August 14th, 2008

I have two questions for you.  Two… burning… questions.  I would much prefer to have three burning questions for you… because two makes me feel off kilter.  So let’s hope I can think of another question before this post is over.  

Both of my questions relate to my job, which is at a Garden Center, but I am certain that people with all sorts of different jobs will be able to chime in with some possible answers…
This first question is this…
When I am helping a customer… to find a product… or to answer a question… or to serve the customer’s needs in any way… and in the middle of being helped… the customer takes a call on their cell phone… what should I do?
How long should I stand there waiting for the customer to finish the call?
Six seconds?
Six minutes?
I have to tell you that after having been in this very situation several times now, my first impulse is not to wait at all but instead to immediately reach for a garden shovel and hit the customer over the head with it.
But that may not be the right response.
I gotta tell you though – it is irritating.  I have lots of things to do.  Lots of important things. There are plants… everywhere.  Plants that need care… and water… and pruning…  and there are floors with dirt that need sweeping and shelves with dust that need dusting and a cash register that needs to be stared at with a gimlet eye… and a phone that needs to be answered… NOT TO MENTION OTHER CUSTOMERS TO WAIT ON… 
I truly enjoy helping people and waiting on customers, but there are some limits to what I can take.  And the cell phone… the cell phone… ma’am your cell phone.. and it is ALWAYS a woman with the cell phone… I don’t know if I can take your cell phone.
No really it’s okay ma’am…  I will wait here for the next fifteen minutes while you finish your call with your sister about the weekend at the lake!
And while you are at it, go ahead and tell her all about how you helped your daughter move on Friday.  No Friday… no we moved her on Friday… my daughter.  We moved her on Friday.  
And please don’t forget to tell the person on the other end of the cell phone where you are currently standing.  
I am at the garden center… the garden center… I am in the garden center and I am standing by the geraniums… the red geraniums…. I am standing by the red geraniums… and I am getting ready to go and look at the hydrangeas… the HYDRANGEAS… we are going to go look at the hydrangeas… what?… I can’t hear you… where are you?   Are you driving?  Are you in the car?  I am at the garden center.  The garden center.  Where am I going next?  I will probably go to lunch… Lunch… Lunch at Harry’s.  I said I am going to lunch at Harrys.  HARRY’S!  I can’t hear you very well.  Are you driving?  Are you still driving?  I am still at the garden center.  I am still here at the garden center.  Are you driving?  Where are you driving? No I am not driving… I am at the garden center.  
I am not even making up the fascinating content of these paramount calls.  Well, I am mostly not making them up, but I have stood and listened to quite a few of these calls now.  Standing and waiting for the customer to get back to her question. Trying to keep my hand from reaching out and grabbing the most lethal insecticide in the store, ripping the lid off and pouring it down my throat.   Oh the burn… the blessed blessed burn and the peace… the blessed blessed peace that comes after the burn… the burn…
While the customer goes on and on…
And then I am going to go to Target.  To Target.  I am going to go to Target.  I am looking for new storage bins.  New storage bins.  I can’t hear you very well.  Are you driving?  I am at the garden center. 
So tell me gentle readers  - what do you think a humble employee in the retail industry should do when waiting on a customer that decides to take a call in the middle of being served.
Question #2 
What do you do when you have gas at work?  
Bubbly gas, ripply gas, soft feathery gas, burning gas, decroded dying animal gas, silent but deadly gas, booming gas, rubbery butt flappers, nuclear warfare gas…
What do you do when you accidentally let one rip…
I mean let one fly… 
like a delicate moth… 
ascending a ray of sunlight…
In front of a customer?
What is the best response?
Should I pretend that it didn’t happen?
Should I quickly drop something in an effort to disguise the racket?
Should I rapidly guide the customer to the fragrant hybrid roses?
Should I look askance at someone across the aisle as if he/she were the culprit?
Should I giggle shyly?
Should I say “Whoa?”
Should I say “Excuse me!”
Should I say “Did you hear that?”
Should I say “Holy crap was that me or was that you?”
Should I say”Barking spiders” like my dad always does?
Should I feign paralysis?
I am pretty good at feigning paralysis.
I am just wondering what to do…
Not that it has EVER happened TO ME or anything.
Which brings me to question #3… which I just now thought up…
What do you do if you are simultaneously helping a customer who is on their cell p

hone AND you are farting AT THE SAME TIME???

It is a nightmarish thought isn’t it!
Dear God in Heaven, I hope that never happens to me!
I am here at the garden center… the garden center… the lady that is helping me just farted… I said she just farted… she farted…SHE FARTED!  Are you driving? 


  • Tracy:

    Have you ever heard of Toot Tone? Here is the youtube link(I hope!) the link doesn’t work just go to youtube and search “toot tone”It may answer all three questions at once!!!!!

  • Kathy from NJ:

    The ringing phone is a signal to start farting. If your body won’t cooperate, ask your sons to teach you some fake farts. Or buy some fart noisemakers in the novelty store. Under no circumstances should you acknowledge the fart. Women DO NOT fart. Women have dogs that fart.

  • Sharon:

    Oh yes, Kathy has it right. Just drop something and bend over and let it rip!

  • Anonymous:

    Well, since the customer was on the phone, you need to have something to do to occupy your time…so just let ‘er rip…at least you will get the customer’s attention back on you…Thanks for the laugh!!!

