Subway Says Get Off Your Phone Or Go To The Back Of The Line

Sean says he approves of the this sign that he saw at an Idaho Subway location today, but his wife wasn’t a fan…

My wife thought it was ridiculous, but I kind of like the idea of sending those annoying line-talkers to the back.

Well, you know us, we’re always biased toward the consumer…. but those line-talkers are on their own this time.


Edit Your Comment

  1. Ghede says:

    One-person lines will be a repetitive nightmare for linetalkers.
    “Go to the back of the line please.”
    “Thank you. Go to the back of the line please.”
    “Thank you. Go to the back of the line please.”
    “Thank you. Go to the back of the line please.”

  2. Great idea. B/c when they get the order wrong and it has to get remade, it takes up my time. The only time I advocate cell phone use when ordering is if you go somewhere that has transient availability of products, like a pizza place which has different pies everyday. Otherwise, I write down everyone’s orders, and read them off. Send em to the back of the line.

  3. snoop-blog says:


    and apologize up front for the caps and exclamation point.

  4. samurailynn says:

    Good job Subway! I hate when the person in line in front of me (at any place) is making it take longer for the cashier/sandwich maker/whoever to complete their order because they can’t stay off their cell phone for 2 minutes.

  5. jamesdenver says:

    Its also just common courtesy. If you’re conducting business with someone, even if just order a sandwich or paying for groceries – be decent and respectful enough to acknowledge them…

  6. MissTicklebritches says:

    I wish more businesses would do this.

  7. DrGirlfriend says:

    I completely agree. People who talk on their phones while conducting a transaction slow down the line for everyone, are being discourteous, and run the risk of not catching errors. I’ve seen people come back after they are done because something went wrong with their transaction, which they could have easily caught if they had been paying attention. That means that people already in line have to wait even longer, and it delays the people who work there further. I wish more places would enforce this kind of rule.

  8. Is it a sad commentary that in the age we live in, adults have to be punished the same way we punish small children and cutters to behave correctly, and then they bitch about how unfair it is. Oh wait, kids do that as well… Hrmmmmmm

  9. RabbitDinner says:

    @Ghede: Ha reminds me of that airport scene in Meet the Parents.

    It’s really sad that people have to be reminded of common courtesy. Yeah, I know you have to tell mommy what beautiful new nail polish you get, etc, but no one should have to wait for you to get off the phone and employees shouldn’t have to deal with the communication breakdowns that come with distracted patrons

  10. allthatsevil says:

    When I used to be a cashier at various retail establishments (a long time ago), if I had a customer talking on their phone I would ask lots of questions really loudly and inturrupt their conversation as much as possible.

    In a place like Subway you have to communicate with the sandwich-maker throughout the process, so not only are you holding up the line, but it’s just plain rude.

    Now, if a person in front of me in line is talking on their phone during their transaction I’ll start up a conversation with the cashier about how rude it is to talk on your phone when being serviced by someone.

  11. Ein2015 says:

    @Ghede: Thanks for the laugh! :D

    I typically only stay on my phone if I’m listening to somebody rant. Then I can basically ignore them while I order. If I’m actually acknowledging them, and not holding up anything, I’ll quickly tell them that I’m not causing a problem and they can make the damn sandwich or lose a customer.

  12. RabbitDinner says:

    Of course, for every rule that applies to everyone (read: EVERYONE) there are always a few difficult douches with an entitlement complex. Enforcing simple requests like this may be a needless headache

  13. sahhhm says:

    I love that! Is it really so hard to say: “hey, I’ll call you back in a moment” or even, “would you mind holding on for a few seconds?” It’s not like ordering a sandwich takes longer than 15 seconds.

  14. blue_duck says:

    I wish to God Almighty that we had sign at the credit union that I work at AS WELL AS the Subway on our little strip here…

  15. thelushie says:

    Good for them. They should have more of these types of rules. The library at my former graduate college would take the next person in line if the other was on their cell. They were apparently busy and would be helped when they finished their business. It is also incredibly rude.

  16. cmdrsass says:

    It’s been ages since I was in a Subway, but I would much rather have a “no more than four subs per order” rule. There’s nothing quite as frustrating as standing in line for 10 minutes waiting to grab a bite when the guy in front of you steps up to order and pulls out “the list” with each sub carefully customized for a dozen coworkers.

  17. blue_duck says:

    @sahhhm: For the extremely douche-y, it can take far longer!

  18. henrygates says:

    I’m with Subway on this one. Talking on the phone while interacting with an employee who is trying to help you slow things down and is just blatantly rude.

  19. RabbitDinner says:

    @cmdrsass: Unfortunately, they’re mutually exclusive. Sorry.

  20. mikesfree says:

    This reminds me of Gino’s in philly, they will send you to the end of the line for not having your mind made up, talking on the cell phone, not knowing how to order, not speaking english. Its crazy. I was from out of town and I think they were about to send me to the back, but there was no one behind me.

  21. scerwup says:

    Yep, go to the end of the line, if you can’t be bothered to hang up your phone while you are communicating with someone making your food, then they shouldn’t have to be bothered with trying to talk to you while you are ignoring them because you are on the phone. I hate worthless people that have no common courtesy.

  22. I work in a special shop (not THAT sort of special shop!) where you have to read loads of information off the till screen to the customer, and it drives me crazy when some total goon who thinks they are more important than everyone one else in the queue (never mind me!) stands there talking and I just have to stand there like a lemon. Grrr.

  23. xnihilx says:

    I used to work at a bowling center at the counter setting up lanes and taking the customers’ money. I can’t tell you how many times and how frustrating it was to try to ask someone what size shoes, how many people, games etc. when they’re on the phone. I’m not referring to talking on the phone with someone who is going to join them. That never bothered me. I’m referring to talking to their boyfriend/girlfriend/family/dog/etc. it is just plain rude. No one can serve your needs properly if you aren’t paying attention and aren’t talking to them. I would be polite and try to ask them what they needed, then try again, when they finally wouldn’t get off the phone I would just say “I’ll get back to your when you’re done with the phone” and walk away and deal with the next person. This usually took care of it (amazing how people pay attention when they think they’re being cheated out of their “turn”) or they would be too involved in talking about whatever was SO important that they couldn’t answer me after waiting an hour for a lane. Get off your phone people.

  24. kaptainkk says:

    Yep go to the back of the line with your iPhone! It might be better for all of us if you actually left…HA!

  25. snoop-blog says:

    @cmdrsass: Hey at least they were prepared enough to bring a list. but due to those folks, I’ve learned to order my sub in advance (before work) and just stick in the fridge. Of course I don’t order hot sandwiches so…

    But However talking on your phone while ordering is rude, which is the opposite of someone who will pick up food for others, those people are considerate.

  26. quirkyrachel says:

    As someone who has worked in a position like that (cashier at Trader Joe’s), I totally understand. I was sorely tempted to simply wait until they remembered etiquette and put down the phone, but the line was always long and that would inconvenience other customers. I can’t tell you how incredibly rude it is for someone to be talking away, *TOTALLY IGNORING* the person they should be talking to.

  27. PunditGuy says:

    That sign would be a big draw for me to go to Subway, if their food weren’t so damned awful.

  28. blue_duck says:

    @mikesfree: The Soup Natzi comes to Philly…

  29. Thorgryn says:

    I actually approve of this policy, and would love to see something like that done nationwide. If you can’t stop gabbing to your friends or family for a couple minutes, no, you don’t get first priority.

  30. kaptainkk says:

    Also I can’t stand these fuckers in the aisles of stores that walk around talking on their bluetooth phone w/ earpiece. It freaks me out because I can’t tell if they said something to me or themselves. Plus it’s just plain rude. I don’t need to hear you pretend to be so important.

  31. RabbitDinner says:

    I’m seeing a disturbing trend here. Can someone disagree and take up an opposing viewpoint? I’d like to see a flame war or something

  32. SadSam says:

    I’m so over the cell phone/crack berry addicts who can’t be disconnected for the minute or two it takes to complete a transaction at a store. I’m also done with those blue tooth addicts who wander the aisles and talk way to loud about personal business. The last time I was in Target I said really loudly to one of those blue tooth ladies, oh really your sister has herpes I’m so sorry to hear about her little problem.

    Come on people, none of you are that important that you must always be talking or texting to someone else.

  33. ianmac47 says:

    Maybe its time to bring back automats, and eliminate human interaction entirely.

  34. RabbitDinner says:

    @kaptainkk: Yeah like the time outside an ice cream store I saw a guy pacing back and forth and then just throw his head back cackling. Of course the earpiece was on the ear facing away from me. I decided not to make eye contact lest I get stabbed, but then I saw it

  35. tenners says:

    Go Subway! I completely agree with this. How hard is it to hang up your phone for the three minutes it takes them to make your sandwich and ring you up?

    There’s a similar sign at my local post office, only they request you not use your phone while in line… they don’t make you get to the back if you’re actually on it. Seems to work though.

  36. This is an awesome idea.

    Back when I first got a Cellular phone (back in 2000) it was for quick messages, and emergencies. I wish people treated them more like that. I still never talk more than 1-2 minutes on my cell phone, and I have no problem letting something go to Voice-mail if I am talking to someone (anyone).

    My manager once told me “Never ever take a cell phone call when you are talking to someone. Leave your email and instant messages alone. If you stop it’s telling the person you are talking to “this is more important than you…” no matter HOW politely you beg off”. How true this is. I actually use this when speaking with someone that takes a call, and if it’s more than a “hey can I call you back” I’m going to find someone/thing mor productive to do with my time.

    Now there will always be exceptions. Your wife is past her due date? Your mother is in the hospital? by all means take that call.

  37. RabbitDinner says:

    @tenners: Yeah, because if you make a reasonable request then, to defend themselves, they’re forced to rationalize and ultimately realize that it’s an inconsiderate thing to do

  38. Geoff says:

    The Subway by my house in New Orleans has the same sign. Corporate motivated?

  39. SkokieGuy says:

    If some of these relentless cell phone talkers were actually saying something worthwhile I guess I wouldn’t mind.

    If you can’t stop talking on your cellphone, at least be advising a remote coworker how to defuse a bomb, complete that tricky heart surgery, or something of urgent importance.

    To be behind someone in line and be subect to nonsense “…..and Becca totally wore those shorts that she thought were so totally cute, but were totally lame…..” is an affront to all mankind.

    My humble suggestion, when I hear these people who won’t shut up, I simply turn to the person I’m with, or even the stranger behind me and start repeating the conversation. “Can you believe Becca did that?” “Those shorts were lame”, etc.

    While you will earn death-dagger stares from the cellphone abuser, it does get the message across that anything said in public, is well – public. About half the time, the offender actually ends the call.

    • ShizaMinelli says:

      If they aren’t holding up the line or wasting anyone’s time, then that’s just rude of you. It’s not their fault you can’t mind your own business for a few minutes.

      HOWEVER…if they are wasting your personal time, then all bets are off.

  40. axiomatic says:

    You call them “line-talkers”… I call them “douche-bags.”

    Tomato / Potato

  41. dianabanana says:

    @allthatsevil: Were you the person I left at the airport with her mouth gaping wide open after I responded with “Don’t you hate when people mind their own business? Was talking on the phone interfering with me paying? No? I thought so.” after she tried to tell the salesgirl “Don’t you hate it when people talk on their cell phones?”

    Yeah, talking on the phone might not be the most polite thing during a transaction, but if it’s not interfering or holding up the line and I ask the person I’m on the phone with to hold while I pay, smile and say thank you, then what does it matter?

  42. HogwartsAlum says:

    Yaaaay Subway!

