Thursday, March 13, 2008

commute conversations

During the commute home, a woman of a certain age spent the entire bus ride on her mobile phone. I didn’t think anything of it until another passenger asked phone-woman if she was going to continue to annoy us by talking on the phone. Then she said something about the lack of “politesse”. Phone-woman didn’t respond, she either didn’t hear the comments or chose to ignore them and continue with her conversation. A minute after the comment-woman made her feelings known, another passenger’s mobile rang and she started a phone conversation which I thought probably annoyed comment-woman even more (I thought it was amusing). The first phone-women didn’t bother me since they kept their voices to a reasonable volume. Would comment-woman have been disturbed if phone-woman had a conversation with another passenger? What irritates me much more than a discreet phone conversation is someone speaking loudly or being able to hear the music someone is listening to on an mp3 player. Are our different reactions due to cultural difference? Generational? Personality? I don’t know, but I hope I don’t get a call while on the bus with comment-woman…

3 comments:

Le Tigre said...

I don't have a problem at all with someone on a phone if they are talking quietly and don't have one of those irritating phone rings which is going off every second. I have a huge problem with people's mp3 players being played to other people or so loud that you can hear it. That annoys me no end, especially as it is usually bad hip hop, techno or heavy metal.

lady jicky said...

I do not mind someone talking on the mobile either but - why do they need to shout? As for the Ipod lot with their music - all I can say is either marry a hearing specialist or better still become one! this is where the money is going to be made in the future!
Huh, what did you say???? LOL

Dan said...

Someone recently did a study in which the reactions of people were assessed under two conditions: one group was subjected to a person speaking audibly on a cell phone and the other group was caused to over hear the exact same conversation, but between two people who were sitting next to each other. The first group was annoyed and the second was not. I'm sure I would have reacted the same way, but I can't figure out why. Strange, isn't it, that the absence of one conversation partner can create an unpleasant event. For many people, anyway.