… or “Don’t People Realize We Can Hear Every Word from Across the Store?“
By Jeff Salter
Other than some sort of horrendous emergency, I cannot imagine carrying-on one of my private phone conversations… loudly, in public, so that people can hear my every syllable some 100 feet away. It’s not that I’m especially “private” in what type of conversation I’m having. My reasons are twofold: (A) my conversation is nobody else’s business, and (B) it would be incredibly RUDE of me to inflict my loud conversation on innocent bystanders.
Not so, apparently, with MANY people I encounter. Witness this telephonic fracas from November 2017:
Zipped into IGA on my way home from exercise.
While I was selecting bananas, I heard (and immediately saw) a man at the soup area, yelling.
The way he was yelling, I assumed his mate was at the other end of that same aisle. Or… perhaps on the far side of the store. I could hear him clearly from at least 50 feet away… and I’m guessing they could hear him way over at the deli.
Anyway he was going on and on about the soup selections… apparently unsure which one to get. I didn’t catch all of his conversation, which seemed pretty one-sided. [I never did hear his partner speak, wherever she was.]
The one bit I did grasp went about like this:
“I AM looking at the soup section.”
“It’s not here.”
“I’m LOOKING at the top shelf.”
“Oh… you mean CREAM of chicken?”
There was more to the exchange, but I had to focus on the bananas.
As this odd, loud, one-sided conversation went on, I kept wondering why he couldn’t just wait until his mate caught up with him on the soup aisle. I mean, why subject the rest of Somerset to your inability to locate cream of chicken soup?
Then I finally realized (as I got closer) — he was on his cell phone… and he had it on SPEAKER.
Now, folks, tell me: why would you conduct this interaction on SPEAKER?
Do YOU conduct private phone conversations loudly and in public? Does it feel like an aural assault when somebody else (nearby) is doing so?
[JLS # 596]