    I like it when cashiers go around the cell phone talkers. Rude or thoughtless cell phone users are a real pain in the heinie. I can’t tell you how many times I have been talking to someone (face to face!) and their phone rings and they answer it! I always say, “Don’t you have voice mail?” or just walk away. Unless you’re waiting on a kidney, freaking finish our conversation first! >:(

    I went to see “The Dark Knight” on Friday and almost everyone around me had their phone out checking email, texting, etc. while waiting for the movie to start. I was really worried that they wouldn’t shut up once it came on, but everyone did, so perhaps they are getting the message.

    And yes, the movie was awesome! :D

  43. evslin says:

    @RabbitDinner: OMG Subway is interfering with my right to free speech! Screw you, Jared!

  44. kaptainkk says:

    @SkokieGuy: That’s a great idea. I’m going to try that next time! I can’t wait to see the death-dagger stare…LOL!!

  45. snoop-blog says:

    @SkokieGuy: “If it weren’t for my horse, I wouldn’t have spent that year in college.”

  46. SkokieGuy says:

    @dianabanana: This post is about Subway, where you must give your instructions about the sandwich and answer questions as it is prepared. This process is slowed down when someone is using their cellphone.

    And with ANY retail transaction, you don’t know what the sales person may do or say (do you want a bag, please press ‘credit’ on the terminal, do you want a receipt, etc. etc.)your cell phone use may slow down the transaction as your attentions are divided. Only when the transaction is over will you be able to asses if your cellphone use was a hindrance.

    And as I said in my previous post, if you’re content carrying on a conversation in public, I am content to repeat what you say and potentially mock you. You have zero right or expectation of privacy when have a conversation in line in a public place.

  47. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    @RabbitDinner: I don’t think there is an opposing viewpoint, unless you’re a “douche-bag.”

    Way to go Subway! Any small amount of business you lose over this (from some douchebags who can’t be told how to act in public) will be more than made up for by the folks in line who remember to recommend your store, just for that.

    And it’s the same thing at the grocery. If you can’t be bothered to be civil to the poor checkout person and interact with a few syllables (i.e., “Thanks”) SHOVE THE PHONE UP YOUR ASS.
    And maybe it will help you drivers too, I bet you would drive better with the phone UP YOUR ASS.
    /rant off

  48. cadieg says:

    @HogwartsAlum: i skip them all the time in the hospital! if my patient “in excruciating pain” and can’t get off the line with the person she’s giggling with, then i politely say “i’ll bring back this pain medicine when you’re finished” and leave the room. cell phones disappear for the rest of their stay EVERY TIME.

  49. NightSteel says:


    Not as big a deal as you’d think at most places. Pretty easy, in fact. Just start taking the order of the next person if the inconsiderate douche on a cell phone won’t hang up and won’t move to the back. Repeat as necessary.

  50. neuman1812 says:

    I guess Im the weird one. I don’t even own a cell phone. Don’t see the need don’t need one.

  51. Human947 says:

    what if you are ordering and paying for a meal for a home-bound person ? And you are asking them do you want whole wheat sub or white bread ? Sounds like the ordertakers have had one too many rude customers on a cell phone. Good luck on enforcing the sign it’s not that big i bet most do not even see it.

  52. blue_duck says:

    @evslin: Subway is actually just interfering with your right to be an asshole.

  53. joellevand says:


    When I was a retail wage slave back in the day, I hated the Cellphone People: you know, the ones who come in on their cell phone, and when you go to greet them cup their hand over the receive and go “Can you go away/be quiet/shut up? I’m trying to talk to someone!”

    At which point I used to go behind the counter and jack the volume of the in-store music up. WAY up.

  54. karmaghost says:

    Best. Sign. Ever.

    At the store I work at, if you walk around on a cell phone, a lot of the time you lose a lot of the benefits that you’d normally get by having a conversation with one of the employees or cashiers. The cashiers won’t go out of the way to ask you if you have your shopper’s club card and things like that. If the customer realizes after the transaction that they forgot to give out their card, the cashiers don’t deny them the discounts, they just tell them to head on over to the service desk and they’ll refund the money back.

  55. njovin says:


    Even if you’re not actively interacting with the person on the phone, it is discourteous to perform a transaction this way because the person servicing you will, themselves, feel rude and be more hesitant to interrupt what they perceive as your conversation with the person on the phone. This could still hold up the line.

    It’s no different from being in a conversation with a person at a party, and as they are speaking directly to you, you turn to a third person and strike up a conversation. Even if you can somehow keep up with two conversations, it’s very rude to not give your undivided attention.

    Plus, everyone in line still thinks you’re a douchebag.

  56. Pro-Pain says:

    With bluetooth headsets so easily available/affordable if you are still one of those idiots with your phone plastered to the side of your head, you’re well…an IDIOT.

  57. dry-roasted-peanuts says:

    @ianmac47: I support your viewpoint and would like to fill my shack in the mountains with your newsletters.

  58. Quatre707 says:

    Let’s look at the cashiers point of view of customers talking on cell phones, not just at Subway, but anywhere where a cashier has to ask their customer questions.

    A retail store for example:
    Did you find everything you needed today?
    Do you want to purchase an extended warranty on this DVD player?
    Would you like to donate a dollar to help the starving children of somewhere you’ve never heard of?
    Do you have a rewards card with us?
    Would you like to sign up for our free rewards program?
    Would you like to sign up for our personal credit card and save 20% off your first purchase?
    Paper or plastic?
    Credit or debit?

    A lot of stores expect at least their employees to ask the majority of these questions, it’s not just subway that has agitated employees.
    Makes me wonder why the only place I’ve ever seen these signs is Subway and Quiznos.

  59. RayDelMundo says:

    Bluetooth headset = douchebag

  60. sicknick says:


    I currently am stationed at the Foccacia Sandwich counter of a high-end market. We’re located in a very ‘upwardly mobile’ suburb north of Detroit. I deal with at least one moronic person a day who steps up to my counter, yammering away, holding up a finger when I try to ask what they want. My station is not slow, and I now have to start calling up people AROUND the fool on the phone in order to continue processing requests.

    I will not talk on my phone in stores, and cannot stand when my friends try and pull that shit with me when I’m talking to them. Stop being rude in public. Having a cell phone does not mean it’s suddenly polite to be talking on it EVERYWHERE.

  61. humphrmi says:

    Too late to chime in? Oh well. WTG, Subway!

  62. wdnobile says:

    Fuck subway. They want us paying attention as they fuck up my order for the 100th time. Screw them. I’ll eat elsewhere.

  63. wjmorris3 says:

    @joellevand: Agreed to a point, as I get the people with their cell phones coming through my line at the grocery store. I think that it’s quite annoying to deal with someone on their cellphone while I’m trying to ring them up.

    @Quatre707: Perhaps the only reason we only see them at Subway and Quiznos is that at most brick and mortar stores, the customer is carrying the merchandise that they wish to purchase, and it would be a hassle for them to reload their shopping cart or basket to move to the back?

  64. CaptRavis says:

    Quatre707 almost makes the point of why I could almost tolerate ignoring the wageslave…because someone in management thinks asking everyone:

    Do you want to purchase an extended warranty on this DVD player?
    Would you like to donate a dollar to help the starving children of somewhere you’ve never heard of?
    Do you have a rewards card with us?
    Would you like to sign up for our free rewards program?
    Would you like to sign up for our personal credit card and save 20% off your first purchase?

    is a way to drive business or a “touchpoint” or whatever inane thing they want to call it this week.

    …but no you have to pay attention to the food person, else you will get a karma payback.

  65. Garbanzo says:

    @Pro-Pain: Yes, because the only reason someone else wouldn’t share your purchasing priorities is a lack of intelligence.

  66. @wdnobile: there’s our troll! hope you like mucus and jizz on your BK Stacker!

  67. MaytagRepairman says:

    Umm. What if the person on the phone is asking what the person on the other end of the call wants on their sub?

  68. puka_pai says:


    I’m seeing a
    disturbing trend here. Can someone disagree and take up an opposing
    viewpoint? I’d like to see a flame war or something

    <g> I’ll try. I’ll even take both sides to get the flames started.

    I think it’s pretty damn rude to talk on a cellphone when you should
    be interacting with other people. But sometimes, it can’t be helped,
    and in those cases a decent attitude can go a long way. Most of the
    women I know have their lunch hours pretty well spoken for. Between a
    trip to the post office, making a doctor’s appointment, calling the car
    place to schedule service, coordinating with the spouse or kids on
    what’s for dinner (who’s cooking, what ingredients are we missing, and
    who has to buy them) and so forth, those two minutes in line at the
    lunch place can’t be wasted. Especially when you know that you’ll be on
    hold for 20 minutes with the doctor’s office. Of course they will pick
    up as soon as you get to the head of the line.

    When I’m on the other side of the counter, a smile and eye contact
    from a customer give me the opportunity to interact with her if I need
    to. In that case, I usually make an extra effort to make the
    transaction go quickly and smoothly, and I’m usually rewarded with a
    warm smile and a silently-mouthed “thanks!” OTOH, when a jerk comes up,
    nattering away on his phone and can’t be bothered to even acknowledge
    my existence, that’s when I’m super extra helpful and need to ask him
    lots of questions. I will also need to tell him his total as verbosely
    as possible (“The total for your order is nine dollars and thirty-four
    cents, sir. Will this be cash, check, Visa, Mastercard, American
    Express or debit?”)

    I say he in this case because I have someone specific in mind, not
    to be a sexist sow. Mr. Bigshot was in a big, big hurry a few days
    before Christmas and couldn’t be bothered to even ask the person on the
    other end to hang on a moment. I couldn’t help but overhear his
    conversation, all about his recent trip to Hawaii and how rude everyone
    was to him there. Gee, I wonder why?

    Best part was when he stopped to check his change and the lady who
    had come up behind him said loudly, “Geez, I hate people who are too
    rude to even hang up their phones, don’t you?” The customer is always
    right, right? So I had to agree with her.

  69. puka_pai says:


    And it’s the
    same thing at the grocery. If you can’t be bothered to be civil to the
    poor checkout person and interact with a few syllables (i.e., “Thanks”)

    My hero!

  70. @MaytagRepairman: then do it before you’re in line. TAH-DAH!

  71. EdnaLegume says:

    I love it. You’re in a place of business. I guarantee you everyone would be pissed royal if the store associate couldn’t be bothered to get off HIS/HER cell phone for you.

    The icing on the cake was a trip to Hershey Park.. “dad” couldn’t even get off the damn phone for 5 minutes while he rode the tea cups with his daughter. :( I felt really bad for that little girl.

  72. GothGirl says:

    This is the best subway ever

  73. Julia789 says:


    My psychology professor said therapists recommend cell phone ear pieces for their patients who hear voices, talk, and shout to themselves. It helps them be able to go out in public.

    Maybe he really was nuts.

  74. mexifelio says:

    Ok so what happens if you are trying to order a sub for the person you are on the cell phone with?


  75. Shevek says:

    @RabbitDinner: I’ll try to play up the other side (please note that I don’t even OWN a cell phone).

    I’ve never seen the kind of behaviour described so far. When I read the post, I imagined people talking on their cell phone, then moving their phone to their shoulder to tell employees what the want on their sandwich, then talking on the phone again. I mean, you’re just ordering a sandwich. It doesn’t require your complete brain power. And while a smile and eye contact might be nice to get from a customer, I wasn’t aware that friendliness was a prerequisite for a fast food purchase (or for most any monetary transaction).

    It seems elementary-school to proscribe all cell phones from the line. I’m an adult: I have business *and* I’d like to get my lunch. I’m capable of talking on the phone while saying “tomato, pickle, whatever.” I agree that people who are not ordering are wasting other people’s valuable time. These people should be bumped in favor of the next customer. But not every person with a cell phone deserves this treatment.

  76. @kaptainkk:

    Also I can’t stand these people in the aisles of stores that walk around talking on their bluetooth phone w/ earpiece. It freaks me out because I can’t tell if they said something to me or themselves.

