, so I don't answer the phone.
They know if it's urgent, to call back twice and I'll answer.

I hate phone obsession, I think it's the height of rudeness.

BalloonSlayer Tue 07-Dec-10 16:32:31

Really LeQueen, is she pissed off with everyone offering her Ferrero Rocher yet? grin

Desiderata Tue 07-Dec-10 16:36:59

Umm, but he's a bloke, isn't he? Most blokes I know would behave like that when it came to sports results.

I hate mobiles, and never use them ostensibly where people can see me .. but I think you just have to accept that blokes and sport inhabit a different universe, where different rules apply.

<that said, if I had a Blackberry, I'd have been checking out the cricket scores last night, friends or no friends>

amicissima Tue 07-Dec-10 16:41:45

YANBU. It's very rude. When it happened to me I suggested that we should delay the main course until the 'problem' had been sorted out so that we could all enjoy the meal. That got the phone put away quickly.

OTOH, a friend of DD's was babysitting and was physically attacked by one of the children. She couldn't get a reply to either of the parents' phones and had to get her own parents to come round and help sort the situation out.

Clearly there has to be a balance, but isn't the polite thing to say, if called, 'Excuse me a minute, I just need to sort out this work/childcare/whatever problem.', then apologise, put the phone away, but within earshot and leave it alone? If there's some ongoing situation that might mean you're contacted repeatedly, it seems polite to warn your hosts and fellow guests.

Football scores? No way. The final score will still be the same when you get home.

strandedatseasonsgreetings Tue 07-Dec-10 16:43:47

OP, I just read your 'Jamaican, cultural' comment and am baffled by it. WTF has being Jamaican got to do with being on a blackberry. Are you implying his lack of manners is because he is Jamaican? Seriously pissed off by that comment, it is dumb

Sorry let me just address this issue. I said this because, living in the Caribbean as I do, there are a lot of things that people do here that we, Brits, would consider rude. For example, they talk, text and make cell phone calls in the cinema during the film.

However, it is not my country and therefore I can't tell them what to do (although I do tut sometimes).

So I wasn't saying "oh he's just a stupid Jamaican, that's what they're like". What I was saying was there are things which are considered totally normal in other countries and cultures which we don't do - is this one of them? And then decided probably not.

However, he is not rude in other ways so perhaps it is.

LeQueen Tue 07-Dec-10 16:45:14

"Really LeQueen, is she pissed off with everyone offering her Ferrero Rocher yet?"

I think the first 37 times she heard the 'Ah, ambassador now you are really spoiling us' line she was very gracious about it. Then she got a bit hissy, even though she's an uber diplomat, of course.

strandedatseasonsgreetings Tue 07-Dec-10 16:46:14

LeQueen - my dad was an ambassador back in the day and blackberry's et al hadn't even been invented in his time. Funnily enough, the world didn't fall apart just because no-one could get hold of him every second of every day grin

LeQueen Tue 07-Dec-10 16:50:04

strand no one is that important, basically. I recently read that Michelle Obama insists her bloke turns his Blackberry off during dinner, if he can do it...hmm

Personally I hate having a mobile, I find them very intrusive. I carry one just incase of emergencies, and 9 times out of 10 it is switched off and only about a dozen people have the number.

PermaShattered Tue 07-Dec-10 16:55:28

I made the decision some time ago that when my children are old enough to have mobiles, etc, i will have a basket into which ALL mobile devices must be placed before a meal.

And that will apply to my husband too. And me - who is very reliant on her Blackberry as a freelancer!.

And visitors given the above thread......!!

soggy14 Tue 07-Dec-10 16:58:29

YABU - are you suggesting that your dh calls are the only important ones or simply that work calls are more important than non work ones? Unless someone is a medical doctor or fireman on call or similar then either no blackberries or all blackberries (preferably none).

strandedatseasonsgreetings Tue 07-Dec-10 16:58:58

Yes from now on I will implement a check-your-phones-in-at-the-door policy. People do it for guns, why not phones!