  • melissa:

    I used to work in a garden center. For a big chain, a big orange chain. I loved it. Everyone is happy at the garden center. When they are coming there its because they want to. Now say electrical, yuck. I was putting stuff away in that department once and a man asked me how to rewire a smoke alarm. I SHIT YOU NOT!Anyway, I, if the cell phone call was taken would give them a couple of seconds and if they didn’t wrap it up in say 10 seconds, I would say excuse me and walk off. Just like that! Most of the time they would say, hey wait, and get off the phone. Your a busy person, you dodn’t have time to mess with a jack ass.I never fart. Ladies don’t fart…. I would either say nothing, or blame the birds. Was it really stinky, I would wonder my way to the fertilizer area and hope they thought it was that.If both things happened at once I would just laugh until I peed my pants and then I’d call it a day.

  • Housewife Superstar:

    Ahhh Rechelle, you really are the woman who asks the questions others only dare to think…

  • Jen:

    For question #1, I would interrupt her phone conversation with “When you are finished with your call, I will be glad to help you. I will be over near the watering cans.” I work in an emergency room and you’d be surprised how many people in supposedly life-threatening situations cannot answer the triage nurse about their medication allergies because they are on the cell phone too! Grrr!!!And as far as question #2, an unexpected at-work toot, I just pretend like it never happened. :P

  • Kathy the Receptionist:

    I check patients in and out at a doctor’s office and it happens all the time. If they don’t immediately get off the phone I ask them to go to the lobby while I check someone else out or if no one is waiting I start any other job I have to do such as answering my phone, filing charts etc. until they are ready. As for the second question–I always pretend I didn’t hear it so the people close just think they are hearing strange noises. If the smell is terrible I blame it on the doctor! He can really gas us out. I really feel for the patients in that small exam room. As for your third question I don’t think they will hear you but move over by the fire ant killer for good measure. Kathy in Alabama

  • Urban Heidi:

    Oh, peepoo humor at it’s best!My experience is if you just hold it in, it sort of travels back through your gut, hits something and ricochets back with even more intensity. Tough call.

  • Jennie:

    Here’s my question. What do you do when you are reading the most hilarious blog entry ever (while you should be getting your kids ready for school) and you laugh so hard you start to pee in your pants and fart at the same time?

  • Brindi:

    Fortunately, for me, I teach in a middle school. If anything were to slip, there’s always a young adolescent boy trying to build his reputation who will take the blame proudly. In my rewarding career, I have built many lasitng reputations.

  • Connie:

    I would let it rip as natural as possible and never crack a smile. I would have a dead serious expression on my face and if they didn’t get off the phone immediately, I would fart again and again and never let on that I knew about it. “Oh, yeah, and I would say real loud “did you just fart in my store?”, so the person they were talking to on the phone would hear me.

  • Jenni:

    1) The shovel sounds good.2) Dh’s family always says “The frogs are barkin’”. I’d go with “Top that sucka!”3) People who talk on their cell phones annoyingly and loudly in public especially when you are helping them deserve the loudest and stinkiest you got. Let ‘em rip. Then innocently look up and say in your sweetest southern belle accent, “Oh, pardon me. I seem to have the vapors.”

  • Johanna:

    I just want to know where you work so I can visit after a trip to Taco Bell. ;)

  • Laura Littlefield:

    I believe that if someone truly wants your help they will ignore the phone. If they take a call and don’t excuse themselves I think it is perfectly correct to excuse YOURSELF and relocate. You should of course fart first, admit nothing, deny everything and demand proof. This works in all fart situations. Women don’t fart, that has been established by many other wise readers!

  • The Source:

    Ugh…all of the women in my doctor’s waiting room were treated to a loud cell phone conversation about the bad behavior of someone else’s child and, “Like, just tell her that as long as she allows her son to throw dirt, I simply can NOT allow Madison to play with him. Because then I would be teaching her that it’s OKAY to play with someone who disrespects her and doesn’t follow the rules. I mean, I have an OBLIGATION to my child to only let her associate with children who know that dirt throwing is UNACCEPTABLE. Don’t I? Who knows what will happen if I continue to let her play with children who throw things?” The entire waiting room was fascinated by this one-sided and very important conversation, I’m telling you. Even the receptionist was rolling her eyes. I WISH someone would have farted…maybe she would have shut up!

  • Living on the Spit:

    I agree with a lot of the others here. A) INTERRUPT the customer and tell her that while she is taking her call you will be helping someone else…that really is rude of them and (b) let ‘em rip while your at it and leave the lingering smell with them not you…hopefully you had some beans or something the night before. While I was back at college trying to finish my degree (after the monkeys were finally all in school) I worked as a waitress and customers would do that all the time. You’d go to the table and they’s hold up the one minute finger and talk on their cell phon e about random CRAP…so I would just stand there humming the Jeopardy theme and if they weren’t off by the time I got done…I walked away and waited for like 10 minutes to come back…I am not a waitress anymore, but I will never do that to someone else. Politeness is as politeness does.

