Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Please Shut Up

First, let me apologize for another unintended absence.  I have no excuse other than August has been a very busy month for me and although I have encountered plenty of blog worthy situations that all call for a rant, I have had to make note of them for future use.  That said, I am back and I am responding to a request for more rants on rude people.  Let me introduce you to the self-important know-it all (and yes, I know who you are, or at least who you think you are) who is the latest on my ark black list.

            So today I am sitting in a class for which I paid a significant amount in order to hear two experts speak.  It was a hot day, and I love to learn and so for those two reasons I sat in the front row; there was a fan and it is easier to see and pay attention when one is up front.
            Right off, I realize I have made the wrong seating choice.  I should have sat on the right hand side of the room, but instead I have planted myself directly in front of a woman who feels that she deserves as much airtime as the paid professionals.  At first, it is just an overly loud “uh-huh” or “that’s right” coming from behind me.  Then she begins to follow their points with points of her own.
            In a seminar that only lasted two hours and accommodated thirty participants, none of whom were asked to introduce themselves or say anything at all for that matter, I learned that this woman used to be a musician and also a consultant with her own training firm by the time she was 39, and that she now writes poetry, loves Thelma and Louise, and does not believe that Anna Karenina had an antagonist.  I probably would know a lot more about her but for the fact that after about three interruptions I began chanting “please shut up” silently in my head every time she opened her mouth.
            Unfortunately, I seem to run into her type frequently.  It is one thing to be stuck next to her at a dinner party or cornered by him in the doctor’s office where I have to hear what a wonderful dancer he believes himself to be, but when I pay to go hear experts speak, that is exactly what I want: to hear the experts speak. I don’t want to hear other participants, who may or may not know more than the rest of us, tell the entire paying populous what he or she thinks.  We don’t care about your opinion.  If we did, we’d have paid to see you!  As it stands, we paid to see the very polite persons (yes it is persons not people for those who are concerned with the deterioration of the English language- look for a future post on the dumbing down of America) who are indulging your diatribe during their scheduled speech and smiling politely while the rest of us, or at least myself, seethe at your rude self-indulgence.
            So to the woman at the seminar who was obviously craving everyone’s attention for some dysfunctional reason, next time you are in a situation where a number of persons have paid to hear another person or persons speak, please sit there quietly, take notes, and fight any and all urges you may have to put in your two cents.  We aren’t interested.


  1. Ugh, you're more polite than I am. I would have told her to shut it.

  2. I get so frustrated by people like that! I remember having a girl in one of my college classes who obviously never bothered with any reading, but tried to make up for it with class participation. I was so annoyed that she would make a point of contributing completely empty statements that were a regurgitation of what had been already said and added no new ideas or facts to the discussion. I used to complain about how no one else in the class had the opportunity to contribute since her monopoly of the professor left out those of us who had actually done the work. Ironic follow up: After the class had ended, she and I were thrown together in another situation in which we were forced to work closely together. We became close friends and still are to this day. I still tease her though. If you take any more seminars, be sure to scan the room for this loudmouth first. Sitting next to her won't make a difference, because it sounds as though she is interrupting at a volume for everyone to hear. Perhaps you can nip it in the bud by either being direct with her before the lecture, or saying something to the speakers, if they are accessible. Better yet, if she begins to interrupt, you have time to fashion the most biting comment you can use as a follow up, something along the lines of, "I'm interested in hearing more about what the experts have to say on this matter. I'm sure you have a thought, as do we all, but if we all expressed out loud our reactions to what the speaker is saying, we wouldn't have any time to hear her speak."

  3. madison,
    your "cynicism" is refreshing :) So glad you visited my place via- melinda. I laughed out loud and full body cringed thinking about this needy, annoying woman. I too seem to attract these people where ever I go. I now carry a sharp object with me at all times to poke my eyes out in case I need a distraction.
    Can't wait to read more posts!

    Also, would love for you and your sense of humor to join Bad Mommy Rehab on monday. You can check it out over at my blog today for an introduction. it's a great way to make some new bloggies and get rid of mommy guilt at the same time.