    My wife and I play a game called “Bluetooth or Crazy” where we try to figure out which one it is.

    We also play “Pregnant or Fat”, and “Gay or European.” Fun times!

  77. @Julia789:

    My psychology professor said therapists recommend cell phone ear pieces for their patients who hear voices, talk, and shout to themselves. It helps them be able to go out in public.

    I feel worse about my game now. :-/

  78. CaptZ says:

    First $5 foot longs and now this? Awesome Subway!

  79. oldheathen says:

    Cool! Would love to see this implemented EVERYWHERE. When I see parents enjoying “quality time” with their kids at the park on Saturdays, never off their cell phones long enough to make farking *eye contact* with their kids, let alone speak to them, it’s all I can do not to slap the phone out of their fool hands, grab them by the shoulders and say “THERE is your child. Look at him. You will never get this time back again. What the HELL is the matter with you?”

    /rant off

  80. Ein2015 says:

    @njovin: So are we to put up signs telling people not to talk to their friends who are in line behind them? Not to hold conversations about work while they’re at lunch? If I need to give my undivided attention to a Subway “sandwich artist”, then they’re doing their job wrong! (I would know, I used to work at one!) Also, if the guy behind the counter can’t ask a question to get your attention, he’s probably too meek and timid to be dealing with customers.

  81. I don’t care either way about the issue, but I do appreciate that the sign uses proper punctuation and grammar is technically correct (even if the wording is a bit strained).

    @MaytagRepairman: Umm. What if the person on the phone is asking what the person on the other end of the call wants on their sub?

    I believe the answer is “End of the line! Thank you, come back when you know what you want to order.” It’s not like ordering by proxy has to be a live process:

    Subway: “What kind of sub would you like?”
    Customer: “He asked what kind of sub you’d like. [pause] Club.”
    S: “White or wheat?”
    C: “White or wheat? [pause] Wheat.”
    S: “Provolone, White American, or Pepper Jack?”
    C “Provolone, White American, or Pepper Jack? [pause] Pepper jack.”

    You get the idea.

  82. Ein2015 says:

    @Michael Belisle: When I worked, we had a few of those either. It takes a mere SECONDS more time. Seriously people, if you’re THAT impatient, lines aren’t for you… go to a grocery store in the middle of the night, get your sandwich material, and make it for lunch the next day.

  83. Ein2015 says:

    @Ein2015: Oops, the first sentence was supposed to end “a few of those too.”

  84. oldheathen says:

    @Ein2015: Didn’t you feel the least bit dehumanized when customers didn’t feel you were worthy of their their undivided attention for the mere 30 seconds it took them to place their order?

    I know I would.

  85. Ein2015 says:

    @oldheathen: No. Dehumanization is a serious issue that is not caused by being ignored when making a sandwich.

  86. pollyannacowgirl says:


    That sounds FUN!

  87. SeanOHara says:

    @Ein2015: Crazy idea here — maybe it’s common courtesy to treat people who are doing you a service as though they aren’t damn-dirty apes who’ve been trained to do menial tasks.

    But hey, when Caesar and Urko come to get you, don’t look at me for help.

  88. dianabanana says:

    @SkokieGuy: To which part did you not read when I say I am not interfering with my order? I’m more than willing to put whoever I’m talking to on hold to pay, answer questions, make eye contact, say hello and thanks, but when I’m on the line and actually waiting before I get to the counter or any type of transaction, I’ll talk on the phone if I feel like it and sure, you can listen in to my conversation.

    Go ahead and mock the next person, but like I said before, don’t be surprised when the person tells you to mind your own goddamn business just like I did.

    I love when people make snarky comments not expecting a confrontation and when they actually get one, they have no idea what to do.

  89. @Human947: You can get the order beforehand…

  90. @Ein2015: @oldheathen: Dehumanization just comes naturally by working bottom-tier retail?

    (I worked as a Clean Team member at Cub Foods and video sales kid at Best Buy, so I think I can say that. Surprisingly enough, the former was the more enjoyable of the two, but that BBY discount was too tempting to resist. My Cub manager was totally right when he said that “Everyone goes over there thinking it’ll be great, and it really isn’t.”)

  91. TheUncleBob says:

    @jamesdenver: Unfortunately, that sounds more like “uncommon courtesy” now-a-days… :(

  92. bohemian says:

    Subway, Panera, the bank, the grocery store, any store at the mall, the coffee shop….

    Talking on your cell phone at a register or check out is just obnoxious. But so is holding a cell phone conversation so loud that everyone else can hear it and your drowning out other people’s conversations.

    What really annoys me is that the people who do this the most are usually the least likely to have something urgent they are talking about.

  93. octopede says:

    In my retail days, I would just say, “I’ll help you when you’re done with your phone call” and just go to the next person. Of course, the worst is when they’re using those damned earpieces and you have no idea if they’re addressing you or some entity in their cochlea.

  94. bohemian says:

    @dianabanana: “I love when people make snarky comments not expecting a confrontation and when they actually get one, they have no idea what to do.”

    So what do you do with the snarky commenter returns the confrontation?

  95. dianabanana says:

    @Shevek: I think you pretty much hit it on the head. That’s the way I feel about this whole topic, instead of jumping on the bandwagon. People aren’t retarded, they can multitask. But in case you are retarded and can’t, then go to the back of the line.

  96. RabbitDinner says:

    @Ein2015: Exactly the indifference that allowed the Nazis to take power


  97. RabbitDinner says:

    @SeanOHara: Planet of the Apes reference, or are you just losing your grip?

  98. DeeJayQueue says:


    but if it’s not interfering or holding up the line and I ask the person I’m on the phone with to hold while I pay, smile and say thank you, then what does it matter?

    Umm… it matters because it’s fucking rude.

    Imagine for a second that you’re actually with the person on the other end of the phone… like they’re standing right there next to you. The cashier/barrrrrista/sandwich jockey has to leverage for an edgewise word in your conversation so that they can take/process your order.
    If that were you behind the counter, and someone were basically all but ignoring you while you were doing your job trying to make them a sammich/coffee/take their money, you’d think “Hey what an asshole, they didn’t barely make eye contact or even say hi or thank you”

    The moral is: Don’t treat people how you don’t want to be treated. Plus, don’t be a douche.

    When I used to work retail, if someone came up to the counter on the phone, I’d simply walk away and do something else, or help the person behind them in line. About half the time they got the hint and got off the phone. A quarter of the time, they just walked away, and the other quarter they got all huffy. I’d just say “Well, I don’t want to interrupt your phone conversation, it must be very important, so whenever you’re through I’ll be happy to help you.”

  99. themcp says:

    I don’t mind the policy, it’s sensible, but I mind the sign.

    There are two polite ways to deal with the customer: either assume that they’re going to act like a polite person and deal with them appropriately if they don’t, or post a sign which states the policy in a generic manner which does not address the specific customer. (“Customers who speak on their phone while being served by the counter staff will be instructed to go to the back of the line.”)

    By addressing it to “you”, the sign comes off more like it’s saying “we know that you – YOU, YES YOU THE PERSON READING THIS SIGN – are a rude moron, but we demand you pretend to be a civilized person for a few minutes so we can put up with you long enough to make a sandwich for you, you filthy bastard.”

    If I walked into a sandwich shop and saw that sign, I would turn around and leave, despite that I never, ever talk on the phone while someone is waiting on me.

  100. dianabanana says:

    href=”#c6926853″>DeeJayQueue: I have no problem with someone talking on the phone if they were not holding up the line, and I was a Subway cashier. I am not there to make sparkling conversation. I am there to take a order, give them options, take their money, and tell them to have a great day.

    Sure, it’s not the most polite and interesting of interactions, but how it is in any way rude? I wasn’t under the impression I needed to be my pro a-game to order a coffee.

    Me, phone: Let me put you on hold while I pay for something, k.
    (I’ll make eye contact, smile, and say…)
    Me, salesperson: Hi
    Salesperson: Hello, that’ll be $30. Cash or credit?
    Me, salesperson: Cash please.
    (I’ll hand over my money.)
    Salesperson: Here’s your change, have a great day.
    Me, salesperson: Thanks a lot; you too!
    Me, phone: k, I’m done, so yeah, like I was saying…

    Yes, there is a polite way to being on the phone and ordering something at the same time. OH MY GOD, TELL ME THAT ISN’T SO!

  101. maestrosteve says:

    I’m totally for the sign. I love it, BUT it better be a two way street.

    I don’t want the order taker taking a personal phone call while I’m waiting on line, or taking a phone order. Have someone else take the phone order while customers are waiting.

  102. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    I like that rule, and it should apply everywhere. If you can’t stay off the phone or pay attention to the clerk long enough to order a sandwich, then let the people who can order their food.

  103. Carbonic says:

    Better Idea:

    — Fill sandwich with fast acting laxative.

    — Deny Toilet Token

    — Post “Chocolate Factory” video online

  104. Parting says:

    Yeeessss. Would I live in that city, I would be regular customer.

  105. RunawayJim says:

    @puka_pai: You know what… even that woman who has her whole lunch hour down to a science shouldn’t be on the phone in line even if she has to make calls. Either make and finish the calls before you get in line or after you’re done. It’s unfair to other people who are there on their lunch hour. I don’t care if you normally say “hang on a moment”. That still makes it take longer.

    If you are in a line to have something done for you, stay off the phone. No one is that important that they need to answer the phone or stay on the phone while someone is taking their order or helping them out with something (such as at the bank or post office).

    I won’t even go into the people who drive and talk at the same time… Sometimes I wish cell phones were never invented…

  106. Pithlit says:

    I actually like cellphones, and don’t leave home without mine, so I don’t normally engage in fashionable rants against them and the people who use them. But it’s just plain rude to talk on the phone while at the register or while placing orders, even if you think you’re perfectly capable of handling it. So, I think this sign is a great idea. I hope more businesses practice this.

  107. 3drage says:

    If only cell-phone blockers weren’t illegal.

  108. riverstyxxx says:

    I don’t even have to read the comments to know the line will be divided by the two groups:
    1. Those who talk on the phone all day and take offense.
    2. Those who are annoyed by those who talk all day on the phone and congratulate subway for their support.

    I think the old rule of “Hang up and drive” also applies to waiting in line to buy something. That’s the point of a line: To wait and buy something. If you’re busy, then you’re obviously not waiting to buy anything; you’re talking on the telephone and you’re doing nothing more than being annoying.
    I agree with the rule of “The customer is always right”, but you’re not a customer if you’re in line talking on a phone. My advice is to put it on silent, if it’s important they’ll leave a message or call back in 10 minutes.

    Always keep priorities straight, mmk?

  109. battra92 says:

    Well, you know us, we’re always biased toward the consumer….

    No no Consumerist, this is GREAT for the consumer. Weed out the bad consumers and stand up for the good ones I say! :)

  110. polyeaster says:

    I hate that sign…I talk and conduct business alot, but I’mnot rude. Like a previous poster, when it is my turn, I will ask person to wait, physically put my phone down, order, converse with cashier, etc, then come back when finished. I’m not a loud talker, nor am I effing up my order b/c I’m not paying attn. Or…what if I’m ordering food to bring home, and I’m not sure what my roommate wants instead of the side they are out of stock with…I’ll call her up and ask instead of having to wait again…

  111. Pithlit says:

    @polyeaster: It doesn’t sound like you’re the type of caller that’s the problem. If you’re putting the phone down and giving all your attention to the the person taking the order, then you’re fine. It’s the people who don’t take their phone away from their ear, and continue to talk that are the problem.

  112. TheLadyK says:

    I will talk on my phone while shopping. While on the train. Meaningless, meandering conversations that may involve such important topics as cute things I saw my cat do and what my sister’s boyfriend wore to the club last night.