(I have to make a confession: we are leaving this small island in less than 2 weeks so the chances are we won't have these people round to dinner again unless they come visit us in the UK. But the principle still stands!).

strandedatseasonsgreetings Tue 07-Dec-10 17:01:07

soggy14 - dh in law enforcement, so unfortunately he does get urgent matters to deal with and needs to be constantly on call. However. I do think he deals with non-urgent matters when he doesn't need to as well and I do have a go at him about this.

strandedatseasonsgreetings Tue 07-Dec-10 17:02:12

Mr Very Important works for a large well known hotel chain. V popular in the Caribbean....(I hope I have not said too much).

Gracie123 Tue 07-Dec-10 17:15:29

My mum, sister and BIL all bring laptops when they visit and instantly hook up to our wifi! I don't really care, but I would ask them not to do it during dinner (and have had to ask my mum!)

MiL always bring loads of trash magazines (chat, now etc...) 'for me' but then sits and reads them all the time she is here!

Gracie123 Tue 07-Dec-10 17:16:11

Obviously me and DH are very boring...

Mylittlebubble Tue 07-Dec-10 17:23:54

It's not just my family then!!

When my mum visits us, about every six weeks to see her GD she sits on her laptop, iphone and mobile all day and night and doesn't interact with any of us. Then when we travel 3 hours to visit her she does the same in her house. I disppear sometimes and wonder why we bothered. Then we went out for a family meal, most of the family I haven't seen for years, and they are all on the iphones at the table all night!! Nightmare!!

Now my DH wants an iPhone!! I don't think so!!!

goodmanners Tue 07-Dec-10 17:31:11

I hate this with a passion, out in company other week and a close colleague was on his loads through the night then i found when i came home and was checking next day he was "checking us in" to various bars - it right peeed me off especially i hate the whole stalkerish knowing everyones move of it all anyway - so ive deleted him from my facebook now - 10 to go then i can close my accoutn grin

strandedatseasonsgreetings Tue 07-Dec-10 17:42:22

(oh oh this thread is on discussions of the day - I really hope my friend is not a MN'er. She is lovely and I would hate her to think I was being rude about her dh).

dbm Tue 07-Dec-10 18:08:25

i'm a big fan of media and wouldnt diss iphones as they are possibly the best phone thingy I've ever had but still self restrict use; not when I'm on my own but deffo in the company of others; we need to be friends with our friends in the flesh rather thanthis focus elsewhere

tattycoram Tue 07-Dec-10 18:15:29

Rude. I went to the theatre recently and there was a man in the row ahead of me on his phone/blackberry whatever. The lit LCD display was right in my line of sight. Would have tapped him on the shoulder if I could have reached him

Blu Tue 07-Dec-10 18:23:19

Can I just say that I think it is fair enough to reflect whether things have the same currency re good manners in different cutural settings.
I live in a multi-racial family and know that there are things I shouldn't do in DP's family home as they are not polite, and similiarly there are things that people do in his culture that I would find very rude if transposed to London. One is that n one has any qualms about mobile phones and I have TWICE seen two different Hindu priests take mobile calls / check mobiles and text back in the middle of a ceremony - no one finds this a problem, though the first time I saw it I was aghast!
Likewise I know many Caribbean families where keeping the tv on full blast and the men watching the footie is de rigeur all the way through dinner when you have guests - while in my Mum's home the TV goes OFF as soon as the doorbell rings - as it does in mine! In dp's family it would be considered downright inhospitable to deny your guests the benefit of the tv.

It may be that your guest did not mean to be rude or disrespectful at all. Intent and attitude is all, really.

strandedatseasonsgreetings Tue 07-Dec-10 18:32:16

Blu - thanks, that was what I was getting at, I'm glad you understand! He probably didn't think for a moment he was doing anything wrong. Like I said earlier, he's a nice man in every other way.

I have a friend from Slovenia who used to keep her tv on ALL THE TIME. Eventually I asked her politely if she could please turn it off while we were talking and she told me off for being so polite and English and not just shouting at her to turn the ruddy thing off.

schilke Tue 07-Dec-10 18:34:52

Well yanbu, but if they are really good friends it wouldn't bother me. Our friends have checked the Arsenal scores during a meal. I would think it odd behaviour if having posh dinner for lots of people or if you didn't know them that well.

I certainly wouldn't say anything. That would be treating him like a child.

