Monday, June 16, 2008

Peace For A Piece?

On the bus this morning, a man was talking on his mobile phone (as often happens). I didn’t pay any attention to him until another man began speaking to him in a rather aggressive manner. The two men continued their back and forth for a few minutes with phone-man asking what the other guy’s problem was. Argue-guy replied that phone-man should speak more quietly while using his mobile phone because everyone else could hear him. When he said this, my internal reaction was – “Huh? Are you kidding??! I didn’t hear the man on the phone (granted I was listening to music) but I certainly hear you yelling at him across the aisle. If you have a problem with his volume, shut-up and lead by example.”

A few stops later I noticed phone-man go up to argue-guy. This second exchange was much tamer than the first one. I don't know what the men were saying to each other, but it appeared that phone-man was offering a piece of candy. Perhaps his Parisian commute equivalent of a white flag?


Laume said...

When I was in Paris this spring I noticed how substantially quieter cell phone users spoke in public than Americans do here in the U.S. Women even sometimes cupped their hand over their mouth and and phone to reduce the sound. It seemed a thoughtful thing to do - talking quieter, that is, not the hand thing. But honestly, it doesn't really bother me unless someone is talking REALLY loud. I figure they have as much right to talk to someone on the phone as they do to talk to another person and I don't need to listen, or hey, listen if it amuses me. Hubby, on the other hand, is driven nuts by people using cell phones in person regardless of the decibel level. I've never been able to figure out the big deal - although perhaps I'm biased as I'm hard of hearing at certain tones and so I have to have my cell ring up annoying loud. I try to answer it really quickly in public. Y'know what really bugs me in public though? People who use flash cameras where it will flash in MY eyes. I'm really sensitive to flashing lights. GRRR. And there was this one guy on the Paris metro who was scrunched up face to face with me while munching on a drippy, smelly Burger King burger. THAT was rude. Other people were looking at me with sympathy though, while wrinkling their nose, the whole car smelled fried.

Misplaced said...

There is a "phone voice" that I find very annoying. It's a little louder than regular talking. On the metro is the worst- people, mostly parisians, seem to yell to be heard over the train. I don't think there is a solution to the problem but it bugs me.

Phone conversations in bookstores drive me crazy!!!

People that have loud conversations while sitting on the public toilets are the best (usually in airports)- I always flush the toilet next to theirs.

A Seattleite in Paris said...

Laume - eeeww, fast food in the metro is always bad. The smell permeates the whole car.

Misplaced - too funny! I like the flushing retaliation.

Anonymous said...

People talking on phone's doesn't bother me at all except if they have an annoying ring tone, especially when it's a ringtone recorded from a hardcore techno song or hip hop. So annoying. My younger sister had the worst one of all something like "what's up bitch" followed by techno music. Awful!

People are very sensitive to people talking in public here. Once in a movie two people were yelled at for speaking (the movie hadn't started yet!).