    I live 400+ miles away from my nearest family member. I run errands by myself most of the time. If I am in an area that I could talk with my sister, my best friend, my mom, etc in, I will use the phone to talk to them. Just because a conversation involves a phone and not a person doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be allowed to have social interaction.

    Now, when I wouldn’t be holding that conversation, at that volume, if that person were there, I turn the little voice box off. Just as one interrupts face to face discussions to transact business, the phone call gets put on hold while business is accomplished.

    I would much prefer to wander through Target with my kid sister, but I can’t, so we teleinteract.

  113. bcsus83 says:

    woohoo!! As someone who has both worked in fast food and ordered it (lmao), it is not only irritating as all hell, but it’s rude to stay on your cell phone while ordering food.

  114. hardtoremember says:

    In the store I manage I expect just a bit of courtesy from my customers. One of those courtesies is not carrying on a conversation on a cell phone and ignoring me while I am trying to serve them.
    I simply tell them I will be back to them when they are ready and I go to the next customer. If I lose the customer over it that’s ok with me.

  115. braintre1 says:

    I like this sign. I work for a major retail chain where we are required to actually interact with our customers. If a customer is on the phone when they come in, that’s fine, but they should realize that they will not be told about any “special” events going on, such as sales, etc.

    If a customer is still talking on his/her phone when they come to the register, I have been known to do different things:

    1.) tell them “I’m sorry, I’ll wait until your phone call is done. I don’t want to be rude.”
    1.) or just tell them, “I need you to set the phone down, as I have a couple of questions I need to ask you in order to complete your transaction.”

    I must say, each of these things seem to get my point across, and the customer 99% of the time will at least put their caller on hold and acknowledge me, and apologize for their rude behavior. the 1% that don’t, I find a tactful way of reminding them how upset they would be with me, if I was on the phone while ringing out their transaction.

  116. Meathamper says:

    It’s OK. I don’t like Subways.

  117. spikespeigel says:

    @kaptainkk: You have no idea how much I agree with you about this point. It just…wrong!

  118. AgentTuttle says:

    I agree with the sign, but it comes from people who couldn’t identify what kind of soup they were selling last time I was there.

  119. Raiders757 says:

    I’ll take it even further. People shouldn’t be on the phone while their in line, period! It’s rude to everyone within ear shot. There is nothing worse than some asshole yelling in my ear, flappin’ away on the phone. Either put the phone away before you go in the store, or keep your rude ass outside until your done flappin’ your gums.

    Even worse, are the rude idiots who like to talk on the phone while at a restaurant. Not only are they being rude to the people at their table, they’re also being rude to those seated near them(as cell phone users tend to become loud talkers). If you have a call that is so important, excuse yourself from the table, and take it outside, or somewhere out of everyone’s way.

    Remember as well cell phone morons, your phone does keep track of your calls. You do not have to answer it right away. There is nothing worse than being cut off in the middle of a conversation by someone who can’t disconnect for a few minutes. It’s really, really rude when stuck in a car with these kind of people as well. Yea, instead of getting to listen to the radio, or shoot the breeze, I have to stare out the window and listen to bla bla bla. When i’m driving, i’ll blast your ass right off the phone with the radio if you don’t make it quick.

    Even worse, talking on your phone for more than a minute while at someone elses house. Your supposed to be visiting them, not the person on the other end. If you can’t make it short, then go over their house. Same goes for the host. You have guests. Get off the damn phone.

    Oh, and [b]dianabanana[/b], there is no polite way to order while on the phone, or making a transaction. Your being rude to those in line, the person your on the phone with, as well as the cashier. Stop being so self centered.

    [b]Ein2015[/b], every second that goes by, is a second I can’t have back. I have a right to ask that people not do things to hold the line up. You’re right, lines aren’t for me, and i’m well known for avoiding them as much as possible, but sometimes I have no choice.

    In the end, there is no defense for cell phone users. What is not rude to you, may be rude to other. Stop being so self centered, and disconnect for a little while.

  120. Fly Girl says:

    @kaptainkk: My boyfriend and I have a little game that we like to play called “Bluetooth or Schizophrenic?!”

    …We live in a neighborhood where the latter ends up being the case more often than not. :)

  121. Mr. B says:

    I have no problem with that sign, and I’ve seen several like it in various establishments. Frankly it’s quite sad that there is any necessity for such signage.

    Having worked as a cashier, nothing was more annoying than people who approached me while on the phone. Short of spitting on the person I can’t think of anything more disrespectful.

  122. shiftless says:

    This makes complete and total sense. Some chick was in front of me this week chewing gum and talking on the phone and naturally didn’t have the brainpower or consideration to think about sliding her goddamn credit card through the machine until she was finished talking about nothing.

  123. allthatsevil says:

    @dianabanana: Nope, wasn’t me. ;-]

    In my experience it usually is holding up the line. When you’re at the grocery store and the cashier can’t finish your transaction because she’s trying to tell you to select debit or credit, you’re wasting everyones’ time. Then it becomes my business.

    If you’re simply being rude, then it’s up to the cashier to take initiative. Though I wouldn’t mind giving a swift kick in the pants.

  124. Snowdaddy says:

    Hell I used to work for subway as a freshmen in college. I mainly worked there because I was bored and could use a few bucks for some spending money (very few bucks).

    This subway got PACKED since it was the only restaurant in the college. I would have customers come up with a phone in hand with 30 people behind them and tell me to hold on. Making barely over minimum I could give a rats ass. I would take the next customer without hesitation.

    Its rude and they need to learn this.

  125. People on cell phones seem oblivious to the world around them and think nothing of wasting other’s people’s time, bumping into them etc. I was in Vegas and was parked somewhere in the middle of a block can’t recall where. If you’ve never been to Vegas you have to realize that the sidewalks (especially at night) are literally a wall of people. There simply isn’t a gap to be found. I waited 10 minutes before somehow a gap developed. But I couldn’t pull into the street because of traffic. So now I am in the flow of human pedestrians.

    They all just flow around me like worker ants off to wherever it is that ants go.

    Except for one guy who was talking on his cell phone.

    He literally walked right into my driver side door.

    I’m not sure who was more startled, me or hin, but I know he was definately more pissed then I was. He actually yelled at me. I yelled back “If you’re so into your call you can see a car directly in your path then go back to your fucking hotel room where it’s safe!”

    In case you can’t figure it out, I wholly support Subway here. This isn’t anti-consumer, it’s more like pro-the-rest-of-us-in-line-who-don’t-want-to-wait-for-you-to-make-up-your-mind-while-also-talking-to-your-girlfriend-about-the-latest-episode-of-flava-flav

  126. Channing says:

    The only reason why you should ever be on a cell-phone when ordering is if you’re ordering for another person – that’s it. No chit-chat, it’s sandwich time.

  127. wtrwlkr says:

    I’d like to add this to the discussion: I live and work in Tokyo, where common courtesy is part of the culture. Tokyo is home to some of the busiest people in the world. Driving to work isn’t always practical, so most people commute by train or subway, with commutes ranging from 15 minutes to over 2 hours. Even considering this, you almost NEVER see a Japanese person yakking on their cellphone. It’s considered VERY rude. The only people you see talking on a phone in a train are usually ignorant tourists.

  128. WoogleMuffin says:


    “I think it’s pretty damn rude to talk on a cellphone when you should be interacting with other people. But sometimes, it can’t be helped, and in those cases a decent attitude can go a long way.”

    No, it can always be helped. When a phone rings you do have the option of answering it or letting it go to voicemail. If you answer it, you should give the person at the other end your attention and not try to order a cheeseburger at the same time. Likewise, if you’re standing in line, you pay attention to the person behind the counter and *return the call* when you step out of line.

    If you’re on the phone, standing in line and it’s your turn to interact with the clerk, you have a choice:

    1) offer to call the person on the phone back.
    2) tell them to hold on while you deal with the clerk, and put the phone aside.

  129. longtimegeek says:

    pu-leeze people — this is America – home of the rude and self-centered. Banning people’s cell phones will only make them find another way to be rude and self-centered.

    I think the sign is childish and naive.

  130. Thank you Subway.

    Yo, public cellphone users, get a hint… you ain’t that important.

  131. Ein2015 says:

    @RabbitDinner: Dude, are you SERIOUSLY comparing cell-phone usage in a Subway line to Nazis taking power?! I demand more proof of this link! :)

    @Raiders757: The same right you have to waste seconds of my time asking not to waste seconds of your time is the same right I have to ignore you, laugh at you, or just tell you to be quiet. Isn’t it great? I’m not intentionally trying to be a douche here, I’m just saying that if things like this annoy you enough to ruin your day, you’ll never be happy. Learn to slow down your life and not worry about the mere 2 seconds here and there because somebody else has people to talk to. Either you’re too much in a hurry or you have no friends and are jealous… or possibly you just like pointing out the most ridiculous, TINY flaws in everybody.

  132. adam_b says:

    To those few people saying “What if I’m ordering for someone else?” – There’s this crazy thing people used to do back in the days before cell-phones involving paper and a pen. If you know you’re going to be ordering for someone else, just get their damned order ahead of time.

  133. redkamel says:

    hey dianabannana, your conversation becomes my business when I have to listen to half of it for five to ten minutes. If you dont want it to be other peoples business, dont wave it around.

    If I see bluetooth borgs I pretend that I keep thinking they are talking to me. Cell phone people dont bug me so much, mostly cause nowadays they stop to talk (unless its stopped in the Costco aisle. The nerve!)

    I would also like to add the majority of rude people I see on their cell phones are not teeny boppers gossiping but women gossiping or men just listening and agreeing.

  134. alysbrangwin says:

    Send them to the back, and the same for those people who leave their headphones in when they’re asking a question. No, I’m not going to shout over your music. If you’re that interested in what I have to say, you can hit the pause button and take those damn earbuds out, and the same goes for your obnoxious cell phone.

    Former computer wench

  135. Marshfield says:


    * people who leave their headphones in *

    What about people wearing headphones when jogging or rollerblading on a multi=use trail and can’t hear the bicycles trying to pass them politely?

  136. RudeandRude says:

    Love it. Absolutely love it. Funny thing is, the only time I ever see this is at Subway.

  137. tankintheair315 says:

    @Geoff: I wish. If I put a sign like this up in the subway I work at (Im 16 give me a break) my boss would be pissed.

    I don’t appreciate when people try to talk on cell phones while they order. Why are you so important that you can’t stop talking for 2 minutes so we can keep the line moving, you slow everything down, and make more work for the later workers, and eventually the closers who may have to stay later after we close. Seriously, if its busy, we can easily sell 70+ subs an hour, we don’t need you slowing us down, it makes our day longer, and no one appreciates it. Ever.

    Besides its not like your having a meaningful conversation with the other person anyways.

  138. Congratulations to Subway! They are taking ALL of their customers experience into account as well as that of their employees.

  139. ZukeZuke says:

    Greatest sign I’ve seen all year!

    More than once, I’ve wanted to push down one of those rude cell-phone-talkin-slow-ordering-doesn’t-know-what-they-want-douchebags holding up the line in front of me. Beyond rude.

  140. johnfrombrooklyn says:

    I bought the greatest thing online from Israel. A cell phone jammer. I put it in my shirt pocket and when someone obnoxious is jabbering away near me at Starbuck’s or Barnes & Noble, I just flip the on switch. In 30 seconds, their phone dies and they spend the next 5 minutes tapping it, holding it upside down, turning it on and off again, before finally giving up and giving me my peace and quiet. It also works great in movie theaters and on the train. (Don’t tell anyone though; they’re illegal.)

  141. krispykrink says:

    Reminds me of a sign my friends family kept in their business.

    “We don’t care who you are, who you think you are, who you’re parents, who you think your parents are or who your dog is. We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.”

  142. SinisterMatt says:


    Couldn’t you write the person’s order down? Is that such a novel concept?


