ADVERTISEMENT

Dear Abby: In today’s world, there are people who apparently cannot exist detached from their cellphones. In case you are wondering, yes, I do have one, but I use it only for emergencies, not idle banter.

If I’m trying to hold a conversation with someone and he/she is playing with an electronic toy, I get up and walk away. It’s obvious to me that my company isn’t worth the person’s time, so neither is theirs. If I am in a restaurant and people start texting, I get up and go and leave the person with the bill. (Of course, I make sure I have eaten first.) In other words, I show them the same amount of courtesy they have shown me, which is none.

What do you think of the statement I’m trying to make?

– Over It in Paterson, N.J.

Dear Over It: Has it occurred to you that the person may not realize why you walked away? You could communicate your message more effectively if you spoke up when your companion reached for the cellphone and SAID you’d prefer your visit not be interrupted because you feel it is rude.

Just be courteous

Dear Abby: I have a dilemma. I deliver mail to offices daily and I never know how to answer when they thank me. It seems like “You’re welcome” isn’t appropriate because it’s my job to bring the mail. How should I respond? Should I say “You’re welcome” or just “Have a nice day” or something else?

– Wants To Be Polite

Dear Wants: I appreciate that you want to be polite, but you are overthinking this. “You’re welcome” and “Have a nice day” are both appropriate responses when someone thanks you.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.