December 14, 2010, - 2:07 pm

SAD: The Sign My Dr. Had to Post For Our Nation of Morons

By Debbie Schlussel

I’ve been at the doctor’s office, today, regarding a knee injury, and something I saw in the examining room reminded me of a commercial that irks me.

An AT&T ad that is running on TV says that AT&T makes the world your living room.  But I really don’t want people to think the world is their living room.  That’s kind of the problem.  Too many people think they can do and say whatever they wish without regard to common courtesy because they think the world is their living room.  And that’s in no small part to the many high tech devices and services AT&T and others offer.  I don’t want to hear your loud fights with your boyfriend on your cellphone or read your texts while I’m at the movies.

And, so it goes, with this rudeness even inside the doctors office .  .  . while he is treating you.  My doctor, who’s a great doctor and friend, was forced to post signs in each examining room, which read:






It’s a sad day in America when doctors must post stuff like this in their own offices.  If you’re talking on your cellphone while the doctor is trying to examine and treat you, you’re a moron and a jackass. And you deserve to be sick.  It’s natural selection.  When a doctor is forced to put up a sign about the obvious required behavior, it’s a sign.  When I noted the sign and how ridiculous it is that a doctor actually needs to post that in every room, he said, “Well, you know everyone is in their own little world.”  See.  Exactly what I mean.  They now all think the world is their living room.

I don’t look for any of this to get better. I do, however, look for it to get worse and the rudeness to increase. It’s all yet another symptom and manifestation of the decline, dumbing down, and defining deviancy down of America.

Having a cell phone doesn’t make you civilized.  I’m beginning to think it’s actually a convenience that increases your lack of civility, when so many who use one can’t bring themselves to hang up even for a doctor’s exam and their own health–when it’s so bad, the doctor has to post signs.  Like anything else, it’s not about the device, but the people using them.  Still, I see a steep increase in rudeness and lack of civility associated with it.  As more Americans got the phones and texting ability, there was definitely a correlation.  And it continues.

America . . . a nation of morons on their cell phones in the examining room. Pathetic.

Tags: , , , , , ,

28 Responses

Its dumb and rude to talk on your cell phone when you’re out on a date. If you can’t focus on the person you’re going out with, the relationship is only going to get worse from then on – if there is one. And technology has not only harmed good relations between people, it made rude and offensive manners acceptable. At times I think we have too much technology for our own good and that hasn’t made us a better society.

NormanF on December 14, 2010 at 2:13 pm

Shesh, really? Sure I take my cell with me to my appointments and I might even use it when there is downtime while I am waiting for the doctor or nurse to come into the exam room. Thing is though that when someone comes into the room the phone goes away…it’s just sad that so many people don’t get that.

Mark Roberts on December 14, 2010 at 2:25 pm

Well, if you were in Canada, you’d have to post the sign in multiple languages (French, Arabic, Urdu, etc.)

J.S. on December 14, 2010 at 2:36 pm

It is sad, yet not surprising. I think Nick Cave said it best when he wrote “People Just Ain’t No Good”.

I am not a people person AT ALL, but I do fake it because like Dennis Prager says, “Spreading a bad mood is like spreading body odor”. It’s important to be as polite as possible, but I do let it rip when the situation calls for it.

People have let themselves slowly rot from rudeness. It’s not cool and hurts society. I was taught well and am hanging on to my manners with a kung-fu grip, but truth be told, I love animals more than peeps (I am aware God will not like this and I know I am wrong, but that’s the truth).

Skunky on December 14, 2010 at 2:46 pm

LOL Debbie your talking about common courtesy?? Almost every post of yours contains a low blow insult to someone. Remember what you said about the actress in Precious? And “Hoprah”? And countless others?

M: Only an imbecile would compare legitimate commentary about public figures on a website with extremely obtuse, rude behavior in a doctor’s office . . .while the doctor is examining you. DS

Mike on December 14, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    Other “Mike”:

    Seriously? That’s all you got?
    You think there is some sort of moral equivalency between criticizing “HOprah” (whom Debbie argues is a terrorist symapthizer) and using a cell phone when you are being examined by a medical doctor with 12 years of education? (I notice you didn’t condemn the latter in your comment.)

    I’m all for more civility in the blogosphere and in the real world, but clearly you just don’t get it.

    If Debbie could refrain from judging and embarassing people (in accordance with Jewish law), that would be nice. But she doesn’t – Debbie runs a blog, not an apologist show for television frauds and criminals.

    As Harry Truman famously said, “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.” You are on Debbie’s blog. If you don’t like it, get the hell off and start your own.

    But don’t fake moral equivalency when there is none. Repeat after me: Islam is the religion of peace. The 9/11 hijackers were terrorists, not Muslims. Sarah Palin is a genius.

