Let the punishment fit the crime


I’m pretty sure I encountered the rudest woman alive early this morning at work.

And when I say “early this morning” I don’t mean 6:00 AM, or even 5:00 AM, or some other reasonable sort of AM. I mean 3:30 AM. She was talking on her cell phone – very loudly – as she walked into the store, and continued to do so throughout her ten minute visit (that in itself puts her on my Rude People list. Seriously, folks, put your damned cell phone DOWN once you get to the cash register. You don’t have to hang up if you don’t want to, but at least do me the courtesy of paying attention when I’m telling you how much your cappuccino is gonna cost you. It’s really not that much to ask), so I was able to hear her half of the conversation. She had woken her friend with this phone call – remember, now, this was 3:30 in the morning – yet she was chewing said friend out for nodding off during the conversation.

See, when I get a phone call in the middle of the night, I assume a loved one has died, or is deathly ill, or has just gone into labor. Those are acceptable reasons for ringing my house at 3:30 AM. So is “I had too much to drink, can you please come pick me up so I don’t kill someone.” But this chick “just felt like talking” and since she was going to be busy all day, 3:30 in the morning was the only time she had to talk. Therefore calling her friend and waking her up at 3:30 in the morning was perfectly acceptable, as was bitching at her for not being able to stay awake during the conversation.

I wanted, very badly, to express my disapproval at this woman’s disgusting, selfish behavior. I thought about pissing in her cappuccino, or finding someone else who would do it for me; preferably a guy, since they’re actually equipped for that kind of job.  It’s what she deserved. But it didn’t seem feasible to attempt this in a brightly lit, security-camera-laden store. Instead I was stuck with giving her a very stern look and a censorious shake of my head. And writing about her on my blog. And, possibly, with sticking her in my next novel, where she will certainly find a more fitting punishment for her crime.

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About R.J. Keller

R. J. Keller is the author of Waiting For Spring. An avid independent movie enthusiast, she was Managing Editor of The Movie Fanatic website and created episodes of the writer-centric YouTube series, Inside The Writers' Studio, with author Kristen Tsetsi. She co-hosted Book Chatter with Stacey Cochran from 2011-2014. She lives in Central Maine with her family, where she enjoys gardening, collecting geeky memorabilia, and watching other people cook. View all posts by R.J. Keller

6 responses to “Let the punishment fit the crime

  • mikecane

    Yes. Have her get run over by a drunk driver she doesn’t notice because she’s too busy yapping.

  • Kristen

    Or have her roll her eyes at an armed and psychotic convenience store robber who tells her to put down the phone. (The consequences of that should go without saying.)

  • Annie

    Never tick off a writer! I don’t blame you for being angry. Who does that woman think she is? How important does she find her little world? Give her a swift kick in your novel and I’ll be there to read it!

  • Jaden

    @ RJ Aarrrrrrrrrrrrrr, cell phone addicts drive me up the wall!

    At my post office they put up No Talking on Cell Phone signs at every window. Yet people are illiterate, apparently. People still talk on their phone up at the window with a long line of people waiting, and actually say to the Postal Worker, “Hang on,” while they continue their discussion!

    What should be obvious cell phone etiquette, just isn’t.

    And let us not forget the Bluetooth… you never know if they are talking to you, or a person on the phone, or their alter ego!

    @mikecane New studies show that it is more likely for the person on the cell phone to run over the drunk driver than vice versa. More people get in accidents on their cell phone than from driving drunk.

    The driving study found that hands-free phone talk was still more dangerous than mildly drunk driving, because it uses a certain part of the brain that needs to be focused on the road and assessing dangers. Drunk drivers are concerned with getting pulled over by a cop and making it home alive, so they are more focused on the road than a person yapping away on their cell phone whose looking into their mind’s eye.

  • Natasha

    If she doesn’t go in your next novel, she’ll go in mine…

    I like a Southern setting; we have alligators here. And they are hungry at 3:30 AM.

  • robinaltman

    I’m not sure I understand how she even has a friend. It’s a mystery. Maybe it could be a series.

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