Sunday, July 16, 2006

cel phones, ring tones and other indicators of bad manners.

Two days ago I added this line to all of my presentations at the park:
"Good morning ladies and gentlemen. My name is Mannie Gentile and it is my great priviledge to be a ranger here at Antietam National Battlefield and my great pleasure to spend the next 30 minutes with you explaining the battle. Now is the time to disable your cel phones."

I decided to make this plea last week after one visitor had his cel phone ring TWICE during my presentation. Holey Moley! The wide variety of ringtones available these days means that a ranger's presentation my be interupted by the Mexican hat dance, The Saints Go Marching In, or Bohemian Rhapsody...yikes!

99% of all park visitors are the greatest people on the planet. That other 1 % are what keep it weirdly interesting, and provide the rangers with their funniest behind-closed-doors conversations (and those bull-pen conversations are absolutely hilarious!).

Don't let this happen to you...disable that cel phone please.

I'll see you out there on the trail...stay hydrated.

Your ranger,



Anonymous said...

I'm a ranger at Boston NHP and encounter the same problems. I give tours on a Fletcher-class destroyer. (Yay tin cans) At the begining of my tour I ask people to silence their cell phones and warn them that they will lose the signal below deck anyway. This may not be true with all cell phones but it usually prompts them to silence the phone anyway. For the few who feel that my request doesn't apply to them and receive a call during the tour, I stop the tour and let everyone listen in on their call.

Mannie Gentile said...

Ranger Dan,

How nice to hear from you.

Send me your email address.

It was my great pleasure to visit the Cassin Young about 12 years ago on a very brief visit to Boston. Here are the addresses of parts one and two of a movie that I have posted on YouTube regarding destroyers:

"Don't Give Up the Ship" with Mannie Gentile (Part Two) 09:36

Don't Give Up the Ship with Mannie Gentile (part one) 09:12

I hope that you enjoy them.

I related your cel phone anecdote to my wife this evening and her response was "Cool! serves those jerks right!"

That pretty much sums it up.

Cel phones are a real topic of conversation for all of the rangers here at Antietam. I kind of led the way in simply asking visitors to disable them before I go into my talks. So far they've been cheerfully cooperative...but there's always that 1 %...

How long have you been a ranger? Are you a seasonal (like me) or a status ranger? Any advice for a guy who'd like to get a full-time job?

Very best wishes to you for a happy new year and a successful career with the NPS.

(ranger) Mannie Gentile