    Or, better yet, go back to sleep. I don’t know if you ever did wake up – or ever will wake up – from your fake world (“your own little world,” as Debbie’s doctor said) of fake moral equivalency and fake arguments.


    The Smart Mike

    Mike on December 14, 2010 at 7:57 pm

I think its probably very relevant: I learned something new today. Good article in a British newspaper about how they handle security at Ben-Gurion. Most of the agents are women. But what’s really cool is Israel is in the frontline of automating the questioning process so profiling of terrorist suspects is carried out by a machine rather than by humans.

Can you really stop a bomber by asking, are you a terrorist?

Proof technology does save lives!

“In America, anger over body scanners and intimate, genital searches for those who decline to pass through them has led to calls for ethnic profiling. But the automated Israeli method isn’t profiling: it homes in on individuals, not ethnic or religious groups.”

“With high-risk flights – to and from Yemen, for example – it’s perfectly feasible to use it with every passenger,’ says SDS’s Drukman.”

“We’ve done tests showing that if we had to, we could use it with everyone flying internationally from JFK in New York, without slowing down the pre-flight process.”

NormanF on December 14, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    “SDS also makes a portable version that fits in a briefcase, which is already in use by the Israeli army. That could be used by British soldiers trying to separate friend from foe in villages in Helmand. It would also be applicable for prison visits, to stop the smuggling of drugs or mobile phones.”

    “Other elements in Sela’s TBS are equally innovative. At Sahar International in the palm-fringed beach town of Herzliya, Bob Roach and his team have invented ‘trace detection’, machines that can detect particles of explosive in sealed bags of all types, ranging in size from hand luggage to cargo containers. They can be fitted to existing security lines, and are so effective, says Roach, that they abolish the need to take out laptops or other items once and for all. There are versions that can be fitted to security gateways to detect explosives hidden in clothing and shoes without any need to remove them: this technology will speed up airport security at the same time as making it safer.”

    Just cool! While Debbie is right some technology is stupid, what they’re developing in Israel right now will make flying less stressful and a lot safer! 🙂

    NormanF on December 14, 2010 at 2:58 pm

I can understand how these brainless nitwits like to flap their gums endlessly; we’ve all know people who say nothing but can’t stop talking. But what I still can’t figure out is who do they find that’s willing to LISTEN to them for hours on end? Most airheads are talkers, not listeners. Who’s doing all the listening?

vegasrider on December 14, 2010 at 3:11 pm

Voice mails exist for a reason. Use it – if one can use a cellphone, one can use vm

Infidel Pride on December 14, 2010 at 3:13 pm

NormanF writes, “While Debbie is right some technology is stupid, what they’re developing in Israel right now will make flying less stressful and a lot safer!”

Some of that technology will be used in Israel, some of it – like the full body scanner – will not. But the focus on the potential “doer” will remain, as that will lead them to what he/she is carrying.

As to the issue of cell phones, my thinking went to the evolution of the phone booth. I’m old enough to recall the enclosed phone booth, intended both to preserve one’s own privacy and avoid intruding on others. Then those booths went “minimal”, open with just a trace of sound absorbing material (mostly to cut down on noise). Now it’s completely open. Yes, those olden days were golden by comparison.

Raymond in DC on December 14, 2010 at 3:22 pm

A cell phone is one concession to modern life that I refuse to adopt. I place a great deal of value in being unreachable. Also, I believe the industry is suppressing compelling evidence that they are more hazardous to your health than cigarettes.

Graty Slapchop on December 14, 2010 at 3:58 pm

Graty, I’m with you on abstaining from those technological beasts of burden.

Managing a theater, almost daily I have to stride into a theater, and tell 20somethings and teens to put the 2″ LED screen away to stop distracting those behind them from the 40′ screen they paid to watch a movie on.

Robert on December 14, 2010 at 5:13 pm

Another opportunity for the idiots to advertise themselves. Like wearing clothes way too big or waaay too small.

samurai on December 14, 2010 at 6:12 pm

Yes, using a cell phone in certain locations is insensitive, rude and even stupid. BUT, correlation does prove causation. I, for one, believe that the correlation is just a coincidence. IMHO this kind of rude behavior is due to prevalent (in certain circles) view that it’s all about them. It’s simply narcism pushed to the extreme.

It’s that rather then the technology that’s at fault.

Eliezer on December 14, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    It’s simply narcism pushed to the extreme.

    I think you mean narcissism.

    Miranda Rose Smith on December 15, 2010 at 2:20 am


I think you meant to write, “Correlation does not prove causation.” I’m sure that if it weren’t the technology, people would find some other way(s) to manifest their stupidity and disrespect.

