Tuesday, December 30, 2008

People Who Talk Too Much and Other Annoyances

I'm sitting here at my desk and there has been a conversation going on next to me for about 10 minutes. My desk is in a high traffic area, so I've learned to tune things out. But as I'm sitting here, I notice that I have only heard one voice this whole time. The guy hasn't stopped talking the entire time. Person #2 has had the occasional 'yep' and 'uh huh' squeezed in, but other than that, it has been person #1.

There are few things that annoy me more than people who talk nonstop without taking a breath. Just one giant run on sentence. To make matters worse, he has a somewhat monotone voice. You think there is lilt to his vocals, but then you realize you're starting to twitch from the constant buzz of his words.

He's such a nice guy, too, that I feel bad for saying these things. He's also incredibly smart and is full of interesting tid bits. But sometimes it's too much. At lunch, we can be discussing something trivial such as the latest Brangelina baby and he will turn the conversation into a thesis on the movie Tomb Raider and you just wanted to make fun of the baby's name.

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Riding the bus can be difficult enough. Standing outside in the snow or the rain or the wind can be unpleasant. The crowded bus stops, the crowded bus can be unpleasant. The gross people you are sometimes forced to be a bit too close to can be unpleasant. The gaggle of young adults talking too loudly can be unpleasant.

Strangely enough, I do enjoy the bus. I find it a relaxing way to start the day. Slip on my headphones, pull out a book, and sit back and enjoy the ride. No sitting in traffic getting frustrated. I just bury myself in a story or a song.

One thing that helps to make the bus enjoyable are the unspoken rules that the majority of riders adhere to. What makes it unejoyable is when people don't abide by them. For example:

1. Do not speak to your fellow riders. Unless you have a friendship off the bus, keep your mouth shut. I have headphones on. Quit trying to talk to me and making me pull out the earbuds to say, "what?" only to have you make some meaningless comment about the weather or the book I'm reading. (add that to my list of annoyances: small talk. I hate small talk).

2.
If you are sharing a seat with someone and another seat opens up, move. We don't know each other. It is bad enough we are forced to squeeze this close together. You are 200 pounds overweight with weird bumps on your arm and your breath is atrocious. Please get up and move to a seat where you can spread out. There was one instance where I was sitting at the very back of the bus next to the window (the long bench seat). The bus was packed and we were all crammed in there. As the ride continued, it left just me and the dude sitting next to me on the bench seat. I looked over and saw that the window seat across from me was open. All he had to do was slide over, but he didn't budge. It was incredibly awkward. Dude, I will not take offence if you move.

3. Keep your music at a reasonable volume, and dear god, do not sing along. There have been many times where I have been stuck next to someone with their music so loud I can hear it through my own headphones. Why? Why does it need to be so loud? And maybe you think you're the next American Idol, but I am not Paula Abdul so please do not give me your best Alicia Keys.

4. Do not eat on the bus. My bus stops next to an Arbys. Arbys smells. People get on the bus and open up their Arbys and start to go to town. They then throw their wrappers on the floor. It makes me want to vomit. Which leads me to the next rule....

5. The bus is not a giant garbage can. Please pick up after yourself. Please. I don't want to sit in your gum. I don't want to step on your peanut shells. I don't want to slip on your Arbys' wrapper.

6. Sit next to your kids. I just worked all day. I don't need your squirmming 3 year old bopping up and down in the seat and bumping into me and staring at me. I am not your babysitter.

Please, just follow these rules and the bus will be a much more inviting place for everyone.

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I'm tall and, therefore, I have longer legs and take longer strides when I walk. This makes me walk faster than most. Yet, I have plenty of shorter friends that I have trouble keeping up with, so I don't think I walk ridiculously fast. What I don't get is people who walk slow, or just move slow in general. Do they not have anywhere to go? Do they not have a job to get to or a bus to catch or just anywhere they would rather be then on the street inches in front of me? I wish I could be so lackadaisical.

This goes for drivers, too. I like to drive fast. But I am never more than 5 miles over the speed limit on side streets and 10 on freeways. When people pull out in front of me, I assume it must mean they are in a hurry and will be going at least the speed limit. But then why does it seem they slow to a crawl as soon as they are in front of me? I just want a sign on my car that says, "I am faster than you. Please just pull over and let me go around you. I am not afraid of a speeding ticket."

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I took a Strength Finders test that told me my best strength is that I am empathetic. I wish I wasn't. One of my top annoyances is people who are inconsiderate of others. It drive me crazy. Especially when they are inconsiderate of me.

As I said, I sit in a highly trafficked area at work right next to a conference room. People will finish a meeting, well they will finish the meeting in the conference room, and then continue the meeting right next to my desk. Even so much as standing in my cube and leaning on my desk. Who does this? Hello? Do you not see me?

I also don't like when I feel people are being excluded. Maybe it's from feeling excluded growing up, but it really bugs me.

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So, those are just a few things. Maybe I will have another entry as more come to me.

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