  • Anonymous:

    Freaking hilarious. I would do the same as one of the other commenters said, interrupt, tell them you would be glad to help them when they are done and walk off. As far the gas, that’s a tough call. I work in an office with just me and one other person. I try and hold mine in and make it to the bathroom. But I think I’ve let a few silent ones, but I blame it on sewer gas. Margie

  • Anonymous:

    If they actually take the call then I would just walk away, and make sure I was helping someone else when they needed your help again… I thought that only my husband had barking spiders

  • Krissi:

    I would walk away from a customer who answered the cell phone. They asked you for help so they should pay attention if they are not paying attention then find something else to do. Because if I was another customer waiting for your help while waiting for the current customer to get off their cell phone well I would be irritated. I am lucky enough that if one of my customers did that I could just accidently push them into the pool. Then the cell phone wouldn’t be an issue would it? As far as the whole farting thing I agree with kathy from nj. Women DO NOT fart.

  • chocolatechic:

    In answer to the first question, I would slightly touch her arm and say “I’ll be over here, when you are finished.” and go on about my business. She will have to come to you.As for the farting…..bwahahahahaha let’er rip.

  • Sarah H.:

    If the conversation went on for longer than “Can I call you back in a few minutes?” I would walk away and do something else. Or get that shovel. Or fart at them because they deserve it. I like the idea of the person who said to walk over by the fire ant killer and other chemicals when you have rumblies in the tumbly. Or outside to the water plants. You are so funny!

  • Jenn:

    Personally, I find it incredibly rude to take a call when you are talking to any customer service helper. Anywhere. If my phone rings, and it always does, I have this strange ability to hit either ignore or a little button just to turn the ringer off. I think of all of my pet peeves, it is someone on the phone while checking out, asking for help, etc. As for farting, rip it, then pretend it wasn’t you.

  • Beki:

    I have no words of wisdom because the snot and tears are still streaming down my face. When I quit laughing I will get back to you on this.

  • HeidiP:

    WE don’t fart, we pop fluffies. I’m not sure where that one came from but it is just tooo cute to hear your little one say, “oops, I popped a fluffie.”My MIL seems to have the walking farts that can not be ignored. They are just so gross. They sound WET. Of course, she just ignores it and acts as if nothing happened all the way down the Wal-Mart aisle. Couldn’t blame that on the dog if I had one with us. By the way, I no longer go shopping with her. That’s not the only thing she does….

  • April:

    You are a funny woman! I would give the customer 20 or 30 seconds to say “can I call you back?” And if they didn’t I would get their attention quietly, say a touch to the elbow, and smilingly point to where they can find me when they’re done. And I wouldn’t let them mime to me “just a second” – I would still walk!(not your sis) ~April :D

  • Anonymous:

    Count to ten and say..”excuse me, I’ll just give you some privacy…” then fart and walk away!RosieJo

  • Nancy:

    When you hear a ringing noise you should say, “Holy Crap, your ass is ringing.” Then just walk away. Walk away.

  • jAne:

    If a customer is *so* rude and inconsiderate as to answer her phone while you’re attempting to help, then fart. Just…fart. Then walk away.Seriously though, I refuse to answer the phone while going through the grocery check-out line or while being helped in a store or while spending time with a friend or family member. It’s rude. It’s inconsiderate. Then again, there are SO many selfish, narcissistic, rude and otherwise inconsiderate people in this world…sad.

  • Robin Junker:

    You are too funny!!! I personally wouldn’t wait for the people on the cell phone. They should be polite enough to either not answer it or to answer and say they will call whoever back. As far as your other question….I have a friend who has the worst gas. We have been shopping before and she’ll let one rip and then walk off real quick and leave me standing there with people staring at ME!!!! LOL.

  • Karen:

    Props to Kathy in NJ and good for all you folks who would be POLITE to the ignorant customer who just simply HAS to take THIS stupid CALL RIGHT NOW and screw up CDW’s day – not me, tho, I like the shovel to the head idea. Seriously – just walk away but not without rolling your eyes way up into your head first, and make sure the ignorant customer sees you doing that. And then make sure you find someone else to help so you can ignore them when and if they ever finish their MOST IMPORTANT phone call. Then you can fart and do not, under any circumstances, acknowledge it. And never refer to it as farting, it’s called floating an air biscuit.Ignorant cell phone usage is right up there with putting makeup on when they are behind the wheel of a moving automobile. UGH.

  • carrie:

    I am cracking up! you are too funny! I too would probably just walk away from the cell phone talker… or on a bad day I might prefer to take their phone away, end the call for them, hand it back, and finish answering their question like nothing had happened. then flash a big ol’ fake smile and walk away.about the farts… we have barking crickets at our house.

  • Mary:

    I think you should deliberately let one rip when someone takes a call while you are helping them. I agree with other posters though, definitely do not acknowledge the fart. Seriously though, I would give her a few secs to say the polite thing, which is “I will call you back later” (if it is such a necessity to answer the phone) and then if she does not do that within about 15 seconds, say, “excuse me” and go about your other work.

