I frequent a local, small restaurant and have for over 20 years. Prices are reasonable, food is very good, and service has always been solid.
The last time I went, the server was walking by the table talking on a cell phone. He said, "Hold a sec," and asked if we were ready to order. OK. We gave him the orders. Before he even took a step from the table, he told his cell phone buddy, "OK. Back . . ."
We didn't get drink refills with spicy food, because our server and a couple of others were sitting at the bar area chatting on cell phones.
I briefly considered mentioning it to the manager, but he, too, was on his cell phone when we went to the register to pay. He told his friend to wait a minute and then rang us up and said he hoped we enjoyed the meal.
Perhaps I am getting old, but, as a patron in any restaurant, I turn off my cell phone and check messages later. I give my friends, guests, and servers my full attention. After all, it's only an hour out of the day. Calls really can wait (although I know there would be a few exceptions - but not many).
This is the only time I've had this experience in any restaurant, so I was wondering if I just hit the odd one where it apparently is fine to chat on the cell phone while interacting with diners.