No matter where you work, there’s always at least one person who has a ringtone set on their cell phone that drives you absolutely bonkers. Well, I have some bad news for those of you who have little patience for stupid and/or annoying ringtones. Check out this news story: “Toons to make wisecrack ringtones.”

According to the article, “Time Warner’s Cartoon Network is planning to use the voices and personalities of its cartoon characters to alert mobile phone users to incoming calls. One choice for adults could be the cynical next-door neighbor Carl from Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Carl first growls ‘Hey,’ but if the call is not answered, he gets more irate and ends with ‘Pick up your friggin’ phone.’ If the same ignored caller phones again, Carl eventually yells, ‘You’re lazy. That’s nice. That’s fine. Like you get paid by the government or something?'”

Can you imagine sitting in cube hell while your co-worker (who must have gotten trapped in a four-hour meeting) receives about 10 phone calls from his or her mother because the family cat, Fluffy, is 23 years old with a terrible case of irritable bowel syndrome and has to be put down. Of course, your co-worker didn’t take his or her cell phone into the mega-meeting, so you’re stuck listening to Carl over, and over, and over….

Cell phones are all the rage right now, and so it makes perfect sense that ringtones are a booming business. “Almost 40 million U.S. consumers spent $870 million on ringtones in 2006, according to Jupiter Research analyst David Card, who believes new variations could help maintain growth.”

While I understand this fact, it’s hard to stay rational when you hear a certain ringtone and want to crawl out of your skin. Pop songs that sound like elevator music – ACK!!!! Heck, even “true” ringtones get old after a while. When a song has lived its life (when it’s off the top 40, or the radio has successfully over-played it), it should be mandatory to remove it from your phone. Don’t make the people around you suffer. Instead, turn the volume down, switch the ringtone often, and try putting it on vibrate if you leave it at your desk when you’re away.