Books and headsets don't stop everyone...I had someone I only knew at work start to talk to me when we were on break and I was trying to read. She didn't really like me (the feeling was mutual), but she liked to talk about her husband a lot, and it was at the point where my teeth would involuntarily clench together whenever I heard anyone
say "my husband". I got over that soon after I no longer had to talk to her.
I responded to her statements with "Mm-hmm", "yeah?", and the occasional glance and nod, but I continued to try to read. I had been in there before she arrived, so I was reading when she got there, and I was hoping she'd take the hint. After a short time, she plucked the book out of my hands and closed it, losing my page, and informed me that I was being very rude to her. Maybe I was, I don't know. Send me to ehell in a hand-basket if you like, but I was past caring.
Her: You don't keep reading when someone's talking to you.
*takes back the book, finds the place again, and marks it with a stray magazine insert* Don't do that again. *heads back up front, even though there's still about ten minutes on my break*
Just telling her nicely that I didn't really feel like talking was never received well. This incident happened because sometime before that I had tried telling her nicely that I didn't feel well (true), and didn't really feel like talking (also true, but not because I didn't feel well!). She was highly offended by that, and for a few days afterwards she would start conversations with me with a snippy, "Are you feeling well enough to talk to me
today, or should I come back later?" Well, after hearing that, who would
want to talk to her?