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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pinoy Quirk 3: Screaming on the Mobile Phone

I commute to and from work daily.  Everyday, I encounter all sorts of people but the kind that really amuse me and sometimes irritate me are those who use their mobile phone inside the vehicle and talk in very loud voices.  

Some of you may have encountered them already.  Their phone rings, they answer and start blabbing at the top of their voices.   I don't understand why they have to speak  loudly when the phone could easily pick up even their normal voice.  Unless of course the other  person is deaf or is hard at hearing.  It is as if they don't even care if the person next to them could hear what they were talking about. 

They amuse me sometimes especially when the conversation contains tidbits like their problems or issues with their family or friends.  They lay out their lives for everyone to hear like it was some badly written telenovela.  I remember one commute where a middle-aged woman talked on the phone about a sister-in-law who owed her money.  She told the party on the other line how the sister-in-law couldn't pay her.  The woman talked almost throughout the duration of our commute, her story took several twists and turns, and the volume of her voice never diminished.  I didn't want to listen to her but she was so loud, I could still hear her even when I put on my iPod.  Me and the other passengers became captive audience of her story that she should have kept among her family.

On another instance, there was a man who kept on calling people in his office, telling them the  combination of the lock to a vault or a door.  We heard his instructions like "Turn left to number 2, then number 5. Turn right to number 4, then zero." He got angrier and angrier because nobody seemed to get the combination right.  When one conversation ended, he would call another officemate and complain how "dumb" the last one he talked to was.  

What is irritating though are passengers who make an unnecessary call: the kind that could wait until they got home.  There once was this girl seated beside me who wanted to plan a birthday party while inside the bus.  I don't know what the person on the other line told her but she ended the call with "Okay, let's decide when I get there."  Then she went silent.

But I get even more irritated with people who not only talk loudly but even turn on the speaker of their phones.  Like that mother who called her daughter and scolded the girl who started whining in the most annoying voice I ever heard.   The other passengers also looked at her direction but she couldn't care less. I think it's the most stupid thing to do not only because we could hear the entire conversation, but because it disturbed the other passengers.  

Really, what were they thinking?  Don't they care about their privacy?

There are times when I just want a quite commute, especially before or after a busy day.  All I want during a commute is to silently watch the other cars that pass by the bus in the highway. I know that   I cannot get that a hundred percent of the time in a public vehicle.  But I hope people who use their mobile phones in public conveyances would also give their fellow passengers a little courtesy.

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