11.4.05

Just say NO

I read this post on Language Log with interest. Yesterday, during a 6 hour train ride from Utica to New York City, I was "treated" to the conversations of a young Hispanic lady seated three rows behind me (I mention her ethnicity because a few of her conversations were in Spanish).

By the end of the ride, I could repeat the stories she told, including:
  • her recent college visit
  • she doesn't like the cafeteria not allowing her to eat what she wanted when she wanted
  • her friend Dave
  • her conversation with a girl that thought there was far more going on between Dave and her (this other girl) than there apparently is
  • that "old school" hip hop from "back in the day" is undanceable and should be banned
  • a dance floor in a bar that is the size of her living room is reason enough not to go to this college

    Each conversation ended with "I'll call you right back", but I don't think she did given the repitition of the stories. Every other sentence started with "Yo" (I'm assuming she wasn't using it as the Spanish first person singular pronoun).

    Why do I mention this? Because I was a trapped, unhappy audience. It wasn't the single-sided nature of the conversation I minded, it was the conversation. Period. People on cell phones do not use their "inside" voices, they raise their voice so that everyone can hear. I resent this intrusion into my private space. If airlines go the way of busses, trains, streets, classrooms, hallways, elevators, etc., we'll not have anywhere available to get away from these unwanted, annoying disruptions.

    If you're ever asked, just say NO. Then use these cards to spread the quiet.
  • 3 comments:

    Aravis said...

    I've heard a lot of other people mention their irritation with people talking too loudly on cell phones. You're certainly not alone.

    Personally, I kind of like when something like this happens to me, as long as the person isn't saying something that I find offensive, of course. But if they're just blathering along, I am often amused by these glimpses into the way other people live and think. Psychology is endlessly fascinating to me.

    But I can definitely understand where you're coming from. Especially if you just want some peace and quiet!

    chorus girl said...

    Gotta disagree here-- but then, I'm good at that! :-) It's not that I enjoy listening to other people's conversations, although I don't especially mind it, either. It's just that none of the places you named (buses, streets, hallways, etc.) seem to me to qualify as "private space."

    Anonymous said...

    have to say that being in an enclosed enviroment ie bus, train people should realize that they're being annoying by using their phones and being loud. i for one don't want to know anything about anyone unless i'm personally talking to them. maybe it's the private part of me. i know too many people who use the long island railroad and state that one day there will be more than just words being used on these phoners who have no brains or manners.
    i have no problem with jammers being used to block phones so if you wish to make a call you have to move to a phone car.
    in polls taken by airlines 70% of people say they want a phone free ride.