My dh would answer his phone during a meal. He's a musician and not answering could mean missing being booked for a gig, as they might just move on to next person on their list.

snownelly Tue 07-Dec-10 18:37:32

YANBU - how rude!
I would be annoyed

Miggsie Tue 07-Dec-10 18:39:17

We went out for a meal with friends the other week. At one of the tables a bloke was sitting there in a party of about 6 others and playing on a nintendo.

Frankly, I'd have otld him to go home if he felt his friends were that boring..

If anyone does this I'm always tempted to get out my phone and text..."do you know how rude you are? Please leave" to them.

Mishy1234 Tue 07-Dec-10 19:13:59


Mobiles of any kind have no place at the table, unless the person is on call.

DH has a very good friend who is a journalist and I never forget going out to dinner with him and him being on his phone on and off throughout the meal. I found it REALLY rude and felt pretty offended tbh. What's the point of going out for a meal if you're going to ignore the other people at your table. You might as well sit on your own with a takeaway on your knee at home.

lostinafrica Tue 07-Dec-10 19:16:44


DH used to take calls at the table and chat away without leaving the table! He doesn't any more as I ask him quietly if he could go to another room.

I do think that the poster who said her DH does it during mealtimes with the family should say something to him. DH has done similar to us, but it just hadn't occurred to him that it was sending us the message that we weren't that important. He's bucked his ideas up now! grin

HmmmIwonder Tue 07-Dec-10 19:34:21

Very rude of him. As for it being a cultural /jamaican thing - I'm british and i know a lot of Jamaican people and in general I'd say they're more polite than British people.

Absolutely PIG ignorant. No manners at all.

classydiva Tue 07-Dec-10 20:16:19

It is rude there is no excuse for having a mobile phone at the dinner table.

Even your oh could have kept his away from teh table and answered it if it rang.

GetOrfMoiLand Tue 07-Dec-10 20:23:45

Oh every day I reminded why I love LeQ - bloody hell she top trumps us all my having the ambassador (of where though? Estonia? Burundi? Turks and Caicos?) around for supper.

strandedatseasonsgreetings Tue 07-Dec-10 20:32:04

Can I not top that by being the daughter of an Ambassador? (and yes it was a fairly obscure place)

SpeedyGonzalez Tue 07-Dec-10 22:32:18

Totally agree with classydiva.

I think you should be honest and say to them that it was lovely to have them for dinner EXCEPT that you found it bloody rude that the bloke kept texting at the table. You'd be happy for them to come over another time but if he does it again his Blackberry will end up in the soup.

PurpleOne Wed 08-Dec-10 02:15:41

how bloody rude

Gracie123 Wed 08-Dec-10 08:04:40

We had some friends over (well, they were acquaintances at the time, but friends now) and their parents, for dinner. The dad answered his phone during the meal (which I politely said was fine when his wife apologised to me) but his daughter was livid. She started shouting in to his phone call 'dad that's unacceptable! Your bein so rude! Hang up! Hang up now!' for about a minute and a half before he got so irate he left to take the call in the hallway. Wife and daughter were both mortified and would t stop apologising, but he didn't see a problem.

I personally think it was quite funny, especially the way his family reacted, but I can see it would offend some.

Waitingfortheepiphany Wed 08-Dec-10 08:52:55

Bear with... bear with...

modern etiquette is that you retire to the toilet to check your blackberry.

and your DH is out of order as well - blackberr is never on the table. if he really, really, really has the type of job where he needs to respend to a message in minutes rather than once or twice an evening (on call heart surgeon perhaps) it should be in his pocket, on vibrate.

Wottknottandmincepies Wed 08-Dec-10 09:03:44

Good idea paisley

I would invite them again, and send a text to him if you see him on the mobile .... "would you like your meal now and join us for dinner?"

DH does this when the GP race seasons on, can't help himself, but not at the table ! Fecking iphone apps.

Earthymama Wed 08-Dec-10 10:03:04

This is one of my absolute bugbears. DP has a tendency to be obsessive and we fell out when the iPhone began to take precedence over everything else.

I had my phone with me constantly when DD was pregnant, especially in the last few weeks but would always apologise and walk away from table if she called when we were eating with friends.

