Tonight I went to Panera Bread to grab a bite to eat and catch up on some magazine articles I’ve been meaning to read to feed my brain with some writing ideas for the next wave of article submissions to various media outlets. I do this every once in awhile to get away from the “usual” distractions around the house/office. For some reason it works for me even though there is a lot going on (especially noise wise) in places like that. It forces me to concentrate, and I frankly don’t give a rat’s what people think if they see me sitting there by myself reading, writing, or looking off into space trying to create the next article worthy of printing in some magazine or business journal. I’m not there for them and vice versa. Many years ago my insecurities wouldn’t have allowed me to go anywhere alone, but those days are long gone thankfully.

Taking the “show on the road” really gets my creative juices flowing. I notice things I normally wouldn’t, and I sometimes get on a roll with business ideas and concepts. Don’t ask me why because I honestly don’t know. It was during one of those creative moments this evening I noticed some knob playing his cell phone messages over his speaker so everyone could hear although he was alone at his table so it wasn’t like he wanted anyone else in particular to hear the dumb thing. Granted, the place is pretty noisy to begin with, but it’s random noise that isn’t aimed at any one person or thing. That’s the nature of a restaurant with people in it, and general noise doesn’t tend to bother me when I’m deep in thought.

What possessed this person to play his messages over his cell phone speaker really got me wondering ‘what makes you feel you are so important that everyone should hear your messages?’ or ‘are you THAT damn lazy that you can’t put the phone up to your ear to listen to the messages like a normal person?’ Or better yet, ‘why can’t the messages wait until you leave the place?’ I would think most people would have more common courtesy in them than that, but I guess I’m all wet to believe that. The self-indulgence of some people really frosts my ass sometimes. Ok, truth is I wasn’t that worked up about it, but it did make me stop and think for a moment about how pompous this person must be to do something like that. Nobody is that important, and the rest of the world couldn’t care less about some stupid voicemail. He thought we all wanted to hear the messages for some reason, but I honestly couldn’t tell you what the messages were about or who they were from. I don’t make a habit of eavesdropping even when someone is trying like hell to get everyone to do so. I just don’t care about the mundane things that go on in strangers’ lives. Besides, who needs some self-consumed knob in their life anyway?

Am I wrong to feel this way? Does this make me abnormal in any way? Please tell me other people find this irksome, too.

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