  • kikibibi:

    Oh dear, you make me laugh!About the cell phone thing – just walk away. The customer will find you again when she is ready. If she’s mad, smile benignly, ignore her rant and point her in the direction of the hydrangeas. She is a Dumass, Mrs. Dumass probably married to Mr. Dumass. You are better than her. About the farting thing. You must completely ignore that it ever even happened, but quickly move away, so as to reduce the chances the blame finger will be pointed at you. The quickly moving away part, particularly if it involves a plume of deadly air following you, is called “crop dusting.” If a customer answers her cell phone while you’re helping her, you should immediately lay a bomb and move away, thus leaving her in the wake of your crop dusting. If she is particularly nasty, move away in a zig zag pattern, effectively blocking her every path to clean air. That oughtta teach

  • Jamie @ Baldwin Bungalow:

    Oh my word – this post had me laughing my head off at work. You’re so funny!I’d give the woman however long it takes to say “Can I call you back?” then walk away. So – give her about 10 seconds then walk away. Seriously. If she ever gets off her phone she can come find you – it’s not like you’re leaving town. And she should apologize to you. So rude.About the farting – scoot your foot or something to make it sound like what you just did. I don’t know if it will work but it’s worth a shot. Pretend like it never happened. Or laugh. Depends on the customer :)

  • pz:

    Thanks for the laughs. I especially like “popped a fluffy.” Gotta remember that one.

  • Anonymous:

    Oh too funny! I vote to fart and walk away from the lady on the cell phone. Then when another customer comes along down the aisle they will think it was her that let one fly.

  • Mindy:

    I hate cell phones. Cell phones. I said, I hate… no, not you. CELL PHONES. Are you driving? Can you hear me now? I’m sorry, you’re cutting out. Hilarious post!!!


    Wonderful etiquitte questions. #1 – Walk away. The customer is being rude by dismissing you as less important that their silly phone call. My mother works in retail and does this all the time. Really. What is up with cell phones? Do people really need to be so connected?#2 – Farts make me laugh. I become a junior high kid again and laugh uncontrollably. The most gracious thing to do is to say “Excuse me” and move on. Here’s a bulletin: everyone farts. Try to be discreet; but sometimes Mother Nature has other plans.

  • Anonymous:

    I am laughing out loud. What a great way to start the day. The previous comments are just as funny as your column! My dear husband “passes a lot of gas” and has no sense of smell. He often does this in front of others and because he is “unaware” looking at him people are sure it can’t be him. Me, on the other hand, always looks so appalled or embarrassed people assume it was me. The family has a great story about a death bed scene. When his mother was dying, my dh let one rip, the nurse happened to come in shortly after and made the observation that when one was close to death the body often “released” gas. Brother, sisters and the “ripper” allowed their dear dying mother to take the blame!

  • Anonymous:

    This is funny! Thanks for the laughs today!! For the cell lady wait no more than a few seconds of can I call you back. If this lasts longer I think you should wear a fake pager. Then you could grab your pager and say for the love of Pete, my damn boss needs me to get him off the toilet and do a vanishing act. Or say something as stupid as that. That would make them wonder out loud. ;)As for the farts, lol. I used to work at Mickey D’s. I was frontline so when we had customers and I had to, well I just did. Hah! Then I would blame it on the food. I suppose you could do the same thing but blame it on the plant food you eat for breakfast and look all deranged. :D

  • MUD:

    I guess I don’t get all the girl stuff. Men would fart and waive the air and say something like, ” Boy that one didn’t just slip out. and waive your arms to clear the air.” With the cell phone person, I would smile and walk away. At the Olympics in Atlanta, a very rude person got on their cell phone and described the fight to a friend. I got an attendant and told them that I didn’t pay to listen to an idiot call the fight. They asked him to leave and thank god he did. I hate cell phones. There are times I don’t want to be found or talk to someone. I had a disposable cell phone last year until I lost it. MUD

  • PB Rippey:

    One quick “Excuse me” and a hasty exit kills two birds with one stone! Hm. Terrible phrase, no? Kills: 1 rude customer and 1 you-know-what? 1 cell-phone idiot and 1 potential (kidney) stone or possible paralysis if you don’t you-know-what? In any case, just get out of there!

  • Brian, Mason and Cortni:

    OMG…i have tears rolling down my cheeks. TEARS! I am consistently amazed at people’s rudeness with cell phones. WTF? Of course, you need to be as polite as possible to let them know that you have other things to do, and that when they are finished talking about you farting…you would be happy to help them. And WTF?! I am sure to teach my son about proper cell phone etiquette.

  • Mama DB:

    If the customer is on the phone in front of you, feel free to let her rip. That’s given.I wouldn’t wait around while someone answers the phone. If they answer the phone, you can walk away. If they raise a stink (forgive me) about it, you can always say you wanted to give them some privacy while on the phone. So rude. I can’t believe people do that to you.

  • Alisa:

    As their phone rings, you should just stare at them and if they dare to answer it in your presence of greatness, immediately walk away. How dare they?Um, if I ever were to fart at work, and since I don’t work, I won’t, I would totally ignore it. Just like I do at the bookstores. What is it about bookstores and farting?

  • foofeee:

    I guess people aren’t raised with manners any more. When my cell goes off, I check to see who is calling. If it is one of my kids, I’ll answer, make sure they are okay, then tell them I will call them back. I can’t stand when people are shopping and on the cell phone loud enough for the entire store to hear the conversation. I know I don’t want anyone to hear my personal conversation. As a salesperson, I’d just step away as soon as it became clear the conversation was going to be some time and let the customer find me when the conversation was done. As far as the farts, I don’t. Or I don’t acknowledge it!

  • noble pig:

    I think when they get off the phone ask them if they smelled that and then hit them over their head with a shovel so they forget you farted.

