Monday, August 17, 2015

Stage whispers

The other day on a tram a woman was talking rather loudly on her phone. She cancelled the social event that both she and her mother were part of because her mother has gallstones and the loud talker was also absolutely snowed under at the moment.

How interesting, not.

When she said to the person at the other end of the line, I am on tram, someone piped up and quite loudly said, we all are. Some smirks on faces appeared as I gazed around but the woman did not hear the remark as she was so engrossed in her conversation.

When travelling on the motor coach during our Canadian holiday I overhead from behind someone saying something about Australia and Europe, which I did not really hear, and he concluded by saying, 'but I am not really comparing the two places'.

I whispered to R, 'Except you just did'. But apparently my whisper was not quite as quiet as I thought and as R later told me, he heard you you know, and he said back 'well, I just thought it was interesting'. This I did not hear either, probably then full of self pleasure at my wit.

I really did not mean for him to hear what I said and later I really regretted that for some reason he did hear me. I can do bitchy queen with the best of them, but I don't like to hurt or embarrass people.

I learnt some good lessons when I was much younger. While people may joke about their own weight, race and whatever, it does not give you a right to do so and if you do over an extended period, it can be quite hurtful.

16 comments:

  1. I am an avid eavesdropper (is there such a word?) but try not to comment. I am always fascinated by the very personal details people are prepared to share in public while they are on the phone. Mobile phones certainly blur the line between public and private don't they?

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    1. EC, they do indeed. It is surprising what people say on phones in public.

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  2. I try very hard not to listen, concentrate on my book instead, but conversations seem to have got louder than in the past. Probably because everyone is on their phones so often. In the past, when mobiles were new, people answered more quietly so as not to disturb those around them.

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    1. River, that is when it is so hard to concentrate on reading, when someone is talking on a phone. I can't do it. No one in Japan would dare talk on a phone in public like people do here, in fact in most Asian countries.

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    2. Could that be because they have had respect for others instilled into them as a major part of their upbringing? Though I do notice on my trains that anyone on the phone will talk loudly, irrespective of their (visual) origin and usually, and infuriatingly, in their own gobbledeygook language.

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  3. I've overheard a lot of things but there is only one thing I will never forget. We were in a supermarket, one aisle over from the soft drinks, comparing two items deciding which one to buy..

    From the soft drink aisle, we heard.. "No Mummy, please, not the mineral water, Mummy!"

    I'm sure the child just wanted Coke or Lemonade or something instead of the very boring mineral water, but it sounded to us like some kind of terrible torture was happening with the mineral water. :)

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  4. Welcome back Snoskred. I can well imagine that. To a child, mineral water instead of lemonade is probably akin to torture.

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  5. Probably the worst phone conversation I was 'privy' to was a young man going on and on about various STD's he'd picked up.
    Is it bad that, at one point, I really wanted to ask him if he was bragging or complaining? Of course I didn't, even I am not (quite) that brazen.

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    1. You should have 'pretended' to phone someone on your mobile and talk loudly about crabs.

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  6. I can't abide public loud mobile calls such as you describe. Fortunately I find that British reserve tends to dictate that such calls are relatively rare here. Long distance Virgin trains have quiet carriages and people generally move to the space between carriages should they receive a call. I'm not very good at whispering and have been admonished by C more than once for mis judging the level of sonething I thought that I was saying softly. Subtlety it seems is an art form I have yet to master.

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  7. Andrew, I hate talking on the bus or train. It is not good behaviour. And now in public transport in some public transport talking on mobile phone is forbidden

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  8. Can't help but hear others conversations at times in public. Some people are extremely rude and will say anything. I hate it when I'm forced to listen to conservations.

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  9. I wouldn't dream of having a loud personal call on the train, quelle horreur, and don't appreciate hearing anyone else's, unless it's full of juicy details... only kidding :)

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  10. I don't have a lot going on in my life sometimes, so eavesdropping on neighbors is interesting, at the least, until I hear mention of me in their comments, then I freak out and get all bothered and run inside. But there are some people on another street, behind a neighbors house who talk so loudly there is no not hearing them. I call them the loud talkers and perhaps they are losing hearing to talk so loud.

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  11. Over here most people are very good about texting and I seldom here anyone on the streetcar talking on their phones. Usually it is an older or homeless person. I guess the homeless people don't have a text feature and the elderly don't know how to text, but then I'm being a snot.

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  12. This could be a real can of worms. I carry a mobile simply to keep in touch should an emergency arise and if I receive a call while on a tram or train I cut the conversation asap, emergency or not - all I need in the first instance is basic information, in the second instance it's a case of 'shut up, go away, I'll call you when it won't disturb other people'.. Regrettably, some people, leaving their surgeons, lawyers or doctors seem to be compulsed to 'call a friend' and, sorry to be crude, spill their guts to the delectation of everyone else on the tram or in the train carriage. I understand you can get devices that will block signals and therefore give respite to the rest of us in the vehicle but, well, unfortunately, these seem to be illegal. So us innocents will continue to suffer. Politeness - 0, selfishness - 1

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