Main | Friday, April 07, 2006

Mr. Johnston

Friday, 12pm, Amtrak southbound NYC-DC...

Just outside of Baltimore, a man seated at the rear of my car begins talking loudly on his cell phone.

"Yeah, Dan? Yeah, hi. It's Jack Johnston from mergers in the New York office. Can you hear me, HELLO?"

Purely by chance, I'm seated in the "Quiet Car" where cellphone usage is banned. I notice a few passengers turn around to give Mr. Johnston a "look". I don't turn around myself, but I think that if I were Mr. Johnston, I'd have gotten the message. Nevertheless, he continues, loudly.

"Yeah, OK. No, I hear you. Dan, I'm about 30 minutes outside DC and I'm hoping to get a moment of your time today to run a proposal by you. Hello? You still there? HELLO?"

More passengers turn to give Mr. Johnston a look. He proceeds at full volume, unchecked.

"Yeah. Yeah. Ok. Yeah. No, that's great. Glad to do it. I'll see you there. That's the place on M Street? Fantastic. Thanks so much, Dan. I really appreciate it. Bye." (pause...) "I love you too."

The entire car makes a slow, slow, turn to look back at Mr. Johnston, myself included.

He's sitting with his phone closed, smirking at all of us.

Winner, round one: Jack Johnston.

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