  • Bertie:

    Your post and all the comments had me in stitches today! I laughed so hard I farted!- Bertie

  • Anonymous:

    aaaaarrrrrgggghhhh! cell phones! When helping a customer and she rudely answers THE PHONE rather than listen to you, it is a given that you walk away.And as far a farting goes…….Dr. Oz (of Oprah fame) said everyone averages passing gas 14 x daily. So don’t apologize. It happens. love your humor.

  • notmuchofacook:

    I cannot believe how many people are rude with their cell phones. It is one of my (many) pet peeves. I would wait to see if she’s going to tell the person she’ll call them back. If she continues with the convo, yeah, walk away after letting her know where you’ll be. That’s the courteous way. OR, hit her over the head with the shovel.Farting?? We all do it, tho we”d rather have others think we don’t. I guess an “excuse me” would be in order, but maybe just ignoring it would be more comfortable for the both of you.

  • Debbie:

    You are too funny. 1- I’d very quietly say, *I’ll be over there, when you are ready for me to help you.* and walk away.2- I’m from GA and southern ladies don’t fart…. but if some bodily noise does happen to emit from one of us, we’d never, never own up to it. SOP is – smile, keep talking and ignore.

  • Baba:

    If a customer is spending that much time on a phone call, then their question to you was not that important and you may do other things. They will find you again. As for the elephant that just walked by, just keep on keeping on. Ignore it! Giggle, Giggle for your funny post.

  • Jess to the Lo:

    I can not stand people who hold full conversations like this; especially when they are meaningless! I would answer my phone if it rang to say let me call you back in a few. Then HANG UP! I would let the mistake happen and then just excuse myself and continue talking about the flowers, shovels, or whatever garden item we were discussing previously.

  • Anonymous:

    and being a doctors wife. . . what about the patient who stitcks their cell phone in the recpt face and says here. . . you talk to them

  • Anonymous:

    and being the doctors wife. . . what about the patient who is talking on their cell phone and sticks it in the recpt face and says “here you talk to them and resolve my issues.”

  • shelley:

    Hmmmmm, as a former waitress for many years, I think I would wait maybe 6 seconds (just to determine if it's possibly an emergency – otherwise it was totally rude to answer), then I would walk away, & appear REALLY BUSY.As to the farting, I would totally eye someone in the next aisle, and cast around dirty looks conveying, "who did that? have they no shame?" As to both happening at the same time – ha! That would be awesome! Let her answer the call, then fart, and then walk away from it :) Oh, & look REALLY BUSY when you see her again so maybe she'll get fed up & ask someone else, or – better yet – leave!

  • Angie:

    1) After a few seconds, motion that you’re walking away then walk away. Personally, unless it’s a family member I tend to ignore my phone when I’m in certain situations. If it’s important, they can leave a message. 2) Definitely say ‘Barking Spiders’ or, ‘My, these floorboards are mighty creaky aren’t they?’ Farting at the sound of a cell phone ring sounds like fun too.

  • Rhea:

    I can’t believe the rudeness of people and cell phones sometimes. These people need some ettiquette lessons!I would stand there for about 30 seconds TOPS to see if they’re going to politely end their call, then take off.Tooting…I’m all about the denial baby. LIE, LIE, LIE, IGNORE, IGNORE, IGNORE. Or, if there’s no getting out of, apologize. Just say, excuse me and go on.

  • ~Mad:

    Okay – so, here’s another question:What do you do if you politely excused yourself when they answered the phone – you get another customer – and the original phone person comes up to you and wants you to wait on them NOW since they are OFF the phone???Just sayin’~Mad(elyn) in Alabama

  • SisterTwo:

    Cell phones in public is the most annoying thing ever! I work in a small government office with no where to go once they began the conversation at our counter. Please people, do you really want me listening to every word regarding your personal life?!! What happened to the good old days when people called you at home. Granted they are nice to have when the car breaks down on the side of the road and you have to walk to the tallest hill to even get a signal. But not while you are doing your errands, going to appointments or driving down the street.

  • Anonymous:

    Or say you were in your office, where 90% of the time you are all by yourself. So gas isn’t a big issue most of the time, except say…right after Easter and too many egg salad sandwiches…then of course everyone who has ever come into your office would like to all come THAT day? Does one stand AT the door hoping they won’t actually enter the office of noxious odors, or do you say….sheesh, I have no idea where that foul odor has come from today? Or does one pretend there is no smell only to see that the eyes of everyone who enters tear up and they begin gagging? I’m just not sure of the proper etiquette of this matter. But I will be reading the comments for any tips on how to handle this delicate issue. Suzie

  • Tracie:

    My hubby says barking spiders too! I thought he was the only one. I HATE it when people use cell phones like that. It is the absolute rudest thing ever. My brother used to work in a bank and he would just stand there until the person finished their conversation and then he would help them.

  • Romi:

    1.) Walk away the minute a person answers the call. If they were a polite person they wouldn’t take the call in the first place. If they were considerate and really needed to take the call they would say something like, “I’m so sorry, I need to take this call, please help someone else.” 2.) Farting in front of rude people is a law. You must do it. You must not apologize. You must do it loudly and often.

  • Nina Diane:

    OMGosh….I’m at work and laughing so hard and now everyone is staring at me. Should I share your blog??the cell phone thingy…..I HATE, dispise…..cell phones are rude and should be banned because people have let all manners just fly out the window!

