I don’t like loud talkers. I’m not talking about preachers, teachers, motivational speakers, etc. Of course, I like them to speak loud enough to be heard by an attentive audience. I’m talking about the ever-increasing number of people that think their private conversations are of any interest to the rest of the universe –we used to call them blowhards.
Loud talkers used to be the exception rather than the rule. Occaisonally, you’d hear some guy at a nearby table in a restaurant talking loud enough for everyone to hear, or on a bus or in the movie. But, it wasn’t a regular occurrence. Now, you hear them everywhere: planes, restaurants, libraries, snack bars, taverns, on the street, waiting rooms and elevators. You can’t escape hearing people blabber on their cell phones. (Geez, buddy, do I really need to hear you trying to get an emergency refill of your Viagra from the airport pharmacy?)
I believe the telecommunication industry is the cause of this rapid decline in manners and common courtesy. What people consider generally-accepted telephone manners have always been stretching the envelope of proper etiquette. For example, how many times has your in-person conversation been interrupted by the telephone? (Hey! You’re talking to ME, let it ring … what am I, chopped liver!?) Public telephones were originally put in booths, almost sound proof, where you could shut the door and have a private conversation without disturbing anyone else. Eventually, wall phones with small partitions on each side replaced the booths, where you pretended to have a private conversation and bystanders pretended they couldn’t hear you. And so, the invasion of your personal space began.
Then the cell phone comes along, and the floodgates of inconsideration were opened. At first, when people got a call on their cell phone, they excused themselves and went outside or to another room. But that courtesy quickly fell by the wayside. Now, everybody with a cell phone acts like they can’t live 5 minutes without having their cell phone stuck in their ear, like it’s a life support system, and don’t even think about taking their call quietly, let alone in another room. (Yeah, sure, I should be more courteous and polite to my fellow man, but I’m so darned important, I must take this call.)
Why do people with cell phones think they have to talk above the crowd? Why do they think they’re not disturbing anyone? People in movies are now actually answering their phones and talking during the movie. (Geez, are you kidding me? Seriously!?) It’s not enough that the bloody thing actually rang in the movie, NO they have to answer it too.
No, I don’t like loud talkers, and this sign painted on the stairs of a quaint little eatery in Cape Cod rather annoyed me. It’s not like you have to encourage anyone to “Talk Loud” in this day and age. Oh well, I like the rest of the message on the stairs — I guess two out of three isn’t bad. Besides, when my hearing starts to fail I’ll probably wear a sign around my neck that says, “Talk Loud”.
Thought for the Day: It is far more impressive when others discover your good qualities without your help. Judith Martin (Miss Manners)