Friday, July 11, 2008

Headphones ≠ Rude

On the way home a fellow exited the bus and from the reaction of the woman standing in the aisle next to me, he bumped into her on his way out. She grumbled (for several minutes) to her friend about how the guy didn’t say “pardon” or even “dans le cul” and just because the guy was listening to a walkman doesn’t mean he should be rude. She went on griping about how people with a walkman, phone or stroller were in their own world. This lady was so into her tirade that she didn’t notice 1) I had on headphones and 2) I looked at her rather pointedly a couple of times during her diatribe.

To Ms Grumble, first of all I believe the man was listening to an mp3 player, not a walkman and second, there are some of us who still say pardon or excuse me even with headphones on. Maybe the guy was just a jerk, maybe he was mute or extremely shy. Politeness doesn’t automatically go out the window when the headphones go on, so don’t assume that he would have said anything had he not had on headphones. If I have to squeeze past you in the future, I’ll be sure say pardon. Although perhaps you’d prefer a polite “dans le cul”…

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