  • Lyn M.:

    I’d say if the person who answers their cell phone doesn’t immediately say .. “I’m at the garden center with an incredibly knowledgeable plant queen” .. then walk away .. 15 seconds is too long to wait while someone answers their phone.As for the farting issue .. sometimes it happens .. just hope if it is noticed by someone .. that it isn’t someone you know!

  • shelly:

    omg this is the first time at your blog.. i have only had the pure joy of reading this one page.. tonight after work i CANNOT wait to read the rest of your musings in total! thank you sooo much for the laugh!

  • Anonymous:

    I’m passive aggressive, so in that situation I would give the customer a series of bodily gestures, a mad sort of pantomine, in which gesture #1 would be “Oh you have a call, I must run away immediately to give you some privacy” and maybe I’d plug my ears as I pranced away. Gesture #2 would be a kind of winking, pointing situation to let customer know that I will just be “right over there” (said in whisper), follow my finger waggle, right over there should you need me. Either the customer will take me up on my gesticulating and come to me when they are done, or they will think I am spastic and possibly deranged and will leave me alone. Win/win!Oh and far as the fart goes, act like nothing happened. Or look at the customer’s bum so they think that you think they did it, and kind of gape your eyes wide open. That would be funny! And then kind of hold your breath while you talk to them. Har! That will teach those cell phone talking farters.

  • Beth:

    Oh, my. I laughed so hard I cried. And I like kathy from nj’s comment, “Women have doos that fart.” It’s true.You are marvelous. And too, too funny.

  • Beth:

    See? I had so many tears in my eyes from laughing that I didn’t catch my typo!That should have been dogs, not doos.

  • Robin in New Jersey:

    Sorry I can’t answer your questions, I am laughing too hard.

  • Maggie:

    I needed that laugh today so much.And…I think Weight Watchers bars make it MUCH worse!

  • Anonymous:

    i loved this blog it totally brightened my day !! and u should say sorry i have bad gas today and the lady with the phone will run away real quick ….so it will free up other time with ur customers,,plus give her something too talk about on the phone all day,about the crazy lady at the garden center who farted on me!!! then she’ll bring all her friends back with her to show u off as the fart lady!! but its all good cause youll have more business!!!

  • Anonymous:

    OMG…I’m at work and laughing so hard out loud that I’m sure I’ve confirmed my status of crazy menopausal lady back there in her office. I too would like an answer to the delicate issue brought up by Suzie. Perhaps innocently asking your office visitors if they think you have something gone bad in your trash can? Tracy

  • Junebug:

    Oh God, I love what Melissa said, “i’d just laugh until I peed my pants and call it a day.” I wouldn’t wait but a few seconds for the phone taking customer ’cause they have left you voluntarially (sp?). The fart problem? A lady at Wal-mart was working in the material dept. helping me and she was standing on a rubber mat and let one rip and so she starting moving back and forth on the mat making it make noises to disguise it but there was not a thing she could do to disguise the smell. My kids were with me and we still laugh about it to this day! We could barely keep a straight face after that. As far as if I did this, I would probably pretend if at all possible that it didn’t happen or if not maybe say “Well, excuse me!” and laugh?

  • Stephanie in Idaho!:

    So again…all my co-workers think I am deranged the way I laugh at your post! Never, never, never own up to a fart. And ‘popping a fluffie’? That is HILARIOUS! Wish I could have used THAT when my daughter was a little one. She would have sounded SO CUTE…. Oh well, I’ve got granddaughters now… Granny will teach them.You have gotten plenty of good advice re cell phone usage so I will keep quiet about that one…

  • Sadie:

    LOL, that was funny. Thanks for the laugh. You should interrupt the person on the cell phone and say, “I will be over here if you need me later.” That way, you are polite, but you get a little back by interrupting the stupid cell phone call. Farting is natural and way more embarrassing than it should be. Laugh and say, “Excuse me!” That’s what I always do. But then again, I’m not in a garden center helping people I don’t know… hmmmP.S. my dad does the barking spiders thing too

  • Heidi:

    Well if your farting while they are on the cell phone at least you will, ok might get thier attention again! I would wait for 1 minute then excuse myself – if they need help they will either find you or complain, either way your time is free to you again!! LOL I agree with Kathy from nj – women dont fart! They fluffy… LOL

  • Accidental Housewife:

    Oh My GAWD! I’m laughing my fartless ass off here. You are hilarious. I mean non of that stuff EVER happens to me but if I did I would blame it on the duck. The duck that lifted me off the grounnd about 2 feet, when it quacked under me.

  • karenthelibrarian:

    for the first one, i have two options:1. if he or she says ‘excuse me,’ and then his or her opening lines are something like, ‘hey, i’m ordering at starbucks… let me call you right back,’ i will wait patiently.2. if either one of those are omitted, i will glare at the culprit intensely for about twenty seconds before moving right along with my day.if someone’s on the phone and you’ve got gas, i think that gives you absolute permission to blow ‘em away (literally). stink the jerk out if you have to. all’s fair in bodily functions and cell phone etiquette.

  • Emme:

    Oh my goodness you are too funny! I’d probably give a little “I’m walking away now” motion, pointing toward the way I’m going, and just go. If I had the nerve with the gas thing, I’d say with an incredulous giggle, “OH MY GOSH! Excuse you!” and then start laughing! And if the nearest person tried to deny it, I’d continue with “Oh sure!” or “Oh, its ok! Don’t worry I won’t tell!” For real, I’d probably just keep a straight face and totally ignore it. Not that its ever happened to ME!

