It truly astounds me how some people when they’re in public are completely oblivious to their surroundings, and how their actions affect those around them.
The other day after work I needed to do some flathunting but didn’t feel like sitting at home, so I grabbed my handy laptop and went to the Pret near Vauxhall station. Not really anything out of the ordinary, as I’ve spent many afternoons and evenings there over the past year while I’ve been looking for work and working on my course (that I really need to get back into…).
Tonight as I was looking through flat ads and doing my best to not feel frustrated that I’m not finding anything I actually like (maybe I’m being too picky..), this couple came in and were kind of demanding while being oblivious to those around them.
Firstly they weren’t happy that there wasn’t an easily accessible power socket where they were sitting (to plug in their laptop), and wouldn’t move to where there was one because the seats looked less ‘comfortable’. It’s not like the staff could move the outlet or would offer them an extension cord, so not sure what they were expecting.
Then the wife (I’d assumed they were married, but who knows) complained that the music was too loud where they’d chosen to sit – Right underneath the speakers. Go figure. So she made the husband ask the staff and ask them to turn the music down… which the staff did readily enough, since the whole point is to make a comfortable environment for their customers.
The music didn’t really bother me that much, but admittedly it was a little bit louder than it needed to be I guess. It wasn’t so loud that they wouldn’t have been able to hear each other though.
The more they sat there, the more it seemed like they were work colleagues working on a project as they kept referring to something on the laptop.. which is fine, but if you’re going to have a work conversation in public it really shouldn’t be so loud that anyone sitting around them could hear the entire conversation. I highly doubt the other patrons wanted to hear about their work project or whatever it was they were working on.
But the most annoying thing was while they were looking at something on the laptop, the guy was playing around on his mobile and every time he pressed something it beeped out loud. In fact, it sounded like he was playing some game like ‘Candy Crush’ or something where he had to make a series of moved and then got a different tone when he reached a goal.
I just think if you’re going to be out in public for whatever reason, you should have enough sense to limit any disturbances to those around you. And why would you bother having your mobile’s sound turned on while in a public place?
Of course none of this was so super annoying that I felt a need to say something to them or to the staff. It was more mildly annoying and a little amusing that they were so oblivious to the other people sitting around them. The guy sitting beside me (who was between myself and those two) kept rolling his eyes and smiling whenever I’d look over to find the source of the noise.
Maybe I’m just more aware of myself in public, or less willing to force what I’m doing on other people. For instance if I was in a cafe with my laptop and wanted to watch a video on YouTube or something, I’d ensure I had a pair of headphones plugged in before I even considered pressing play.
To me it’s just common courtesy to do something like that. Hell, I don’t even like having phone conversations in public places because I don’t want to bother other people, as well as ensure my conversation is kept private.
I guess everyone has their own ideas of what is appropriate behaviour in public.. Or even at home when you’re sharing a flat, but that’s a totally different conversation.