Author Topic: Conversations in public places  (Read 2842 times)

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mmswm

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Conversations in public places
« on: October 18, 2012, 12:05:24 AM »
I overheard a situation a couple of weeks ago while I was sitting in a McDonald's.  I've heard of similar incidents, and I have no idea what the right way to handle the situation would be if it happened to me.  So, here's what happened.

Two women were eating their lunch, having a conversation at a reasonable volume.  They were in the booth right behind me and while I could hear that they were talking, they weren't so loud that their conversation kept me from concentrating on what I was doing (working on my laptop).  There were two other women in the booth on the other side of the first pair of women.  They were doing something with one of the women's laptops.  The second pair of women turned to the first pair of women and told them that one of the women in the second pair had a hearing issue and could the first pair of women stop their conversation so that the other of the second pair could continue teaching the first woman something on the computer.

Now, my general opinion is that this was a public place.  The first pair of women weren't being particularly loud and they have as much right to enjoy their lunch in a public place as anybody else.  I think it was rude of the second pair of women to expect that the people in  a public place such as McDonald's should stop talking to suit their needs.  They had many other options including their homes and the public library.

So, I have two questions.  Am I off base in my thinking, and, if this sort of thing were to happen to me, what would be an appropriate response?
Some people lift weights.  I lift measures.  It's a far more esoteric workout. - (Quoted from a personal friend)

MariaE

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Re: Conversations in public places
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2012, 12:42:47 AM »
I think this is a perfect case for "I'm sorry, that won't be possible."

If you were at a library they might have a point, but McD? No.
 
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sourwolf

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Re: Conversations in public places
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2012, 01:29:24 AM »
This could have gone in the absurd requests thread because it was really an absurd request! I can't think of a time when I was in a McDonalds when it wasn't noisy! I can't imagine asking someone to stop talking in their normal "indoor" voice!

snowdragon

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Re: Conversations in public places
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2012, 03:15:46 AM »
I agree, that "That won't be possible" would be my reply.

   I can not imagine what kind of gall these two have to expect that other people need to be silent for other people's convenience. Even in a Library total silense would be unwarranted.  The only place they can be guaranteed silence is in their own homes.

bloo

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Re: Conversations in public places
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2012, 07:15:37 AM »
I think this is a perfect case for "I'm sorry, that won't be possible."

If you were at a library they might have a point, but McD? No.

Yeah I agree with this. Also 'the library is located at...' if you want to be helpful while asserting your rights. I'm stunned but shouldn't be. ???

Margo

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Re: Conversations in public places
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2012, 07:44:20 AM »
I think this is a perfect case for "I'm sorry, that won't be possible."

If you were at a library they might have a point, but McD? No.

I agree. it would be different if the women were being very loud, in which case I don't think that a polite request to be a little quieter would be out of order

alice

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Re: Conversations in public places
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2012, 09:50:36 AM »
So what did the two women tell the lap top women?

Auntie Mame

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Re: Conversations in public places
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2012, 11:54:27 AM »
Wow, seriously?  I am firmly planted in the "I'm afraid that won't be possible" camp.  Want peace and quiet? Stay home.

I wonder if they go to to vegetarian restaurants and demand a steak.  Or go to a park and complain it's full of children.
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Bijou

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Re: Conversations in public places
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2012, 02:17:44 PM »
I overheard a situation a couple of weeks ago while I was sitting in a McDonald's.  I've heard of similar incidents, and I have no idea what the right way to handle the situation would be if it happened to me.  So, here's what happened.

Two women were eating their lunch, having a conversation at a reasonable volume.  They were in the booth right behind me and while I could hear that they were talking, they weren't so loud that their conversation kept me from concentrating on what I was doing (working on my laptop).  There were two other women in the booth on the other side of the first pair of women.  They were doing something with one of the women's laptops.  The second pair of women turned to the first pair of women and told them that one of the women in the second pair had a hearing issue and could the first pair of women stop their conversation so that the other of the second pair could continue teaching the first woman something on the computer.

Now, my general opinion is that this was a public place.  The first pair of women weren't being particularly loud and they have as much right to enjoy their lunch in a public place as anybody else.  I think it was rude of the second pair of women to expect that the people in  a public place such as McDonald's should stop talking to suit their needs.  They had many other options including their homes and the public library.

So, I have two questions.  Am I off base in my thinking, and, if this sort of thing were to happen to me, what would be an appropriate response?
Given that the situation is as you describe it, voice volume normal, etc, I would suggest they take their lesson to the library, where they could be assured of quiet and there are likely internet connections.  Course, the other patrons may not be happy with it, but they have no right to ask someone in a restaurant, who is not being a disturbance, to change what they are doing.  And even then, it should go through the manager or staff of the place.
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BeagleMommy

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Re: Conversations in public places
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2012, 02:32:53 PM »
I'm just a little nonplussed that these women thought a McDonald's would be quiet.  If I needed to do something that required serious concentration (and teaching someone with a hearing issue would require serious concentration on my part) the last place I would go would be a fast food restaurant.

POD to "I'm afraid that won't be possible."

Betelnut

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Re: Conversations in public places
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2012, 07:00:34 PM »
Actually, public libraries aren't that quiet either--they are considered more like a community center for gathering, meeting, learning.  (I'm a public librarian.)
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mmswm

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Re: Conversations in public places
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2012, 08:29:50 PM »
I'm glad to know that I wasn't way off base.  I would never assume that a place like McDonald's would be quiet. I guess that the other women would qualify as snowflakes. 
Some people lift weights.  I lift measures.  It's a far more esoteric workout. - (Quoted from a personal friend)

25wishes

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Re: Conversations in public places
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2012, 12:10:26 PM »
I was at a resort with an indoor pool and hot tub. We were sitting in the hot tub, conversing in a normal tone, some elderly ladies in the pool asked us to keep quiet as they could not hear their Aqua-cise CD they were exercising to. (which was already LOUD).

I agree, special snowflake category.

lowspark

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Re: Conversations in public places
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2012, 12:17:43 PM »
Wow, seriously?  I am firmly planted in the "I'm afraid that won't be possible" camp.  Want peace and quiet? Stay home.

I wonder if they go to to vegetarian restaurants and demand a steak.  Or go to a park and complain it's full of children.

LOL at the bolded! No kidding. McDonald's? Quiet? Unless there were no customers in the restaurant, that's pretty much not going to happen.

How did the conversing women react to this ridiculous request?

mmswm

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Re: Conversations in public places
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2012, 01:25:44 AM »
Wow, seriously?  I am firmly planted in the "I'm afraid that won't be possible" camp.  Want peace and quiet? Stay home.

I wonder if they go to to vegetarian restaurants and demand a steak.  Or go to a park and complain it's full of children.

LOL at the bolded! No kidding. McDonald's? Quiet? Unless there were no customers in the restaurant, that's pretty much not going to happen.

How did the conversing women react to this ridiculous request?

They seemed flabbergasted, but seemed like they didn't want to create a scene, so they acquiesced.
Some people lift weights.  I lift measures.  It's a far more esoteric workout. - (Quoted from a personal friend)