People, we need to discuss Bluetooth etiquette, as there seems to be some confusion on the part of a small but audible sector of the general population about how to appropriately converse on the helix-held (the hard part of the ear, I just Googled it) talking device.
It is sad enough that we cannot peacefully stroll through the grocery store without having to listen to the person behind us chronicle her pet’s latest health issue with her phone-a-friend, making us unwillingly privy to intimate functions we did not know existed previously.
And talking to someone engrossed in conversation inside his head is nearly impossible, though I have done my best to make it work:
Man in line for coffee who smiles at me: “What do you have going on this morning?”
Me, wondering who he is, yet not wanting to be impolite by pretending I did not hear him: “Oh, I have a dental appointment, then I’m heading home. I’ve got a truckload of laundry to fold and I haven’t shaved my legs in a while —”
Man, giving me a strange look while interrupting me: “Who’s meeting you?”
Me, assuming we must have mutual friends: “Well, my dentist will be at the appointment, but I’ll probably tackle the rest by myself.”
Man, abruptly turning away to place his order: “20-ounce latte to go.”
Me, seeing the Bluetooth in the ear now facing me: “You’re welcome to help me fold clothes, if you’d like.”
But, while users seem to forget where they are or what they are doing when plugged in at the ear, that is not the worst of it.
I was in the gym locker room after a particularly grueling workout and ensuing shower when I heard a woman talking around the corner.
I quickly slipped into clean clothes, all while listening to this woman talk. Incessantly. Without pause. I could not see her, but I definitely could hear her.
After packing up my sweaty clothes and gathering my hair dryer and brush, I turned the corner to come face-to-face with the magpie.
It did not surprise me to find her wearing her Bluetooth. I was, however, caught a bit off-guard by the fact that her Bluetooth was the ONLY thing she was wearing. After all, what is the purpose of a hands-free device, if not to use your hands for other things, like getting dressed?
I tried to pretend she was not there, which is difficult to do when maneuvering a gym bag around a naked person, and proceeded to dry my hair. But every time I turned my head, there she was, pacing the floor au naturel, deep in conversation with someone fortunate enough to only receive audio feed of their exchange.
Apparently Bluetooth forgot to caution users that the device is not a magic phone booth, so I will. We can still hear you, and we can certainly see you. Whether we want to or not.