Ringback Tone? Seriously?!

Dear unnamed crew member on the unnamed movie I’m working on,

Have you noticed that when you answer your cell phone, people are mysteriously rude to you? Even if it’s someone who’s having an otherwise pleasant day and has no reason to utterly despise you – have you noticed that they sort of hate you? Have you wondered why?

I know why.

It has nothing to do with your personality or your position on the crew. It has to do with your idiotic ringback tone.

(For those TAPA readers who didn’t own a cell phone during their teenage years and thus might not know what a ringback tone is, it’s a song or sound effect that plays on the caller’s end of a ringing phone call. So, if I called you, instead of ring, ring, ring, I have to listen to Destiny’s Child’s “Say My Name” or something equally inane.)

Please, please, please, please, please take that stupid song off your phone. Actually, the song isn’t stupid. I used to kind of like Destiny’s Child, but now you have ruined that song for me. Next time I hear it on the radio, I’m going to become overwhelmed with the feeling of waiting and the anxiety of a thousand phone calls. Why? Because of you.

Maybe I’m not getting through to you. Let me use a an analogy, SAT-style.

A Clockwork Orange : Beethoven’s 9th :: Real-Life : Your Stupid Ringback Tone


You're Killing Me, Larry

But seriously, your ringback tone is unprofessional. Important people work on this movie – Oscar winners, Hollywood big shots, and (as of Sunday) Emmy winners, too – and you come off like a thirteen-year-old Rebecca Black fan by forcing them to listen to music every time they call you.


If you’re on the job hunt and you have a ringback tone, pick up your cell phone and use it to punch yourself in the face. You might as well have Ryan Seacrest’s face tattooed on your breastbone, because any potential employer has already written you off as immature and unprofessional.

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3 Responses

  1. I’m working as a PA for the very first time next week! Very excited. I’ve been reading your blog to prepare myself and thank you very much for it! It’s not only highly informative, but very entertaining as well. BUT, I did want to share with you that I have a ringback tone (don’t hate me, I’m a music lover to say the least) and I got this callback with no experience on my resume! Granted, my ringback tone is The Shins… who could hate that?

  2. I have heard so many horrible ringback tones in a while, I was about to stop calling my own brother for a while. But instead of switching it of, you can try and turn it from something repelling into something useful. For example, beeing a freelancer, I have set my tone to a selfmade little introduction and a non-annoying decent music in the background, so that people who call my production company will get an impression of professionality, even while waiting for me to answer.
    But please, everybody: Spare the world the Lady Gaga ringback tones.

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