Another book excerpt to improve your hipness quotient…
Coolness Tip #37: Fellas, never wear a cell phone clipped to your belt or waist…that’s what pockets are for!
Ok, I’ve done quite a bit of informal research on this particular nugget, so it’s near and dear to my heart. One of the advantages of working at a university is you have copious opportunities to observe people in their natural habitats without them noticing. Before I moved back on campus for work, I ate lunch at the local off-campus establishments pretty much every day. This was the perfect set up. Because I pretty much dressed like a college student, I could observe the local business people and they were none the wiser.
Through the course of my research in this environment and elsewhere I developed an elegant theory. Simply stated…toolish behavior positively correlates with the totally uncool wearing of cell phones on the belt. The method I used to develop this theory was as follows. I would observe (and eavesdrop on) people in line at restaurants or eating with their lunch companions. Any time I overheard what I considered to be toolish behavior…I would check for the presence of a clip-on cell phone. More often than not…guys exhibiting toolish behavior did in fact sport the clip-on phone. Just like that…a theory was born.
Now, you’re probably wondering…what do you define as toolish behavior? That’s a good question and one I’m afraid I don’t have a good answer for. The best I can do is say that you’ll probably know it when you see it. The “lactose intolerant” comment from the Qdoba customer is good example. In addition, the most common ones I notice are guys that make boastful-sounding comments about all their work clients, how much responsibility they have at work, or use business jargon in regular conversation. A quick tip to anyone that might fall into this category…don’t talk about your work. Nobody really cares. Even if someone asks…they probably still don’t really care.
Anyway, I must caution that due to my research method…at this point my theory only works in one direction. That is…the presence of a clip-on cell phone doesn’t necessarily equal a tool, but toolish behavior strongly suggests that the person will be wearing a clip-on cell phone. However, to avoid any potential misdiagnosis (and to instantly increase your coolness) I strongly advise all guys to give the clip-ons a break.