I think some people are incapable of understanding that their actions impact in any way on other people. I hate people talking on their phones whilst paying in shops, buying tickets or any other interaction that should acknowledge there is another human being involved in the process.

begonyabampot Wed 08-Dec-10 10:57:19

maybe I'll let my Dh read this thread as he has been very guilty of this. Had a blow up over a year ago when I said I wasn't going on holiday because of it. he is much better now but still doesn't really 'get it'.

at the Stubborn dinner table we have had to negotiate our way to an all family agreement : no phones at the table.

we are still arguing about whether cushions are allowed (thoe with a long MN memory, will know what i am talking about smile

Asteria Wed 08-Dec-10 11:21:09

bloody rude, I blame the parents....

LeQueen Wed 08-Dec-10 11:30:42

"Oh every day I reminded why I love LeQ - bloody hell she top trumps us all my having the ambassador (of where though? Estonia? Burundi? Turks and Caicos?) around for supper."

Oh, sadly she's not my friend, she's a friend of a friend. Although, obviously I have tried desperately to angle for a dinner invitation at my friend's when I know this woman is going to be there, blatant social climber that I am...

Can't really tell you where she's Ambassador for, but it's an Asian country. My friend is going to stay with her in the Spring, and I'm so envious, it will be amazing. And, obviously all the Ferrero Roche you can shake a stick at.

pagwatch Wed 08-Dec-10 11:38:27

My mum is another person who imagines that her phone is the one that rings when the president dials on the big red one in his office. ... She must answer for the sake of all humanity.

About a year ago she answered her phone while we were eating supper......

' sorry grandma, phones are not allowed at the table. It is astonishingly rude.'

(dd , then aged about 6 showing through her choice of phrasing exactly who told her this.... )

GlitteryBalls Wed 08-Dec-10 12:43:23

My exP used to be on his phone all the time at the table when we were on dates etc. Part of the reason he is my ex. x

strandedatseasonsgreetings Wed 08-Dec-10 12:46:44

LeQueen - curious who it is as there aren't that many female Ambo's and some of my contemporaries from my time (I left a few years ago) are reaching that stage now.

BaggedandTagged Wed 08-Dec-10 12:59:25

The funny thing is that people think having their blackberry surgically attached to their hand sends out "i am very important and indispensible" vibes, when in fact it is more likely proof that they are a complete Dilbert and their boss's bitch.

DH used to blackberry all evening so I told him not to bother coming home until he'd finished work. I would literally rather have the evening to myself than have him clicking and tutting away. the worst thing was when I used to do night feeds and he'd wake up and start emailing the US. Frikkin ridiculous.

HalfCaff Wed 08-Dec-10 13:48:28

I think people get into really bad habits and just start to think of it as normal. (Like some people leave the telly on when you go to their house!?) A friend of mine's husband used to come round to bring their dd to play, and for some reason he would stay. He would have one of these head attachments permanently on and take calls on it. He wasn't coming to dinner, but I always thought it was rude anyway. He also kept his coat on and sometimes brought a newspaper and sat there and read it...

Adversecamber Wed 08-Dec-10 16:36:58

I was visiting my mate, she kept facebook on line on her laptop through the entire weekend so she could jump up to check if her wanker of a married lover could get on line to message her at any point.

nancydrewrockinaroundxmastree Wed 08-Dec-10 16:52:06

Stranded valid point re the cultural aspect.

Where I live in the Middle East amongst the locals not answering your phone is tantamount to slamming the door in the face of the person calling. Doesn't matter where you are are what you are doing the phone will be answered.

LadyInaManger Wed 08-Dec-10 17:22:32

Only read the first page of this thread but i so identify with your dilemma.

When we invite guests over we say on arrival "oh just a little house rule, no phones at the table" and so they know from the onset. We did this because of a very rude friend who did exactly that but as we have poor reception due to trees etc she had to leave the table and walk to the botton of our garden - she did this 3 times. Our eyes were on stalks. We had also asked if she had any food dislikes and she said no so we cooked pork stroganoff which of course have mushrooms in. She spent the rest of the meal (in between phone calls from soon to be exboyf) picking them out. When we questioned why she hadn't said about not liking them she said she didn't think they would be served. Mushrooms are in so many dishes so i was a bit shock

She was very young though and it was a good many years ago. don't ever see her now.

strandedatseasonsgreetings Wed 08-Dec-10 17:30:59

Thanks everyone for your input, I think it's an almost universal IANBU which is fairly rare on MN!
Reading everyone's messages, it's nice to know I am not alone. And I do think I will make more of an effort to keep phones away from tables, especially as the dd's get older. We don't have people round to eat very often and over the past 18 months they have almost always been dh's colleagues so I have got used to people answering phones etc at the table. But it IS rude and should be real emergency's only.
Going out for a leaving dinner next week with dh, his boss and three of their colleagues. I will request that phones be put away for the night and kept on vibrate.

