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?