Author Topic: I Should've Kept Quiet Right?  (Read 1831 times)

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NyaChan

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I Should've Kept Quiet Right?
« on: March 12, 2012, 03:06:34 PM »
I was at a coffee shop studying working with a friend on some school work this morning.  The general noise level of the cafe was quiet except for the cashier taking the occasional order as the people sitting inside were all students working or reading and no one just chatting.  My friend's phone rang and she answered and began a 15 minute conversation.  She was really loud and when I found myself unable to work because of the noise and then looked up to find multiple people giving our table a dirty look, I mouthed "Too loud" to friend with a gesture to indicate she should tone it down a bit.  Friend made an "oops" face and kept it down for about 1 minute before speaking normally again.  I wonder now if it would have been okay for me to ask her to take it outside, but at the time, I kept thinking she would hang up or wondering if it would be out of line for me to say more.

At this point in the conversation, she began talking about her internship.  She was loudly discussing the negative traits of the full time workers - her supervisors in effect - with the use of names so no question who she was talking about, the positive traits of one of the supervisors in comparison, and then about her likely prospects for a full time job working with that supervisor.  As she started on this topic, I started to think to myself that this was not a good thing to be speaking about in public - everyone knows everyone in this city and there is no telling who will overhear. 

I bit my tongue though because I figured, it isn't my place to tell an adult what they shouldn't do (and really shouldn't she know already?) and aside from the fact that I'm embarrassed that a whole coffee shop's worth of people are giving us dirty looks, it doesn't affect me.  But then I look up and lo and behold, up comes an older gentleman - who works in her office.  Friend hangs up as she sees him coming and greets him without reserve and chats.  Once he walks away to get his drink, up comes yet another person from her office who was still in line at first and they have a general conversation as well.  After they both left, my friend made a comment that wow that would have been embarrassing if they overheard that conversation.  I just did a small smile and kept working.  What I was thinking was that it was a small coffee shop set up and her voice travels - I don't doubt they heard some of what she was saying, but hopefully not the really bad stuff.

I felt a little bad though, because I sometimes become unaware of my surroundings and have in the past appreciated a friend saying, "hey watch out, so and so with a big opinion about this is coming up behind you" so that I don't inadvertently stick my foot in it.  In this case though, where she wasn't talking to me directly and I didn't see the people from her work before they came up to us, should I have warned her about being indiscreet in public about work?

Mikayla

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Re: I Should've Kept Quiet Right?
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2012, 04:31:59 PM »
I don't think silence is ever wrong, but in this case, I know I would have said something, just from past experience.  But I didn't tell the person to tone it down.  I told her to take it outside.

The worst was my own sister at a vet's office!  I was horrified.  There were a couple people in there who clearly had serious problems with their pets, and she got a call that her sale of a home had gone through.  She was overly excited, overly loud, I gave her "that look" and discreetly pointed to the door. 

Lynn2000

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Re: I Should've Kept Quiet Right?
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2012, 04:32:41 PM »
You did indicate to her that she was being too loud at one point, so I think you tried to help. I feel like this is one of those situations where there's a range of acceptable behaviors--at one extreme, you could have completely ignored her, trusting that she would monitor her own volume; all the way through indicating a couple of times that she was too loud, pointing out the interested parties who might hear her, and suggesting she go outside. I don't think any of those things would be inherently rude; nor would doing nothing--as you said, she's an adult, not your responsibility, and presumably knows how small the community is just as well as you do.

If it becomes a pattern with her I would definitely mention it at some point, if only because I would be embarrassed to have everyone else glaring in my general direction.

Personally, I think I would definitely warn a friend if an interested party were coming up behind her, completely out of her view; but I didn't get that picture from your description.
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Fleur-de-Lis

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Re: I Should've Kept Quiet Right?
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2012, 04:34:53 PM »
Since the fact of having the extended conversation was *rude*, quite apart from the lack of discretion about the content, I, personally, would minimize my social contact with this person.

I don't care to be in the company of people who choose to be thoughtless as to the rest of the world.

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wolfie

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Re: I Should've Kept Quiet Right?
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2012, 04:36:19 PM »
I wouldn't have said much about the volume of the phone call - it's a coffee shop, not a library so silence is not necessary. I might have indicated she should quiet down a bit if she was bothering me but that's it. I wouldn't have said anything about what she was saying - she is a grown woman and figure out for herself that Female Dog in public is a risky thing.

NyaChan

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Re: I Should've Kept Quiet Right?
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2012, 08:18:43 PM »

Personally, I think I would definitely warn a friend if an interested party were coming up behind her, completely out of her view; but I didn't get that picture from your description.

Yeah, I didn't know that the first man who walked up to us worked at her office until he started talking and he indicated the other person from the office while they chatted.  I also had my back to the rest of the coffee shop so I couldn't really see the people ordering drinks.  I guess it was just one of those sinking feelings you get when your gut tells you that something isn't a good idea, and my first instinct was to say something to her.  To be honest, this friend does tend to have difficulty with oversharing or with not recognizing who her audience is so part of me realized that saying something wasn't going to do much good in the long run unless she had a serious lightbulb moment.  I think a lot of it stems from her   

Since the fact of having the extended conversation was *rude*, quite apart from the lack of discretion about the content, I, personally, would minimize my social contact with this person.

I don't care to be in the company of people who choose to be thoughtless as to the rest of the world.



To be honest Fleur-de-Lis, while of course everyone gets to pick their own boundaries and criteria for socializing, I find this to be a very very high standard.  I know everyone has flaws, everyone messes up from time to time, but that doesn't mean they don't also have many amazing qualities.  I can't imagine what people would say if they asked me why I wasn't hanging out with a friend I normally see every day and have been friends with for almost two years and I replied that "Oh I couldn't be friends with her anymore.  She talks too loudly on her cellphone in public places."  I probably would enjoy the looks on their faces though... Still, I suppose bad cell phone etiquette might just be the deal breaker for some people in the way weight jokes are for me. 

DottyG

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Re: I Should've Kept Quiet Right?
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2012, 10:33:06 PM »
I agree. Major overreaction to drop her as a friend, in my opinion.


Ninaxo

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Re: I Should've Kept Quiet Right?
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2012, 11:02:08 PM »
I probably wouldn't even have told her to keep it down, it was a coffee shop after all, not a campus library. People can eyeball you over every little thing, and often times they're not even justified in doing so. Whether or not they felt they had a right to peace and quiet at that specific time, it's not your job to tell your friend to keep it down, it's her's to take a look around and not be so oblivious to her own surroundings.

As for her talking out loud about her supervisors and NAMING them, that is downright outrageous. Again, no point in you saying anything -- she was aware of what she did, she even pointed it out herself when she saw her coworkers there.

kareng57

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Re: I Should've Kept Quiet Right?
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2012, 11:22:42 PM »
I agree. Major overreaction to drop her as a friend, in my opinion.


I agree too.  Even longtime close friends often have habits that annoy each other.

If this person constantly has long, loud cell-phone conversations where she ignores OP completely - yes, that can inspire an "is this friendship worth it"  dilemma.  But otherwise, we've seen no other indications where Friend is thoughtless to OP.