Blu Wed 08-Dec-10 17:32:09

I would be very [hm] if given house rules on manners when I arrived at a house as a guest!

Pixieonthemoor Wed 08-Dec-10 17:37:00

Unspeakably rude. If some major deal was about to go belly up and he desperately needed to read/send the odd message then that might just about be an excuse but FOOTBALL RESULTS?? If you do get asked to theirs or ask them again to yours, mention in the conversation that you hope you will have his attention tonight and not be dinged for something as rubbish as sport results. He should be ashamed - arrogant git.

BonzoDooDah Wed 08-Dec-10 18:17:30

I think a light way of dealing with this thing in future is to say "oh are you on call?" after the second checking of phone. If they say yes then is same as your DH but if no then they need to look embarassed or be told "well I think it can be put away for now eh?".
Would sort of diffuse it without having a (bit arsy sounding imho) no phones at the table rule before things even started.

GrizzlyMacDuff Wed 08-Dec-10 19:09:13

It is for reasons like this I do not have a mobile phone. If I am eating my dinner, or out or not able to conveniently answer the phone I won't. I dislike being contactable

GrizzlyMacDuff Wed 08-Dec-10 19:10:16

sorry posted before ready on account of my ds biting me while feeding!

I was going to say I dislike being contactable at every single minute of the day.

Desiderata Wed 08-Dec-10 19:12:14

I went on a staff dinner today .. only four of us because it's a small business (my second day job).

I can only remember diaries and mobiles.

Merry Christmas!

Ladyanonymous Wed 08-Dec-10 19:14:24

My OH is always on his iphone - drives me nuts esp as we only get weekends together hmm

meadowlarks Wed 08-Dec-10 19:28:43

Rude rude rude. I cannot stand the "stare-at-your-crotch" culture, it's slowly killing the basic principles of human interaction. Personally, I would have made it clear that unless it was an emergency, he should turn off his phone or at least put it away. YANBU.

lilacbauble Wed 08-Dec-10 21:15:07

My ex did this all the time, no matter who we were with.

Just one of the many reasons he's now my ex grin

Ragwort Wed 08-Dec-10 21:35:22

Just got in from an aerobics class where someone was checking her mobile during the 'water' break. I just do not understand why everyone has to be contactable every minute of the day (agree with Grizzly) - I do have a mobile but often forget to switch it on for days on end grin. The last three school assemblies I attended were interupted by mobiles - how crass.

northerngirl41 Wed 08-Dec-10 22:04:50

I suggest at the beginning of the meal you declare a "phone amnesty" and everyone has to put away their phones. Unfortunately your DH may have set a precedent by having one on the table!

We were out for dinner the other night in a small dining room of a kookie restaurant. Food is not cheap, and amusingly of the other 5 tables surrounding us, every single person was playing with their phones at dinner, despite it being in a non-signal area for mobile phones. It's almost like a pavlovian response.

No mobiles at the table! If in an emergency situation, then you explain why at the beginning of the meal and truly only look at it when it rings - no other excuses!

strandedatseasonsgreetings Wed 08-Dec-10 22:08:14

I think I've got so used to be them being everywhere (the news presenter on the evening news programme here has his on the desk in front of him - in case he gets an important call that he can't not take in the middle of reading the news perhaps? hmm) that I didn't even think it was wrong that he had it on the table.

It was only when I found out it was football results that he was reading that I got cross.

HowsTheSerenity Thu 09-Dec-10 08:09:57

Those of you who only have phones for emergencies and keep them switched off. Does that not defeat the purpose? How does someone contact you in an emergency if it is switched off? Or do you turn it on only when you leave the house???