    Yep. When I worked for McDonald’s, there was this guy that would come through the drive-thru every morning and order a cup of coffee and a sausage biscuit. Without fail, every morning at about the same time (most likely on the way to work). Anyway, I could never get him to say hi. He would just come in, order his food, pull up, hand me the money, get his change, and drive up to the next window, no acknowledgement from him. It made me bonkers to be what I saw as ignored. Finally, some months later, he said hi and it was like the heavens were opened. I felt like dancing up and down the drive-thru singing hallelujah or something. I was human again! Okay, I was pretty excited, but not to that extent.

    But, um, back to the sign. I think it’s a great idea.


  143. SinisterMatt says:


    Darn, beat me to it.

  144. drjayphd says:

    @johnfrombrooklyn: Don’t let me run into you with that. :)

    Obnoxious cell-phone talkers vs. obnoxious cell-phone jammers. Who takes it? Whose cuisine reigns supreme?

  145. kyle4 says:

    I can understand if it’s people who have to go back into the line because their order is screwed up due to them not paying attention. This almost seems fair.

    Also, this must have the most views I’ve ever seen on a Consumerist post. Usually they’re anywhere from 6-25,000 max, but nearly 80,000? Damn.

  146. parrotuya says:

    I can see it now. Subway has a ‘sub Nazi.’ He could be our next superhero. Smacking down those annoying cell-phone talkers. No sub for you!

  147. forgottenpassword says:

    Dont see anything wrong with this at all. People who are still yapping on their phone by the time they get up to make their order slow down everyone’s wait time. And that’s just bad for business.

    telling them to step aside or to the back of the line until they are done chatting on the phione & wasting everyones’ time.

  148. Werrick says:

    I’m totally for this, the only problem is that sometimes it’s a case of being at work and being on-call. I have a job where, if I’m on call, that phone can ring anytime. I’m not chatting, it’s business, so I think I’d be a little cheesed if I had to go to the back of the line for that.

    And yet, at the same time, if it’ll keep me from having to listen to some 17 year old high-school student yammering loudly about whatever piddly shit it is that 17 years care about then I’m all for it.

  149. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    …offer to call back, step aside, or tell them to hang on. It’s called “common courtesy” and it’s not all that common anymore.

  150. BFIrrera says:

    This is awesome! Kudos to Subway for this.

  151. qaggy says:

    how did we ever get by before cell phones????????

  152. RChris173 says:

    Aparently this cell phone sign isn’t alone…At the Subway located on the University of Florida campus, there is a similar sign that doesn’t specifically say it will send you to the back of the line, but they do ask you stay off the cell phone while ordering so that the order is correct.

  153. shufflemoomin says:

    A slap on the back for the Subway. Good to see someone taking a stance on people like that and making an example of them. Hope more places do stuff like this.

  154. oldscud says:

    You sound like a customer I would not mind losing.

  155. Madjia says:

    @TheLadyK: I’m in the same boat as you are, I am in a long distance relationship and with the 6 hour time difference between me and my boyfriend we pretty much only get to talk during his lunch break.

    He’ll wander around the store getting groceries while talking with me, it’s how ‘we’ go grocery shopping. I’ll be on his bluetooth when he’s driving to Subway and when he is standing in line.

    As soon as he’s at the cashier or ready to order, I’m on hold and the person he’s interacting with has his full attention.

    Apparantly just the fact that we enjoy talking with each other while walking in public is a criminal offense for some people here. But come on, be a little tolerant.

    You have no idea why most people are on the phone, or with whom. I treasure the hour (if we’re lucky) we get to ‘hang out’ during the week days while we still live a few thousand miles apart, but that apparently doesn’t matter to any of the ‘haters’, because if on a cell phone it -must- not be important.

  156. Angryrider says:

    Great sign! Subway needs to move faster than its namesake, and what better way then to do it by telling people to pay attention or get nothin’!

  157. Jeff asks: "WTF could you possibly have been thinking? says:

    This segment of society represents the timid, the infirm, the lonely and the truly pathetic. I remember the days when, if you were alone, you were ALONE. Now, these pablum-pukers never have to be alone!!! I simply can’t imagine how anyone could ever stand to do something like eat lunch or buy a magazine without someone else to share their experience.

  158. lbell says:

    The Soup Nazi would die with a huge grin on his face over this.

  159. peter_in_paris says:

    I wonder what the corporate execs at Subway think about sending paying customers to the end of the line for not observing arbitrary cell phone etiquette?

  160. Indecent says:

    Heh, I worked at Subway for three years in high school, and even then (5 or 6 years ago)it was a constant problem. Like another reviewer mentioned, if they had the courtesy to stop their call, it wasn’t as big a deal, but the real problem with cell phone users in line is that they didn’t bother to look at the menu or decide on what they want. So after 10 minutes of standing there gabbing, they get to the bread person and they look wonderingly at the menu board. They stare at the veggies like they’ve never seen them before because they can’t pick their sandwich toppings and gossip at the same time.

    So for the most part, I’m completely ready to see these signs everywhere. If you’re so important you can’t put it down for 5 minutes, then obviously you’re in too much of a rush to be here. Pack your lunch or slip the phone shut.

  161. Sam2k says:

    Subways have had polite no cell phones while ordering for a year or more now. It is a natural second step to now provide consequences for violating.

  162. megan9039 says:

    I do love the sign. But in Maryland at my local subway, they have kiosk’s that you enter the order yourself, it prints out a ticket for you and then go pay. It might have something to do with the fact, that the people making the sandwichs don’t speak english, but that is a story all by itself……

  163. cortana says:

    @mikesfree: They’ll also do it for not spelling GENO’S properly.

  164. radiochief says:

    I applaud the franchiser at this Subway for enforcing civility and manners.

    The problem with cell phones is that they make what was previously private, public.

    It’s bad enough I have to block out people’s conversations, but to wait in line, while some yahoo can’t end or EVEN pause a conversation is rude and frustrating for the rest of us.

    If a service person, cashier or teller is professional enough to give you face time and their attention; you should reciprocate. Not only is it professional and courteous; but also most efficient for everyone involved.

  165. smarty says:

    This won’t work because of the people who are cell phone addicts. Even in a federal courthouse which specifically prohibits cell phone use, you have those 2 out of 60 people in the juror pool who will disobey the judge and bailiff and still chat away on their cell phones. (Oh, this happened yesterday so it’s current) Too bad Subway can’t do what the judge did and fine them.

  166. wiggatron says:

    Eons ago, when I worked in retail, we would just ignore people on their phones. It was pretty great, watching them try and figure out why nobody would help them only to eventually realize that it was because they were on their phone. As soon as they would hang up I would greet them with a big smiley “How may I help you?” This should be state law IMO.

  167. s35flyer says:

    I love it and wish it was a policy at every store, especially the grocery stores!

  168. Kimbeegrin says:

    Go subway! I friggen hate line talkers and especially rude ones who can’t even give the clerk/sandwich maker/ what have you the time of day! They’re too busy yakking on their phone!

  169. muffingal says:

    The ice cream shoppe I frequent in Mt Vernon, NY does something similar. Their cell rule is that they won’t serve you at ALL!

  170. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    …most people commute by train or subway, with commutes ranging from 15 minutes to over 2 hours. Even considering this, you almost NEVER see a Japanese person yakking on their cellphone. It’s considered VERY rude.

    @wtrwlkr: But they’re probably not talking to the person next to them either which is not the case on the buses where I live.
    I agree that talking on a cell phone while you’re supposed to be talking to someone in front of you or anyplace that’s supposed to be quiet is rude.
    But I don’t buy that using a cell phone in public at all is rude. If you’re someplace where the people who aren’t on cell phones are talking to each other then why does the person who is on a cell phone bothering you? Since when is a bus or the aisle of a store someplace where you could reasonably expect it to be quiet?

    @TheLadyK: Exactly. If your sister was there with you having the conversation no one would care, so what’s the difference?

    In 30 seconds, their phone dies and they spend the next 5 minutes…
    @johnfrombrooklyn: Playing their ringtones at full volume? Reading out loud? Reciting entire episodes of The Simpsons?

  171. toddkravos says:

    what about when the employee is on her/his cell phone, hrm?

  172. digitalgimpus says:

    Thank you subway.

    It’s a giant waste of *everyones* time. These people make the clerk wait while they finish their conversation.

    I wish more places would adopt this policy.

    It’s much more efficient when everyone orders promptly, pays and moves aside so the next customer can be helped.

    Bravo subway!

  173. ChipMcDougal says:

    What is this, kindergarten?

  174. slymaple01 says:

    That’s good. Here is a hilarious post that illustrates why this kind of sign should be there on all fastfoods/coffee shops:

  175. barty says:

    @neuman1812: I probably wouldn’t have one either if it didn’t double as my phone at home. There have been times where the most recent received or placed call has been a week old for me. I just don’t talk on the phone that much.

    Our local Subway has a “No cell phone use while in line” sign at the door and again at the start of the line. Like most everyone else, I wish other businesses would adopt this policy, or better yet, just totally prohibit the use of cell phones in their establishments altogether, particularly restaurants. Mine goes on mute when I sit down for dinner somewhere.

  176. Brunette Bookworm says:

    @cmdrsass: I don’t mind that so much, mainly cause I have to do that sometimes at work. Ah, the life of and Administrative Assistant. If I have a list with lots of special orders on it, sometimes I just hand the list to the people working. It makes it much easier on them.

  177. savvy999 says:

    when are we going to be able to plug cellphones directly into people’s heads?

  178. Aphex242 says:

    The sign = win.

  179. Saboth says:

    Good for them.

  180. INTPLibrarian says:

    @sahhhm: I was wondering if that’s what the sign meant… no *talking* on a cell phone while ordering. I mean, what if someone’s on the cell and says “hey, hold on while I’m ordering” and then give their attention to the server? Does that count as not being on the phone?

    If so, then I’m all for it!

    @Ghede: I wish I could vote that up! lol.

  181. @Git Em SteveDave is a poor substitute for LindsayJoy:

    Agreed. It’s a sad commentary on our society that we actually need this sort of sign.

  182. Televiper says:

    Wow, people honestly have a hard time hanging up their phone for 15 minutes when ordering a sandwich? Do you talk the entire you’re eating, and crapping it out as well? Or vice-versa, is your conversation not important enough that you can’t stand still for 10 minutes and actually pay attention to the person you’re talking to?

  183. windycity says:

    @Pithlit: ditto.

  184. S-the-K says:

    @maestrosteve: If there is only one person on duty, or one person making sandwiches and one person working the register/answering the phone, you don’t have much choice. Back in the good old days businesses could afford to have a couple extra employees on staff just to sit around waiting for the phone to ring. Nowdays, employees have to be able to do more than one thing as part of their job duties.

    I vote with the Subway sign on this and it should apply to everywhere. People who put a higher priority on their inane conversation that it slows their transaction and slows down the line, they deserve to be sent to the back of the line to finish their conversation.

    Just like the Soup Nazi episode of Seinfeld. Move along and conduct your transaction. Cause trouble for everyone behind you… NO SANDWICH FOR YOU! :-)

  185. Black Bellamy says:

    I can talk on the phone and NOT hold up the line at the same time.

    If there is a problem with people, then educating the clerk is the way to go to resolve any issue, not posting a blanket declaration of cell intolerance that talks down to and insults the customers.

    Frankly, signs like that do nothing except raise the chance that someone is going to get punched in the face. Some snarky customer, who normally would keep quiet, will see the sign and feel empowered to make some kind of comment.

    This would be an unfortunate thing, because I’m one of those thuggish louts who solves many of his problems with escalating violence.

  186. stargazerlily says:

    I love the sign. Now if only there were a rule stipulating that the employee had to stay off the phone while on the job when dealing with me.

