Most people would acknowledge that it is a decidedly bad idea to text while operating a motor vehicle. Using a cell phone in a social setting, however, is a much more thorny issue. When is such use so inappropriate that it should be subject to a ban?
Yoga instructor Alice Van Ness believed she had at least a partial answer. She had requested that members of her beginning yoga class put away their cell phones during instructional sessions. In part, this is simple courtesy toward an instructor, but it also relates to the nature of yoga in particular. Class participants are supposed to find ways to disconnect mentally from the outside world in order to seek an inner peace. It would seem logical to suppose that texting or accessing the internet on a cell phone would be counterproductive to that goal.
Those who had hired Van Ness appear to disagree, however. Two weeks after she gave a texting student a critical look, she was fired by her employer, which had apparently previously told her that a cell phone ban could not be enforced on the premises. According to Van Ness, there was no altercation or open conflict, merely a chastising glance.
That was enough for her employer, however, who wrote: “We are in the business of providing great customer service. Unless a client requires us to specifically say ‘no’ to something, we prefer to say ‘yes’ whenever possible.”