Ragwort Thu 09-Dec-10 09:10:26

HowstheSerenity - I take the view that a real emergency is very, very unlikely therefore I do not switch my phone on (if I remember to take it with me grin) unless there is a real need - ie: DH driving in the snow for example (but then realistically what could I do to practically help?). My DS is at school and I trust the school to deal with an emergency. Most parents I know seem to leave their phones on just so that they can be a taxi service for their kids. In normal daylight hours most teenagers (not all I know) should be able to get a bus/walk/use their initiative - that does not constitute an 'emergency' in my view. I think we are bringing up a generation of young people who don't know how to look after themselves. (SN excepted of course).

I grew up long before mobile phones were the norm and we coped perfectly well without them.

HowsTheSerenity Thu 09-Dec-10 09:13:38

Rag - oh how true you are. I know so many teenagers that are unable to even buy food at the shops!

I was curious about the phone though. I am out and about a lot so keep mine on in case the school calls etc becuase I know when I turn it off all the kids will end up with cholera or something.

The youngest DC is in a class of 27. There are only 3 children including her who have jobs to do in the house shock

AngelsOnHigh Thu 09-Dec-10 09:16:28

I was at a dance concert last night. The childen have worked hard all year to put on the concert.

All around the darkened room was the flash of mobile phones. All night.

They can't even attend their own childrens' concert without their security blanket.

Bunbaker Thu 09-Dec-10 10:01:38

"Those of you who only have phones for emergencies and keep them switched off. Does that not defeat the purpose? How does someone contact you in an emergency if it is switched off? Or do you turn it on only when you leave the house???"

Well, of course. Everyone I know who needs to contact me would ring me on my landline at home first, then if no reply try my mobile. The school has a policy of ringing landlines first because it is cheaper, and only ringing mobiles if they can't get through on a landline. Nearly all the houses round here are owned and so everyone has a landline.

I only switch my phone on when I leave the house. Like Ragwort I grew up without mobile phones and we managed perfectly well without them, and like Ragwort and Grizzly I don't feel the need to be contactable at all times.

Crazycatlady Thu 09-Dec-10 10:24:07

Oh to not be contactable at all times... the only time my BlackBerry gets switched off is when I'm on holiday, and the odd weekend.

The nature of my job is such that I have clients and journalists who often need to contact me and get a response quickly, during any given (usually waking) hour. So I have often been that girl checking my phone during the water break of an exercise class if I have a client who is mid media-crisis or similar. It's either that or not go to the class at all. Often, a response can wait 20 minutes or so, but we live in a world where clients often expect an instant response, and if I'm not as responsive as they would like they will take their business elsewhere.

And what is this landline of which you speak? Haven't had one for years as it's just a recipe for unwanted sales calls, even with TPS.

I also wouldn't be happy not to be contactable at all times as DD is with a nanny while I'm working, and at 30wks PG I like to know I can contact DH easily too. Neither of us are office-based and are often travelling around so don't have a work landline either and mobile is essential.

hellobob Thu 09-Dec-10 12:44:13

I don't let my children have their phones at the table. It's downright rude. Adults should know better

GabbyLoggon Thu 09-Dec-10 12:59:25

Switch the ruddy things off for normal social intercourse ( is that phrase allowed) am I in trouble?

MooMooFarm Thu 09-Dec-10 13:55:39

It's very rude. I would apply the crossword rule - would it be rude to start doing a crossword in whatever situation? If so then put the bloody phone away!

MollieO Thu 09-Dec-10 14:02:13

I think it is rude. I have a BB for work. If I am out for dinner and know I will have to check/reply to messages I always say and apoloogise in advance.

GlitteryBalls Thu 09-Dec-10 14:15:31

Men and their bloody sports. We were invited around to my mum and dad's for dinner last night, but before I could accept, my dp had to phone my dad to make sure he/they would definitely be able to watch the football on the big TV in the lounge. Otherwise he wouldn't have gone he'd have stayed at home. So at least this guy came and was only checking his phone rather than staying at home and watching it! I still think it is very rude though IMO.

Miggsie Thu 09-Dec-10 14:18:04

I suppose you could say "is my serving you food interfering with something more important?"