  187. crazybutch says:

    i had a problem with this yesterday. an associate came to buy some stuff, and even though they’ve been working here for months, they forgot the policy that we can only accept cash, check or gift cards for associate transactions. so they were on the phone while they slid their debit, and i was trying to say “ma’am, you can only use…” but she was yakking so much she couldn’t hear me. then when the pin pad didn’t respond, she finally acknowledged me. meanwhile, a long line had built up behind her. and again, this was an employee….. sometimes they make the worst customers…..

  188. Ein2015 says:

    @oldscud: I really hope you don’t own a business. If you’ll turn away customers for that, you’ll lose all the money you invested really fast.

  189. RabbitDinner says:

    @Ein2015: Did you ever see the Penn and Teller’s Bullshit show about manners? Ah the manners expert they show complaining about everything-priceless.

  190. Ein2015 says:

    @RabbitDinner: No but I suppose if you link me to one I’ll be happy to watch it! :D

  191. kathyl says:

    For heaven’s sake, say, “Just a second” into your phone, order your stuff, complete your transaction, and go back to talking.

    You know, once upon a time, we couldn’t talk to people all the time through telephones attached to us like an umbilical cord. Trust me, if you can take time to order a sandwich or check out at a retail store, the conversation isn’t so important that you can’t detach the thing from your ear for 90 seconds. If it IS too important, then what are you doing buying a sandwich when you should be actively participating in the conversation?

    /shakes fist, get offa my lawn, uphill both ways, yadda yadda

    We’ll deal with the people driving 35 miles per hour on the freeway while yammering on their phone, or lord help me, texting someone, next.

  192. tracykins82 says:

    @kaptainkk: oh man, those bluetooth things are SO obnoxious. It’s like those people are robots or something.

  193. timd1969 says:

    If cell phone usage is such a problem, why not just install a signal jammer in the store. As long as you don’t turn it so high that neighboring businesses get blocked too, it seems reasonable that a private business could block access. IANAL though. The devices aren’t hard to find on the internet and they aren’t that expensive. It may be a bit passive aggressive, but ultimately Subway would drive away fewer customers by jamming the signal. They could just blame their special convection microwaves if anyone asks.

  194. Rock79 says:

    I support the sign. Even though it should be common sense, but yeah…

  195. HeartBurnKid, creepy morbid freak says:

    I admit, I’ve occasionally been guilty of getting on my cell phone while waiting in line. In my defense, when it comes to my turn, I’ll either tell the person on the other end to hold on or let the person behind me go ahead of me.

    That said, having seen many, many people who are not so courteous, I love this policy.

  196. alysbrangwin says:

    @Marshfield: I never understood them either. Running in your own little world makes it much likelier that you’re going to collide with a much harsher real world.

  197. Craig says:

    Excellent. Now we just need to take care of those people who think it’s acceptable to use their cell phone in a public restroom while using a stall. (I make sure I flush frequently when that happens and make any other bathroom-appropriate noises.)

  198. Carencey says:

    Obviously it’s rude to expect everyone else in a line and the server to wait on you to finish your phone call. But if you’re holding the call while you take care of the order and paying, then no. I’m SO sure that all of the people who are complaining that there is no way to be polite to a cashier and place an order while holding a call are absolute paragons of politeness to customer service workers at all times, yup. The sign would be a lot better if it said “If you’re not ready to place your order, you will be sent to the back of the line.” That way, it would cover people who can’t hold their calls, people who don’t know what they want, people who can’t order and keep an eye on their kids, people who won’t stop chatting w/ the person next to them…cellphones are just a scapegoat here.

    @Rectilinear Propagation: agreed on that and TheLadyK’s note…I wouldn’t hold any conversation in public that I wouldn’t hold if the person was standing right next to me. And I’m someone who says “Can we NOT talk about that here?” with half the conversations my parents come up with in public when I visit! But otherwise, I don’t see what it matters — I think a lot of the people that freak out at overhearing half of a perfectly innocuous conversation are actually just annoyed at not being able to overhear the whole thing.

  199. picardia says:

    I’m with Subway. It seems fine to me for the person to be on the phone while in line (although, seriously, you can’t make that call in 10 minutes?), but once it’s time to order, it’s time to hang up or put your person on hold for a while.

  200. Carencey says:

    @Craig: ha! yes. that one does freak me out, because everyone should be able to expect some privacy there! Then again, I don’t even like to continue regular conversations in the bathroom — that might just be me. :) I once heard a woman drop either her phone or her headset into the toilet, fish it out, and immediately start in with the “oh no, can you hear me” without leaving the stall to clean it.

  201. RabbitDinner says:

    @Craig: Immediately call upon all the gas you have and try to force it out loudly. Or blow a ear-splitting hocker


  202. coren says:

    For everyone saying “I will put the person on hold to complete transactions” and getting offended – this isn’t really directed at you. If you’re not talking on the phone when ordering, there’s no problem.

    Considering how many toppings, breads, meats and dressings they have, some of which even sound alike, and knowing how angry people would get if their sub was wrong (Dear Consumerist, every time I go into xxx Subway, they manage to make my sub wrong! etc), nevermind that you don’t eat the cost of a sub done wrong, they do…I’m surprised both that all stores haven’t done this and that it’s even necessary to begin with.

  203. scooterist says:

    But can you poop or pee without paying? (see article six above for more)

  204. AlexPDL says:

    OK I will be the contrarian here. Come on guys. If I want to order a sandwich while I am on the phone I will do it. People behind the counters often take personal calls, have personal conversations, and multi-task at the detriment of the customer. I once waited at my credit union for a teller to get of the phone and she was OBVIOSULY having a personal call. The customer is PAYING for a service. If I want to be on my phone then I should be allowed to be.

  205. MacMasterShane says:

    That sign should be amended to allow the sandwich maker to to bludgeon you with a loaf of bread.

  206. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    If cell phone usage is such a problem, why not just install a signal jammer in the store.

    @timd1969: It’s illegal to jam cell phones, at least in the United States.

    I think kicking people to the back of the line is sufficient.

  207. ELC says:

    @Ein2015: It seems like most people I see on a cellphone are “listening to someone” – since they hardly ever talk. WHY do you want to pay money every month to let somebody call you where ever you are in the world, to rant? Hang up the dumb phone! I don’t answer my phone at home 1/2 the time if it’s not convenient for me. They can leave a message and I can call back if I want.

  208. AlexPDL says:

    @doctor_cos: I think telling the person on the other end of the phone to “hang on” would still be a violation of the policy.

    By the way, I only use my cell for business. Yes, I am often unable to tell my boss that it went to voicemail because I was out to lunch. Yes, I sometimes barely have time to get a sandwich. Yes, I think teeny boppers yapping about something dumb should learn common sense and decency to not yabber on as someone makes them a sandwich.

  209. ModernDemagogue says:

    This sign is ridiculous and I can’t believe so many people on this site agree with it. When I’m ordering a sandwich, its the employees job to listen, take my order, and make the sandwich. Not tell me to get off my phone. If I’m on an important call, the chances of me getting off the call while on line because the store is understaffed are close to zero. And if someone is being discourteous and not placing their order promptly, they’re also going to get their ass put in gear by me, or I’m placing my order in front of them.

    Luckily, I wouldn’t be caught dead in a subway. Their sandwiches are terrible, and they run you down some conveyor belt assembly line and ask you questions even after you’ve instructed them about specifically what you want. How about Subway trains their employees to listen the first time when given an order. Then they can make the sandwich, while I talk on the phone. What an idea.

    A sign like this would be ignored and laughed at in New York; and I’d love to try and see anyone short of the Soup-Nazi enforce such a policy. He gets to because his soup is awesome. Subway’s food is marginally edible.

  210. HeartBurnKid, creepy morbid freak says:

    “If I’m on an important call, the chances of me getting off the call while on line because the store is understaffed are close to zero. And if someone is being discourteous and not placing their order promptly, they’re also going to get their ass put in gear by me, or I’m placing my order in front of them.”
    @ModernDemagogue: You just contradicted yourself there. If you’re the guy that’s on the “important call”, then you’re the one not “placing [your] order promptly”, and this sign exists to “get [your] ass put in gear”.

    Look, if you’re really that freaking busy that you can’t put your call on hold for 2 minutes to order a damn sandwich, then kindly step aside and let other people order. Order your food when you are actually able to give the task your attention.

  211. ModernDemagogue says:

    I didn’t contradict myself. If I’m on line, I’m talking, emailing, taking care of whatever needs doing. If I’m up, I’m ordering; “Ham, Turkey, Salami, on a roll. Lettuce, mayo, mustard, thanks” and then I’m back involved in my conversation. Call stays active on my iphone headset. I’ll take one earpiece out to let the server know I’m talking to them, and put it back to let them know the interactions over. This happens frequently enough that unless you’re on a conference call with a number of parties, whoever you’re talking to gets what’s going on and accepts the natural pause. It’s not rude, it’s how the world is. In 10 years, I’ll have a screen on my contacts and you won’t know whether I’m looking at you, or reading a consumerist article.

    Ordering a sandwich is not a two to five minute process that involves me observing its construction. If this were the case, I could have made it myself- so why am I paying the markup for labor. Its a ten second one that involves communicating what I want to the person that is going to do it, like anything else in life/business/etc.

    A sign like this is insulting; it assumes the lowest common denominator and treats the customer like a mindless sheep to be herded. If I saw something like this in any business that was not providing something I REALLY wanted, there is no way they would get my money; and odds are they’d lose more money trying to deal with me if they enforced it.

    If people took a little more personal responsibility and weren’t such wimps, this wouldn’t be a problem. If someone is holding up the line, rather than make passive aggressive comments or simmer silently, you tell them and fix the situation.

  212. AdviceDog says:

    For any corporate policy decision makers, take note.

    This is a step in the right direction.

    It would make the line go faster and reduce the number of ordering mishaps. Not to mention that it would reduce aggravation experienced by the people during morning and lunch-hour rushes.

  213. vladthepaler says:

    That’s awesome. Every store should have that policy.

  214. Ein2015 says:

    @coren: I’m pretty adept at watching them while they make my sub, maintaining eye contact, etc. Besides, what else should I be looking at?

    It goes something like this: *wait for them to look up, look ready, anything* “yes i’d like this bread for this meat” “blah blah blah on phone” *wait for them to put meat on bread* “this cheese” “blah blah blah on phone” *wait for them to pass to veggie person* “these veggies, salt & pepper, and mayo” “blah blah blah on phone” *hand money to cash register person* *walk away* “blah blah blah on phone”

    Not hard.

    And here’s a warm “thank you” to all those above who have posted that they understand some people CAN focus on a sandwich while talking. :)

  215. mmejanvier says:

    @dianabanana: If you want people to mind their own goddamn business, then don’t hold a personal conversations in a public forum.

    When you’re in public your behavior is subject to public scrutiny. There are basic codes of social conduct. People will oft turn a blind (if rolling) eye to rude/inconsiderate/abusive behavior. Sometimes you encounter a rogue manners vigilante.

    There needs to be a lot more calling out of public asshattery, IMHO.

  216. StockBroker says:

    Does the “Soup Nazi” from Seinfeld own this Subway store?

  217. I work for Subway (located in a hospital, of all places), so I’m really getting a kick out of these replies.

    I can’t begin to tell you the number of times I’ve been shushed or told to hold on so people could finish their cellphone conversations. I’ve even had people hold up the line during our dinner rush to call their friends and ask if they wanted any food.

    There’s a special place in hell reserved for people who order THROUGH their phone, though; the conversation usually goes as such.

    Me: What can I get for you?
    Customer: I’d like a sandwich.
    Me: What kind?
    Customer, on phone: What kind of sandwich do you want?

    This continues until the sandwich is wrapped up, and every single time, the person on the cellphone is holding up a growing line.

    Guys, gals, if you’re ordering for someone else, either step out of line to find out what they want, or write it down ahead of time.