  • TJ:

    I have only been reading this blog for a few days now and I tell you, it is a crack-up! As for the cell phone, I would have stood there and give a glare or something to let them know they are being rude. As for the fart, I would blame it on something, anything, but oh no, never from me, heaven forbid if it ever came from lil ol’ me!!!

  • KP:

    Well since ladies don’t fart, they must b*tch or so they won’t blow up – so walk away b*tching about the rude customer on the cell phone!!!

  • Anonymous:

    Rubbery butt flappers!!! Never heard that one before! I have 2 sons one of whom LOVES to pass gas!You are too funny–tears are rolling down my face and I can not wait for my husband to come home and read this!! Too funny!

  • barefootnikki:

    Hilarious! I would listen in and if it seems like a convo that has staying power i would look at them with the “just one minute” signal and then go do something else.Around here there are signs saying we are not to talk on our phones while being helped. I try to obey… i’ll tell them (phone) to hang on and finish my bidness.As for the tooting. I would just look around like “Oh my good Lord, what is that stench and where is it coming from!?”

  • Jules:

    I used to work at a doctor’s office and people were constantly talking on the phone. I was pretty patient until it was time for the Dr. to come in for the consult, and then I’d go in there and say, “Ahem, the Dr. is about to come to begin your consult, you will need to turn off your phone.” In your case, you might want to say, “Ahem, next please, unless you’d like to show me some respect and shut your phone off.” I don’t know if you’d have a job much after that, but the feeling you would get, priceless. As for the farting thing. I just looked up flatus, because my son (3 yrs.) has been complaining of a stomach ache all day. I read that everyone farts something like 6 to 16 times a day. I think it’s time the world just accept and move on. Or be sure to hold it in, until you can escape to somewhere private. Whatever you are most comfortable with. Nobody is going to say anything if you don’t, and if they do, you can deny it.

  • Hillary:

    My answer to both questions is say…”Excuse me.” and walk away.

  • Mia:

    oh that is just TOO freakin’ funny hehehe… I don’t know what to tell you about the first one.. but it just reminded me of my first job in a discount department store. I worked in the ladies underwear department and folded bras. OMG. I’d fold about 500 (and some of them bad boys were HUGE) and sure enough, somebody would come and paw thru and fling them all over… I remember gettin’ really pissed, but what can you do. Actually, if they took more than 2-3 minutes I’d just motion to them which way I was going as I left.And your second delicate petal flower situation… IF it was delicate ::laughing:: I’d just say oops (turn major beet red) and say ‘scuse ME!

  • Anonymous:

    I think you should record her conversation and sell it to Laurie Anderson to use in some kind of avant-garde piece of music. She could do great things with it.

  • Julianna:

    I have never laughed so hard at a blog as I did at this one. Thanks for the laugh; I could use one today–especially today.

  • Kristin:

    Hilarious!!My cousin was going through a drive-through and as the car in front of her pulled up to window the woman in the car held up her index finger (as in “wait just a second”) to the person handing the food out the window. She proceeded to take her call while the drive through line waited. Finally my cousin just laid on the horn until she hung up the phone, paid and drove off.

  • Coffee Bean:

    I am laughing so hard I can’t even leave any answers.

  • DesertHen:

    I was reading your blog this morning and laughing to no end when my husband walked in. He pulled up a chair and started reading over my shoulder…..then he made me start back at the top and we both started reading again……then he started to laugh and I laughed harder…..the more he laughed, the harder I laughed until I was crying….I had tears rolling down my face and my sides were hurting. He took one look at me and really started laughing, which only made me laugh harder still……I bet we spent 20odd minutes just lauging ourselves silly. Thanks for a great start to our day. By the way, your blog was the first, other then mine, that my husband has really sat down to read. Feel honored……you really, really made him laugh….=)

  • Anonymous:

    My grandsons call it “tooting their goofy horn”. Just had to share that with you.

  • Beth:

    I work in a bakery and a lot of times people come in already on their cell phones. I ignore them until they get off. Sometimes this makes them very irate. They will tell the people they are talking to that the help is being very rude by not assisting them and then end the call. When they do that I respond by saying, I’m so sorry I thought you must have been on an important call and didn’t want me to interrupt you. That would be rude you know, to interrupt your phone call in my bakery. And then dream of hitting them w/a day old baguette.

  • Sally:

    3021918Answer to #1 = 6 seconds tops, period.Answer to #2 = Say to customer “Did you hear that, my cell phone, excuse me, I’ll be right back”

  • Misti:

    OMG I just laughed so hard I cried! Thanks for that!!!

  • ann marie:

    That is so funny. At least you don’t know the people well. My sister was bending over in a neighbor’s drive-way the other day and out it came, very loud and very obvious from where it came…she did the only thing she could think of… she laughed really hard and then ran home…

  • Danelle:

    Great questions that made me laugh yet again. I would walk away after thirty seconds or so..give a hand signal as “hey, I’m going over here now butthead since you are on the phone” then I’d walk away. Farting? I don’t fart. IF..I said if..I ever did I would probably not say a word but smile and giggle internally.

  • fromthenarrows:

    That was so funny. ROlling on the floor funny.Susan

  • cndymkr / jean:

    100 comments. Just because you talk about farting! You rock.