FellatioNelson Thu 09-Dec-10 14:22:19

I'm very anti phone calls and texting at the table, (or in company generally) but I must admit my phone rings so rarely <sad Fellatio-no-mates emoticon> that when it does, I jump out of my skin and assume it must be a life-or-death matter. So I would probably answer it with gusto, but out of panic/over-excitement rather than rudeness. blush

Actually, I wouldn't answer it exactly, because it would be at the bottom of my mahoosive chaotic handbag, under 5 dirty tissues and a dog poo bag and a Dime Bar wrapper, but I would flail around for a minute or two, then cut you off, then try to phone you back. grin

harvalp Thu 09-Dec-10 14:58:52

Mind you, you gave them a curry. Surely that gives anyone reasonable reason for bad behaviour?

LadyInaManger Thu 09-Dec-10 15:36:11

harvalp confused no matter what you are served if you are a guest at someones table then you should have the manners to eat and not text - it's only for half an hour or so. Sure no one would object too violently if it was between courses and host was elsewhere but still it should be an emergency even then.

We run a business from home but between 5pm and 5.30pm when we eat as a family so then we leave the phone to go to answer machine. When i call them back i appologise for not answering but i was having dinner with my family, they then appologise for disturbing us as they quite understand the need for family time and we then procede with the phonecall - never been a problem.

strandedatseasonsgreetings Thu 09-Dec-10 15:52:28

harvalp - I did check they liked curry before cooking it.

I can't understand anyone who doesn't like curry!

harvalp Thu 09-Dec-10 16:39:13

I'm glad you did. I remember the first time I went to dinner with my senior boss. Who had not asked me about curry. Halfway through the meal, my stomach started erupting with the most embarrassingly loud and continuous noises. At that point, vigorous mobile conversations would at least have relieved the difficult silences...!

NetworkGuy Thu 09-Dec-10 16:53:37

Rude. Shame that as his wife is also a regular phone user, she presumably sees no wrong.

If he had been checking on some major problem that was work-related, as in getting report from someone at HQ, that'd be understandable, but sports results, definitely rude.

Have to say BunnyLebowski reaction - making it plain it is bloody rude - is the one I'd be tempted to make.

If they were truly 'good friends' then they should know that it is not the done thing, so wife who accepts it is just as much to blame, and however much one wishes (*) to follow something, it surely does not need to impact on a meal in that way.

(*) as in not "because my job is on the line to see this is working ASAP"

NetworkGuy Thu 09-Dec-10 16:54:55

Serendippy " we can always check the results after dinner "

that implies OP's DH was similarly interacting with his phone, which, as I understand it was on table in case of some work related call, and was not fiddling with it during the evening.

NetworkGuy Thu 09-Dec-10 17:00:59

Either have coffee with me, or fuck off and look at your phone.

Excellent. Several phones, but if I have company then priority given to visitor(s) and no phone will be allowed to interrupt (same when I am asleep, have no worry about not being reachable).

NetworkGuy Thu 09-Dec-10 17:08:09

Gracie123 - change the password on your wi-fi and say "you can use your laptops after meal / family time" (and change it to something else after they leave, so next time they arrive they cannot simply 'connect' once again... eventually they will learn).

If you have no password on your wi-fi I would set one tonight!

magicwand Thu 09-Dec-10 18:05:43

Rude. I have had this problem in the past too and have told my guests, hey put the phone away, you are being anti social.Its not fair.

blueberrysorbet Thu 09-Dec-10 19:55:21

i think its rude- unless you are a heart surgeon on call, its rude surely? i hate being out with friends or people come round and check constantly with their phone-even if its not beeping- that drives me crazy. not sure if this is rude, but i usually say one of the following with a nice smile...

who are you expecting a call from, anyone nice?
does he/ she (to the partner) do that all the time, doesn't it annoy you?

next time they come, say, please no mobiles, my partner isn;t so...


I had a boyfriend once who used to put his phone on the table and watch it out of the corner of his eye. used to drive me NUTS. one day it drowned in a sea of water when i slipped with the jug

Gracie123 Thu 09-Dec-10 20:07:12

Ha ha! Network Guy I don't really mind that much, I think it's odd more than offensive really. wink

I also don't know how to change the password! blush

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