  218. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    @Ein2015: Losing customers over this?
    I believe I already observed that they will probably gain 2 for every 1 they lose.

    @Black Bellamy: Of course you can. Everyone thinks they can.
    You can’t. Get over yourself.

  219. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    @ModernDemagogue: And you, sir. The sign is just for people like you who are so important/smart that they can’t be bothered with things like COMMON COURTESY.
    If you don’t like the rule, SHOP/LIVE ELSEWHERE. We will NOT miss you.

  220. Ein2015 says:

    @doctor_cos: But it’s not a common courtesy. How is it a common courtesy?

  221. mmejanvier says:

    Not sure if anybody has made the point that it’s even ruder to the person you’re talking to.

    This is even worse if it’s a business call. How ridiculous and unprofessional.

  222. AlexPDL says:

    @ModernDemagogue: “A sign like this is insulting; it assumes the lowest common denominator and treats the customer like a mindless sheep to be herded.”

    I think that says it very well.

    I think now our collective passions are overtaking the direction of the discussion. Now we are talking past each other. We are assuming both extremes, on one hand the rude cell phone user and on the other the demonic/incopetent clerks.

  223. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    When it’s your turn, you should give the poor soul on the other side of the counter AT LEAST the same consideration you would expect if the positions were reversed.

    I would not appreciate you expecting MY undivided attention if I did not have YOURS.

    If you cannot at least tell the person on the other end of the phone to hang on while you order, you can STEP ASIDE.

    You may notice (most people don’t seem to) that there ARE other people on this ball of rock besides you.

    I am unapologetically enthusiastic about such a policy and would patronize any establishment with such a policy. Would that we didn’t have to have such policies, but in this self-centered world where an asshole such as myself has to explain COMMON COURTESY…

    In a nutshell…
    YOU ARE NO BETTER THAN ANYONE ELSE. You have a responsibility to treat others as well as you would expect in return.

  224. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    @Ein2015: And before anyone else comments, I am also no better than anyone else, although I do have a cool icon :)

  225. Raiders757 says:


    I think you took what I posted a little out of context. I have a great life, and more friends than I even wish to have. I am happy to just wake up every single day, and conduct my life in a somewhat normal way. I am a very mellow person, and often not in a hurry. Still, that doesn’t mean you should be able to waist my time. I also have a few flaws myself, but I have taken the time to notice this, and take no offense if someone politely point them out to me.

    I do agree, it is great to have all the freedoms we have. The thing is, I try to be as considerate to others as I can possibly be. To be exact, if I am annoying you in line, i’ld appreciate it if you told me, in a polite mannor, that I am, so I can correct whatever it is that I am doing. Now if you act like an ass about it, you just might get the 12 pack of beer I am buying slapped right upside your head. Laugh at me, and were going to have an issue. I’m not a tough guy, but I don’t take any shit either.

    The point I was making, is it doesn’t matter how little time you waist, it’s the fact that your not being considerate to others. Consistently inconsiderate people, to me, are pieces of shit. Really nice people tend to become consistently inconsiderate when on a cell phone, and most of the time don’t even realize it. It’s a sad fact of cell phone use.

  226. Raiders757 says:


    If your ordering for someone else, get their order before you get in line. If you can’t remember it, write it down. Ordering for someone else, is no excuse. Get off the phone when in line. You never know, you might get to know some of the people around you while you wait.

    This ordering for someone else excuse is a joke.

  227. barty says:

    @ModernDemagogue: OK Mr Inconsiderate, you’re in the minority here.

    If it weren’t for self-absorbed, selfish individuals such as yourself that think they have the right to inconvenience everyone else so they can continue to yap on their phone, this wouldn’t even be necessary. 10 years ago, this wasn’t even an issue. It has only been in the past 6-7 years that people have gotten this idea that they can be on their phone anytime they want to, anywhere they want to without regard to others. That is the underlying issue here my friend. Its called common courtesy.

  228. thenameisbam says:

    when i worked for blockbuster, if a customer ever came up to my register while talking on a phone, i would always stand there and stair at them. until they either got off the phone or noticed that i wasn’t helping them. some would say sorry, most would stop their conversation and ask why i wasnt ringing anything up, and i would respond with “oh, i didnt want to interrupt your important phone call.”

  229. Raiders757 says:


    If your call is soo important, you shouldn’t be in a place of business, let alone ordering a sub anyway. Truely important calls demand 100% of your attention, and if you can’t give it, it’s not all that important.

    Your excuse is lame.

    The people who are defending cell phone rudeness, are coming across as self centerd assholes, and prove our point even more. Even that self proclaimed “thug”, Black Bellamy. I am sorry Black, I am calling your bluff. Your no thug. A real “thug” wouldn’t be caught dead on a site like this, let alone behind a PC on the net. He would be too busy turning his community into a pile of shit.

  230. Raiders757 says:

    Oh, and also, ModernDemagogue.

    You mentioned the term “mindless sheep”.

    I would have to say that it’s the cell phone users that are the “mindless sheep”. Your posts scream of a sheeply moron who thinks they’re more important than anyone else.

    Guess what, if the “Soup Nazi” can make you follow the rules, anyone can. NYC is full of a whole shitload of sheep. You can bet your ass on that one. Probably more so than anywhere else other than L.A.

  231. bigbadbyte says:

    Props to Subway on this one. If they put one up in my town, I’ll switch over from my current sandwich establishment.

  232. ghettoimp says:

    I remember watching a guy talking on his cell phone and filling up his soda at a Taco Bell once. It was an amazing experience. He paused for about 10 seconds, then got a little bit of ice. Then another long pause, and some more ice. Then another long pause, and moved the cup to the soda. Then another long pause, and a little soda. Etc., etc., for about two minutes. That dude needs to buy a dual core processor for his head.

  233. Ein2015 says:

    @doctor_cos: The funny part is, I have been in both roles. I’ve worked at Subway, and these days I occasionally eat at Subway. But here’s the thing, I’m paid to take your order, not your attention.

    @Everybody who says “self centered” in these comments: Why is it self-centered? Is it not just as equally self-centered that these people think they deserve to rush the people in front of them, that they deserve not to hear cell-phone conversations in a line full of random people, that they deserve to order their sandwich 0.3 seconds earlier, etc? I haven’t heard a single argument here that isn’t self-centered (“I”, “me”, etc). Thing is, there is no public good being affected. The public is neither harmed nor helped by these cell-phone conversations.

  234. ModernDemagogue says:

    @doctor cos: I do live somewhere else, and I don’t go to Subway, and certainly never will. This is a business interaction; I am buying a sandwich. I am courteous, but I have other things going on in my life. No, my conversation isn’t SO important, but its more important than me doing nothing and babysitting someone I am paying to accomplish a task they perform hundreds of times a day.

    Do you watch over your assistants/lower-ranking employees every move and step? No, that would be inefficient and you wouldn’t have any time to be a doctor; instead, you tell them what you want, they do it, you sometimes check up on it, or if you trust them, it gets done and you don’t even think about it again. Ordering a sandwich is no different.

    @Raiders757: As I pointed out, already, the Soup Nazi gets to do this because he has something people want, REALLY GOOD SOUP, and control over its disbursal. Subway does not have a monopoly on the already over-saturated commodity of Sandwich Making. An average deli here will make a better sandwich, for less, and the experience of buying it is much better.

    And- wah, wah. Ad hominem attacks. Nice job. Bah bah bah look I’m a sheep; actually, I’m a sheep maker but whatever. Ooh that was clever.

    Anyway, I don’t inconvenience anyone, and, I have no responsibility to be anything more than polite to the Subway personnel. In this interaction, they are not people, they are agents/part of the “person” Subway, and Subway generally treats the customers terribly. Sure, I have a responsibility to treat people as I’d like to be treated, but it goes both ways. Why are you taking their side? They should treat us as they’d like to be treated, but your viewpoint is not equal, its bending over backward for them out of pity. If I had a shitty job like that, I’d be pissed off and probably wouldn’t treat the customer well either, but that removes my obligation to act any differently than the way I’ve characterized.

    You know who I do go out of my way for, the guys behind the counter at the local deli; I know the name of his kids, and I don’t ask for them to “slice it thin” but there it makes sense, the experience is positive, we chat, he’ll often either give me a little deal on the price or pile the meat on extra, etc… I get a great sandwich for $5.50 or $5.95 – But at a Subway? a) I might as well be eating cardboard, b) It costs $2 more, c) I once saw them charge a girl $5 bucks for 3 little triangles of cheese on a piece of bread. When she asked for more cheese, the employee said “sorry, we can only put that much per sandwich” despite her having nothing else on it, at all! Subway employees are almost always drones to corporate policy, and I resent watching my sandwich slide down a conveyor.

    If you want friendliness and a personal touch, fine, go to Pleasantville, or my local deli. But in globalized corporate america, a Subway, a part of that new America, doesn’t get to make rules like this.

  235. Raiders757 says:

    No, Ein2015. It’s self centered when the majority speaks, and you choose to go about your rude business anyway.

    Yes, we are all self centered in some way or another, and there is nothing wrong with that, to a point. There is a line you should not cross, and cell phone users cross that line all of the time. Even the cell phone users who think and try to do right.

    The only true solution is to allow places of business to have a signal jammer, if they so wish to do so. In doing so, they shouldn’t be made to tell the consumer either, as to avoid backlash. This method is also safer than making an average joe employee enter a confrontation with the morons who wish to not follow the rules/request.

    The public not harmed by cell phone use? Ha!!!

    Maybe not in this case, but think of those who ended up in the hospital due to some idiot flappin’ on the phone while driving, and caused a wreck. What about those who talk on the phone while at work, holding up productivity. This can hurt overhead, and that extra cost is passed onto the consumer. To think there is no public good being effected by cell hone use, is to be a blind fool.

  236. Raiders757 says:

    ModernDemagogue, I am not bending over backward for them. I just find most all cell phone users to be rude assholes. Even those who try not to be rude, at times slip up. It’s a small pet peave of mine. I am sick of it. Everywhere I turn, there is some moron plugged in, or holding one up to their ear. Even worse, are those who text while walking. I had a kid walk out in front of my truck the other week while texting. Had I not seen him, and predicted he would do so, he would have been ran down. Lucky for him I slowed down well before I got near him. The shocked look on his face was pricless, just as my relief that he was not injured.

    I would like to say that I commend you for going out of your way to help the local shops(aka “the little guys”) out. I truely applaud you for that. I to do the same, and am willing to pay extra to keep my local mom & pop shops open. I wish there more who would do this.

    Sadly my kid is hooked on Subway, because there is one in the local convenience store. It doesn’t matter how good the local sub shop is, she’ll claim it’s not as good as Subway. She is a total sheep to the brand, and it drives me nuts.

  237. jackspat2 says:

    Now, only if starbucks could do the same. I’d be happy.

  238. EdnaLegume says:

    @ModernDemagogue: jesus, if you’re that damn busy, pack your lunch and eat in your office.

    Sure does make life easier for all involved.

  239. HogwartsAlum says:


    That Rocks. :) That is hysterical.

    Must not need that morphine as bad as you thought, lady!

  240. Ein2015 says:

    @Raiders757: I didn’t mean on the roadway, I mean’t standing in a line for a sandwich.

    Disagreeing with the majority also doesn’t equate self-centeredness. A lot of time sticking up for the minority helps prevent abuses from the majority, such as when they find it slightly annoying to hear cell-phone conversations.

    Probably the reason people walk around talking on their cell-phones so much is that they know the type of person they’re talking to. Unfortunately these days, too many people in public are rude and only want to see things their way. Example: me talking on a cellphone and ordering a sandwich is not rude, another person in line interrupting me to tell me that i’m being rude is actually the rude one himself.