As Debbie pointed out, it’s not the technology – but the people who use it – that are at fault.

It’s not guns that are at fault for crime, but the people who use them. (Besides, if all guns were outlawed, only outlaws would have guns.) The criminals and cretins among us will always find a way to do the wrong thing and harm innocent people.

This is why Debbie supports and advocates profiling at US airports. It’s not bombs that are the problem; it’s the Islamic terrorists who use them.

Muslim apologists – both on the left and the right – want to search for non-existent weapons hidden in the buttocks or underwear of a 80-year-old grandfather from Kansas city. THEY DON’T EXIST.

The problem is Islamic terrorists, not imaginary, non-existent weapons. And the Islamists will always find a way to get around the scanners and pat-downs; in fact, CAIR, an unidicted HAMAS conspirator, issued a regulation saying that devout Muslim women who wear hijabs/ burqas could be searched only around the head and neck area. (Does CAIR have any legislative authority, by the way? I’m sure that they lobby Congress.)

Yeah, only around the head and neck areas. Never mind that homicide bombers have disguised themselves with burqas on numerous occassions. (I say “homicide” and not “suicide” so as to put emphasis on the innocent victims and not on the terrorist who is committing “suicide” to get his 72 virgins from All*h.)

On a separate note, you must admit, Eliezer, that all this technology leads to social isolation – which makes us less sensitive and less aware of what proper norms are.

As Debbie’s doctor said, “[E]veryone is in their own little world.” Yes, everyone is indeed in his or her own world – talking on his or her own cell phone, and pretending that the rest of the world does not exist. Why? Because of social isolation, a well-noted and much-researched phenomenon caused by … you guessed it – the technology boom.

But, hey, at least you have enough sense to admit that talking on one’s cell phone is rude, unnecessary, and highly inappropriate under certain circumstances. A lot of people wouldn’t admit that. We are, indeed, becoming a nation of self-absorbed morons, obsessed with their own gadgets to the point that they ignore and disrespect others – and stop caring about their own health. (Talking on cell phones isn’t healthy in the first place, btw, because of radiation. But who the hell cares?)

Good post, Debbie. I agree with you wholeheartedly on this one.

Mike on December 14, 2010 at 7:45 pm

There are exceptions to every rule. Some of us have to keep a cell phone that is turned on at ALL times (son in school w/irretractable epilepsy). This may seem rude, but offer no apologies. Try to put yourself in someone else’s shoes before judging them next time.

Lee in IL on December 14, 2010 at 8:32 pm

Debbie, just tough it out. If it still hurts in 20 years you can get a joint replacement.

A1 on December 14, 2010 at 10:01 pm


Mack on December 14, 2010 at 10:09 pm

I’m still one of 3 people in the world without a cell phone.

One day I’ll break down and get one, but I figure I made it this long without one.

I don’t get it. We have all this so called social media, cell phones, texting, Facebook, twitter. But, it seems nobody knows how to talk anymore.

I look at people who go somewhere like a restaurant, event, or movie. The first thing they do is whip out some device. It’s just pathetic to me people think they are so important they have to be in touch all the time.

Jeff W. on December 14, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    I’m still one of 3 people in the world without a cell phone.

    Dear Jeff: Make that four. The only time I miss one, or wish I had one, or think about getting one is when I’m waiting and waiting and waiting for a bus, late at night, and wish I could order a taxi.

    Miranda Rose Smith on December 15, 2010 at 2:24 am

Cellphones HAVE rid the world of one infuriating rudeness: tying up public telephones.
Even more dangerous and stupid than talking on the cellphone while being examined by a doctor is talking on the cellphone while driving.
People actually READ the signs your doctor puts up? Nobody ever read any of the signs I put up in the library, telling people which Xerox machine cards were out-of-date or not to save info on the library’s computers.

Miranda Rose Smith on December 15, 2010 at 2:15 am

Hope your knee gets to feeling.

Patrick on December 15, 2010 at 2:18 am

    Hope your knee gets to feeling better.

    Patrick on December 15, 2010 at 2:18 am


    So do I.

    Miranda Rose Smith on December 15, 2010 at 2:26 am

Sorry about that last post Debbie. I do hope that your knee heals up. The winter can be tough on knees.

Patrick on December 15, 2010 at 2:20 am

One of the things I wholeheartedly agree with in the Japanese culture is that it’s considered rude to be talking on a cell phone in public.
As a result, you will see many Japanese very engrossed with their cell phones but they employ texting rather than voice communication.

Shootist on December 15, 2010 at 9:29 am

I try to go see my MD when I’m not on call BEING an MD, just to avoid this problem.

Occam's Tool on March 5, 2012 at 3:52 pm

Leave a Reply

* denotes required field