What I had for lunch today.

I am having lunch in an eatery, a cafeteria sort of place, where you get your food, pay at the cash register, and sit down somewhere. At one table is a woman reading. At another table there is a young man eating a muffin. At another table is a pair of women having a quiet conversation. At another table is a man looking over some papers. I’m off to the side with my laptop out writing this.

And in the middle table is a woman with a fairly large voice standing at her table making a series of phone calls. She is discussing personnel related issues and contract related issues connected to something involving photo shoots. Certain people (who are named) are hard to get a hold of. Others make her laugh out loud. The words “Let me tell you this confidentially…” followed by some confidential stuff wafted from her general direction a few moments ago (inspiring me to write this post).

Of all of the instances of this sort of flagrant violation of privacy and imposition of one’s own existence on surrounding innocents, this is the most egregious I’ve seen save one, and that was in an airport waiting area.

When you are speaking on the phone to someone, do you ever wonder if it is just the two of you engaged in the conversation?

Comments

  1. #1 Stephanie Z
    June 2, 2009

    There are reasons I don’t discuss my work, even generally, in public. Too easy to pass on something that’s incidental but gives too much information about something confidential.

  2. #2 oldcola
    June 2, 2009

    Let me tell you this confidentially Greg, and this is not something to repeat outside this blog, not even to your sciblings, one could make a living out of diffusing confidential info heard accidently.
    Do you have the video of the lady?

  3. #3 Virgil Samms
    June 2, 2009

    When I am in a public place and someone’s phone rings and they’re about to answer it, I say to them, “if it’s for me, take a message.”

  4. #4 Jason
    June 2, 2009

    I am sitting in a coffee shop right now, I have headphones on, and I can still hear the woman next to me talking very loudly on her phone.

  5. #5 Alex
    June 2, 2009

    Some of my friends have a method very similar to Virgil Samms’s (at no. 3) approach, though ruder. Whenever anyone starts taking on the phone without excusing themselves from the group they just join in the conversation; asking the person on the phone questions and loudly diverting the topic down tangents. This quickly trains people to bugger off when they get a phone call.

  6. #6 mark
    June 3, 2009

    I like those things people stick in their ears for hands-free phone use. On the sidewalks of the neighborhood where I work, you can’t tell the telephoners from the demented people arguing with the voices in their heads.

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