  241. HogwartsAlum says:


    That’s nice if your call is “important,” but so is the Subway guy’s job to get people through the damn line. At least to his boss. And the customers behind you!

    I don’t think that most people would mind cell phones so much if someone had to take a business call, or were talking to the hospital that just called to tell them they have their kidney for them. But most conversations I hear in public are something like this:

    “Blah blah blah blah, yeah, the boil on Poodlebaby’s heinie popped last night, and then we had to take her to the groomer, and you should see that scarf I saw online last night, I wonder if it’s a knockoff, oh that reminds me, did you get an email back from that guy, that sucks, did you really, oh my gosh I just can’t believe it…”

  242. Alger says:

    @Ghede: That’s awesome! Thanks!

    @allthatsevil: You are my hero!

  243. Mary says:

    I used to work with a guy who, when working registers, would just put his hands up, step back from the register and say, “Whenever you’re ready” and refuse to start ringing them up until they finished up and hung up.

    I admit I’ve been on my cell phone when in line before, but usually when I get to the front I say, “I’ll call you back” or “Hold on a minute” and put the phone down. There’s no conversation so important and if it is…well, I shouldn’t be in line at Subway.

  244. skilled1 says:

    Whoever is not a fan of this, can fuck themself. Learn some god damn mannors in public.

    Subway +1 to you.

  245. mundanejr says:

    Cell phones exist and we all have to deal w/ it. A place of business, and a franchised one at that has no place making demands of any kind from its customers other than they pay for the services rendered. They are not paying you for your time and they are certainly not in a position to tell you what to do w/ your phone, mouth, vocal chords etc. I would not hesitate to make an order while talking on the phone. I also do not believe that I would go to the end of the line even if asked. They may as well put up a sign that says “Please wait patiently and quietly to order or you will be sent to the back of the line.” People w/o phones can be just as annoying and distracting as people w/ them. It seems to me that whomever manages/runs the operation is a bit too uptight and is expressing a peeve in as public a forum as possible. I also have to say that after reading all the stories of the mavericks behind the counter among you posters who have your own way of dealing w/ phone talkers by being “equally rude” are in fact the rude ones. Your unprofessional manner should see that you stay behind such counters for the rest of your working days forever to be tormented by phone talkers. BTW, I am not a cell phone owner.

  246. Treefingers says:

    Um, well i think its a problem with people on their phones and not the phones themselves. I cant tell you how many times ive driven a car while talking on a cell phone and not almost gotten into an accident. I cant tell you how many time when im on the phone ordering food or some other service or good that it didnt take any longer cause i just interrupted the person i was talking to on the phone because the people im talking to are competent to realize im talking to someone else who is taking an order. So stop making generalizations and deal with each customer individually.

    Although i do see people whispering orders to their friends when they are on the phone, which is stupid…

  247. coren says:

    @ModernDemagogue: I get my sub for 5 bucks or less, and I don’t have to have an in with the dude at Subway to do it. I win again!

    @Ein2015: Didn’t say you weren’t watching them, but not everyone does. It’s more a matter of paying attention than anything. Plus some of those sauce bottles look pretty similar, I’ve seen the sub have to be remade cuz of a screwup there

  248. Ein2015 says:

    @coren: Well the competence of the person to make my sandwich isn’t the fault of a phone.

    When I worked, we were smart enough to make sure the bottles looked unique. :)

  249. Etoiles says:


    When I worked as a register monkey, I had more than one incident like this:

    Customer on cell: (walking up to my register) Cigarettes.
    Me: Which brand?
    Customer: (chattering away on cell phone, ignoring the hell out of me)
    Me: (waits patiently)
    Customer: What the hell is taking so long?!
    Me: Which. Brand. Of. Cigarettes. Do. You. Want.
    Customer: (on phone, ignoring me)
    Me: (rings up whichever brand is closest)
    Customer: That’s not what I wanted! You don’t listen! I want to see your manager!

    Of course, after the first six months I could legitimately tell them that I was the supervisor on duty, and throw them out. That was fun.

  250. golfinggiraffe says:

    @RayDelMundo: Hey! How else am I supposed to answer the phone while taking notes while standing without developing a crick in my neck or dropping the phone? The speakerphone sucks on my cell.

  251. coren says:

    @Ein2015: People talking on the phone who are distracted and say the wrong thing (two conversations at once can do that) or aren’t clear aren’t a reflection on the person serving them.

  252. Ein2015 says:

    @coren: You’re right there, but that goes into the “basic collateral losses” part of owning a business.

  253. BMRFILE says:

    This is a great idea. I wish they would ban cell phone use in ALL restaurants. There’s nothing more irritating than trying to enjoy your food while some schmuck’s phone going off, then worse, he picks up the phone and answers…Loudly, with food flying out of his mouth and all. If you’re going to take a call, go outside.

    And yes, I have stood behind one of those self-absorbing jerks yaking on the phone and taking their sweet time to order a sandwich. If you’re too busy to take a lunch break, bring lunch and stay in your cubicle.

  254. Ein2015 says:

    @BMRFILE: Perhaps you should dine at home? Most restaurants are FULL of people talking loudly with food flying from their mouths. Does it really matter if it’s because of a cell-phone or the party of people they’re with?

    And what does self-absorbing even mean?

  255. nsv says:

    I’m in the middle of a family medical crisis.

    If my choices are 1) listen to the Subway employee with one ear while listening to the report from the hospital with the other ear, or 2) skipping lunch and having low blood sugar on top of enormous stress and significant loss of sleep, I’m going to order lunch. Sorry. Not all calls are garbage calls.

    If I’m bullshitting with someone, of course, I get off the phone. But I can’t be the only person on the planet who can use a little judgment and self control.

  256. RobertW.TX says:

    In defense of Bluetooth addicts, like myself, I don’t think the simple act of talking on a headset is the problem. The problem is volume. People seam to have lost the concept of an indoor voice. In a busy store someone 4 feet away would have a hard time listening to one of my phone conversations.

    Of course since my average phone conversation is less than 3 minutes there would not be much to hear anyway. I don’t understand how people spend hours on the phone at a stretch.

  257. thelushie says:

    @nsv: And you have every right in the world to be on your phone. Hospital calls, kid calls, etc are exceptions to the rule. Just don’t get mad at me if I ask if there is anything else I can do for you in an attempt to make your visit to whatever business i work at a little less stressful.

    I don’t bend over for anyone and I expect good service (I have worked in customer service). But I also give them the respect that I expect. And, dare I say, that I sometimes enjoy having a little conversation with whomever is serving me.

    And whoever said that they are not human but representatives of their company. That is one of the saddest things I have ever read. I don’t think you are an asshole. Just someone with very little control over their own lives and then feel the need to take it out on others. Therapy maybe an option. It will empower you so that you don’t have to treat others like crap to make yourself feel better.

  258. nsv says:

    @doctor_cos: Um, what exactly is your icon?

    @thelushie: If I’m waiting for a sandwich, listening to my phone, and saying “Yes….. ok….. I understand…..” how are you or anyone else going to know if this is a hospital call or something else?

    So now I’m stressed from the lack of sleep, from the worry, from the bad news I’m getting over the phone, and I’ve got to wonder if I’m going to be sent to the back of the room like a bad little girl and be late returning to work because I finally–FINALLY–got the damn doctor on the phone? Or because my father is on the phone and actually crying? How is someone behind a Subway counter going to figure out that yes, I really need to eat, and yes, this really is an important phone call?

    I’m exhausted (no surprise there) and can’t think of a good way to handle this, but I’m thinking that treating all your customers like children who need to be punished is not the best possible solution.

  259. newfenoix says:

    Two of the rudest things that can be done in a drive thru is 1) Talking on your phone while at the speaker and 2) ordering a very large amount of food.

    I am from Arkansas and there are several little towns in the central part of the state that have signs that say “Please get off your cell phone in the order line or you will be asked to go around. City Ordinance.” I haven’t seen such signs here in the DFW area but I do know that you will be asked to get off your cell phone before ordering,

    When I was at store level management, I would not reprimand any employee for asking a customer to get off their phone while ordering. I don’t use this word much but talking on a cell phone while trying to order is just being an asshole. I don’t like Subway but I applaud that sign.

  260. newfenoix says:

    @bcsus83: It really is isn’t. Welcome to ____ may I take your order? Just a minute… Bring back bad memories?

  261. newfenoix says:

    @ModernDemagogue: If you were in one of my stores with that kind of attitude, you would be asked to leave.

  262. newfenoix says:

    @nsv: Unfortunately, most people can’t and that’s why we are going to start seeing more and more signs like this one

  263. nsv says:

    @newfenoix: Most people can’t use a little judgment and self control, so we need Subway to tell us to go to the back of the line?

    Why don’t we have a cop at the door of every bar at closing time, punishing the people who are too drunk to drive? Getting hit by a drunk driver would put a hell of a lot more hurt in your life than getting slowed down a bit by the jerk ahead of you in line at Subway.

  264. coren says:

    @Ein2015: And this Subway’s cutting down on them.

    @nsv: A bit of hyperbole there, eh?

    Subway is putting into a policy that they, as a private entity, have every right to do. I don’t see what the big deal is – most of us will never set foot in this subway anyway

  265. nsv says:

    @coren: A bit of extrapolation there. @newfenoix seems to think that this is necessary because people can’t use a little judgment and self control when ordering a sandwich. If we must police people who can’t seem to control themselves while conducting a simple transaction, wouldn’t it make sense to police the folks who have the potential to do serious harm?

  266. Ein2015 says:

    @coren: They have the right to do it, but I’m throwing out there the guarantee that they WILL lose business in the process. So it may cost more when it reduces losses by $10 a day but reduces profits by $30 a day. (Pulling numbers out of my rear for examples.)

    @newfenoix: I leave when asked. It’s just like freedom of speech, you have the right to talk, I have the right to respond. Businesses aren’t required to serve me just as I’m not required to eat there. It’s all about attempting the profit-maximizing balance… which I feel is NOT achieved by the sign.

  267. coren says:

    @nsv: I more meant putting cops in bars – big difference.

    @Ein2015: It seems to me that aside from recouping lost orders, they’ll also finish orders faster, be more efficient, complete more work, and perhaps need fewer employees, or at least need fewer staffed hours. Hell, I’d shop at a Subway like that, after being in a line behind that sort of shopper.

  268. BillsCat says:

    Whew, a lot of comments on this, and most in favor of the idea. Way to go. I’ve seen JERKS with the cellphones standing at the registers many times. And yes, anybody who’d stand there talking and barely paying attention with six people in line behind is truly a low-life piece of work. Believe it or not, we don’t care who you’re talking to or why; just get out of the way.

  269. Ein2015 says:

    @coren: From my experience working at a Subway, you won’t save much time nor money nor staffed hours nor employees.

    It’s the employees attitude towards customers (the good and the bad ones), how well they can make your sandwich, etc that really determine how good that Subway is.

  270. Anonymous says:

    Hahaha that is great. We have that at the DMV, but not local eateries here. Excellent – as a former server in a restaurant, there is nothing worse than a self absorbed rude customer who is too busy and important than to order their food because they’re talking on the phone.

    Then they get mad at YOU because you weren’t able to discern their order from their incessant babbling on about their important date last night, or latest business acquisition. And they blame YOU when they fail to order what they wanted, because they were distracted.

    Serves ’em right. If people had basic manners, they would know to get off the phone, before they get to the front of the line, and they wouldn’ t be offended by it.


  271. Kathy Bates says:

    thank you so much I worked at Subway as a manager for 2 years here in Canada, and if there was a lineup of people and someone was on their cell phone I simply went onto the next customer, a couple of customers put in a complaint about this until I explained to them “Hey you want us to give you our complete attention when we’re serving you, we expect the same treatment in return, you want your order right don’t you? then pay attention to what you’re saying to us so we get it right” Respect and Courtesy are a two way street.