Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Writing Assignment #2:

The Thing I Don't Get

The thing I don't get is when someone asks me a question at the reference desk and as I'm in the middle of providing the requested help, he:

a) takes a cell phone call
b) starts a lengthy conversation someone nearby
c) starts a lengthy conversation with himself
d) starts a lengthy conversation via text (OMFG)
e) wanders away to do something else

Understand: these things do not occur during a time when it might be appropriate to quickly multi-task. They occur while I am speaking. While the words of helpfulness are still exiting my mouth. The words, they float uncertainly for a moment, and finding no welcoming receptacle, pop like soap bubbles.

This species befuddles me. Are these the Millennials I've read so much about?

I used to politely but firmly interrupt and ask, "Do you still need my help?" Now I simply move on to the next person, or return to whatever I was originally working on, and wait for it.

wait for it...

wait for it...


Ah, here it is:

"Uh... so... what were you saying?"


And this is the thing I don't get.

Your turn.

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12 Comments:

Blogger BabelBabe said...

Yes! Me too!

It's your fault I am copying you because you are a reference librarian, and I am a reference librarian, and so...um....no, I don't get it either.

OR people who talk on their cell phones while using the bathroom. Actively using. WTF!?!?!

8:56 PM  
Blogger Bearette24 said...

I think some people are surgically attached to their cell phones.

9:11 PM  
Blogger Bearette24 said...

I guess the thing I don't get is when people ask me questions and then (a) try to answer the question themselves or (b) keep talking? Why do they ask at all?

Mysteries of life.

11:05 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I don't get why people don't grasp the basic concept of letting people off/out BEFORE trying to enter a space. I see this over and over again---when entering a classroom between classes, getting on an elevator, getting on the bus, and so forth.

The cell phone thing mystifies me, too. I get irked when people are talking on the phone while conducting other face-to-face business, like checking out at a grocery store or ordering food in a restaurant. It just seems so rude and dehumanizing not to put away your phone when engaging with someone face-to-face, as if the person serving you is no more than an automaton.

11:12 PM  
Blogger Roxanne said...

I've started to see signs in doctor's offices that request no cell phone use while in the office. I like that. What really creeps me out is when someone is standing right next to me, either in line at a store or in the same grocery aisle, and they start a conversation with no phone visible. Of course, human nature and all, I look up ready to respond because I think they're talking to me only to figure out that they have an earpiece and actually *are* talking on a phone. So annoying!

11:40 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

Babel- I think my mom is the only person I've talked to while actively using, and that was an emergency.

Bearette- good one. That happens at the reference desk, too. Some guy came in and asked me about a sign we had posted that announced an event in the library. Not seeing the event taking place at that moment, he said, "So, XX isn't happening?" THREE times I tried to tell him that it would be starting in an hour, but he was busy interrupting me and supplying his own answers. Finally he ended with, "So since it's been cancelled, you should take the sign down."

Thanks, Buddy.

Lisa- yes. And no doubt you remember that happening ALL THE TIME on Metro, too.

Roxanne- I always think they're talking to themselves. 'Course, I used to work in mental health, so I'm pretty good at pretending that nothing unusual is happening until I figure it out. ;-)

8:30 AM  
Blogger Wholly Burble said...

I've not figured out why someone goes to a restaurant with one person, and then totally ignors their dinner partner in favor of talking on their cell phone to someone NOT present--what is up with that? I'm clueless.

8:40 PM  
Blogger kitkat said...

I used to have a lot of gripes about my place of employment when I had to answer such ridiculous questions as "Do you have a bathroom?" (as opposed to asking me where the bathroom is).

Now, what I don't get are my students who sleep, play with their cell phones, stare off into space, or do anything but pay attention even when I'm looking right at them. They think if they can't see me, I can't see them.

8:57 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

wholly- I hate being that person who's out with the cell phone addict. TURN THE PHONE OFF. YOU HAVE VOICE MAIL.

10:18 AM  
Blogger Frema said...

I'd like to blame it on the millenials, but I really think people in general just lose all sense of courtesy when it comes to cell phones. I really do.

5:25 PM  
Blogger Iamthebookworm said...

I HATE that! I don't understand it either.

10:54 PM  
Blogger M Zaib said...

According to recent research by Ofcom, 37% of adults and 60% of teens admit to being ‘highly addicted’ to their smartphones, with users checking their smartphones on average, 34 times a day. Additionally, 51% of adults and 65% of teens use their smartphones while socializing with others, and 22% and 47% respectively, confess to answering their smartphones even while on the toilet.

‘Moodoff Day’ on February 26th asks smartphone and mobile device addicts (and those that don’t yet consider themselves such) to spend a morning without their beloved devices.

If you feel you could benefit from a morning without smartphones and mobile devices and want to encourage others to follow suit, go to www.MoodOffDay.org and pledge your support. You can even post your personal experiences of smartphone addiction or upload funny images showing smartphone addicts in action at www.facebook.com/MoodOffDay

11:10 AM  

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