  • Anonymous:

    I would just walk away. Leaving them talking on the phone. When they came ’round looking for you again…..I’d let her start to ask the question, and then pretend my cell phone rang (on vibrate, that’s why she can’t hear it) and LITERALLY, have the same conversation. Are you DRIVING????For the poop leakage? Hard call. I’m a lady and would rather put myself in utter misery than let one escape. (Bah hahaha)

  • Anonymous:

    Thirty seconds is all I would give the customer who (rudely) answers their cell phone. That’s sufficient time for them to tell the other party, “I’m in the middle of something, I’ll call you back.”As for farting in front of a customer, or anyone outside my immediately family, my position is “IT NEVER HAPPENED.” I don’t care what you heard or what you smell, it did. not. happen. Totally ignore it and go on about your business.Oh, and the customer on the phone richly deserves a few well-aimed, aromatic farts. Which, of course, you don’t acknowledge in any way.

  • Accidental Housewife:

    I read this to my husband and he said as for the cell phone he reminded me that I tend to answer and talk to the person on the phone as if they are talking to me. Such as “I’m at the garden center” I would respond “Yes dear, of course you are, you are right in front of me. I can see you…no dear, I’m not driving, I’m standing right in front of you”. I did this in hawaii to a waitress who was suppose to be waiting on us but felt her phone conversation was more important.

  • Leah:

    I love this post! Women fart and it’s natural and it’s hilarious! I have no shame though! I would probably start laughing and then wet my pants because I laughed so hard! I am classy on the outside but when it comes to farting, I say Let er rip!

  • Anonymous:

    Oh, the comments are so funny. My ex-husband was horrified that I, a woman, should ever burp or fart. And he was very good at hiding his.One day he let one rip right in front of a woman he was trying to impress (for business). I almost died laughing.

  • bobbie:

    OH. MY. GOODNESS!!!I laughed so hard I ’bout PIMP!!! And my DH told me I needed to cheer up!People who perform rude acts with cell phones DESERVE to be a) hit on the head with a shovel, b) farted on and c) shoved into a storage bin from Target!!!As for farting ~ as a nurse, I always tell my patients better out than in. LMBO at “rubbery butt flappers”!!!I hurt myself laughing at

  • Estir_BunE:

    since she was so rude staying on the phone, I would have asked immediately after the fart – “Was that you?” =0D

  • LadyFi:

    This left me rolling on the floor and holding my stomach … Whenever we fluff (what my kids call farts) we blame it on our dog. Even if he is not at home or not around. It’s always his fault! (And he sure can let rip some stinkers…) When I have farted silently at work or in the bus, then I just pretend it’s not me. Although sometimes people do move away. IF other people do it on the bus or at work, then I return the courtesy and pretend that nothing has happened. My daughter thinks that someone should invent nose plugs that you can put in your nose when someone (like her little brother) fluffs because the smell is so bad… And when the dog joins in, my oh my! you really DO need those nose plugs!

  • Flutterby:

    Q: What did one burp say to the other burp?A: If you go quietly, I’ll let you out the back door. :)

  • Flutterby:

    Dealing with a rude cell phone user option: Join in their conversation – especially offer lots of one-sided advice.

  • Stacia:

    That was the best laugh I’ve had in awhile! You rock!Here is my “toot” story.

  • Kathy:

    Oh my GAWD…what is it with people and their freaking cell phones? Personally I’d walk away without a word to the rude a hole.As for your second question, I fart on the move, and if I’m stuck in a mass of people I try to be as silent as possible…of course I always take Gas X as soon as I eat something gassy so I don’t get caught out and about very often with gas on the mind. I love the idea of leaving the cell phone talker with a gas attack as you walk away…and if she catches up later and asks why you left…tell her you walked away to spare her the full force of your powerful bowels. : – )

  • Far Side of Fifty:

    Ha! You are too funny! As soon as the phone rings, you should say “Excuse me, your phone is ringing” that gives them the option to answer the phone or NOT before you walk away. Why don’t they leave the phone in the car?? Passing gas is normal, everyone does it.. just smile:)

  • Leilah:

    Mime at her “follow me”. Lead her to her section. Point. Then wander off

  • Lisa Brown - Vintage Sweet Peas:

    I’m just laughing sooooo hard at these comments that I have nothing to say…..

  • Bluebell:

    (1) I would definitely walk away if someone took a phone call while I was attending to them. It’s totally ignorant.(2) Re the fartytitis – I agree that ladies don’t fart – IGNORE IGNORE – someone else must have done it! Look around suspiciously.

  • Anonymous:

    I work in a bookstore and I NEVER leave a customer waiting when a phone call comes in..I make the caller’s so RUDE when I’m at a store and the sales person takes a call and makes me wait..I cared enough to show up, didn’t I!?

  • HouseMama:

    That was the most hilarious post ever! Thank you for the laugh!I think I’d blow the fluffie (or whatever that gal said) and then say…..”Can you hear me now?”Just like the guy on the cell phone commercial.

  • I’m way late on this conversation, but the post was flippin’ hilarious, and the comments are funny, too.
    How about…(fart) pause, and then to customer,”Was that your phone?”

  • Amanda:

    Not sure if you’ll read this since I’m sending it so late, but you need to be an ICU nurse! You get to tell off those annoying cell phone users and if you have gas, you can blame it on your patient! Both problems solved!