Thursday, April 5, 2007

The Bluetooth Beanie

I seem to have a problem when I see people in public, talking without a phone in their hand. For some reason, I have to figure out who they’re talking to. It’s like when you get a piece of floss stuck between your teeth and your tongue can’t stop scrubbing at it, trying to get it out of there, even though your conscious mind keeps sending out alerts, informing you that it’s impossible. It’s as though the tongue is under the autonomous control of an independent part of the brain that’s not on the memo distribution list.

If the Bluetooth earpiece is not visible, I quickly reach the following conclusions:

  1. If someone is nearby, the person is speaking to that person.

  2. If nobody else is nearby, the person is schizophrenic or on drugs or both.

The reason I don’t assume the person is on the phone in either case is because:

In case #1, I can approach the two people for whatever reason, and they will suspend their conversation to acknowledge my presence. However, if I assume the person is speaking on the phone, I can’t approach and expect the same casual courtesy, since the person on the phone won’t know I’m there. It’s much more of an intrusion. So I can’t assume the person is speaking on the phone, or I can never approach anyone, ever.

In case #2, I could assume the person is on the phone, but if they are in fact schizophrenic or on drugs or both, they might kill me. Therefore, I choose to err on the side of caution.

The other possible scenario is that I can see the earpiece. If the person is driving a car, fine. I really don’t care, and I’m not one of those panicky Chicken Little people who want cell phone use in cars outlawed because speaking on a phone is too distracting. If that were true, then having a conversation with a passenger in your car would be illegal as well.

If that person is walking down the aisle at the supermarket, sitting in a bar or standing in a ticket line, I take offense. They’re not using the earpiece to keep their hands free. They’re using the earpiece to impress me. They’re assholes.

So I’ve come up with a new invention, called the Bluetooth Beanie. It has a light bulb on the top that illuminates when you’re using your Bluetooth earpiece, clearly informing others that you’re occupied on a phone call. People will leave you alone. Yes, you’ll look like an asshole, but you already are an asshole, so it won’t make any difference.

Shown below are two examples: One where a guy is talking, but it's not clear if he's talking to his buddy or on the phone. The other shows him wearing the Bluetooth Beanie, and it all becomes crystal clear.




burton said...

One of my colleagues came in and asked a question about a potential Blackberry she wanted to get and wanted more info on it. I got a link, sent an instant message with the link to her and hopped into her office. As I entered the office she looked me square in the eye and said, "Thanks! That will help me a lot. Do you have Larry's number handy?"

I was fine with the conversation until she asked for "Larry's" number because I had no idea who Larry was. I thought maybe it was in some of the paperwork she had given me so I said, "Larry!?"

Then she said, "Got the link Burton, I'm on the phone now." Haha! It is not even just Bluetooth technology that gets us! There are these wireless Plantronics headsets that our people at work use instead of the heavy headsets. She got me fair and square. I was pretty embarrassed that not only did I get caught trying to participate in someone else's conversation, but I also let that technology fool me!

I know exactly what you mean. It is frustrating and for some reason embarrassing when you have someone in your proximity talking and it takes your wrongful interaction with them to realize you never were in their thoughts.

Kim said...

I still like the story of the man who went into a public bathroom and sat down to do his business when the guy in the next stall said, "Hi!". The man, a little surprised, said hello back. The guy in the next stall said, "How are you?". Feeling more and more uncomfortable, the guy responded, "I'm good. How are you?"

At this point, the guy in the next stall said, "I'm sorry, I'm going to have to call you back. The guy next to me in the bathroom keeps talking to me!"

hermes handbag said...

now bluetooth beanie come on
you can see at