Wednesday morning ranty

[start rant]

So there’s a sort of interaction I’m getting really tired of at various laptop-friendly coffee shops. A man will walk up to me (it’s almost always a man, usually an older man) and want to know what sort of computer I have, maybe because he’s thinking of buying one or whatever. Sometimes that’s cool and I’ll chat a little about it. But sometimes I’m busy and I’ll politely say, “Sorry, I’m working right now.”

When I do this? The men in question almost universally Do Not Listen. They just keep asking their questions, which apparently matter more than my statement that I’m working.

Today, it got to the point–after three or four escalating rounds of my declining to answer questions–I had to say, “I don’t want to talk to you right now,” and still the man hovered and tried to ask questions another moment or two before walking away, making clear by his body language that he thought I was the one being strangely and inexplicably rude.

It’s okay to ask–I am in a public place after all. But when I politely say I don’t want to talk to you, that means I Don’t Want to Talk to You, and we’re through. It’s not an invitation to keep pushing or explaining why you just want to ask a few things, because my not wanting to talk trumps someone else’s having curiosity they want satisfied or questions they want answered. It’s my choice whether I answer those questions, not yours.

The sense of entitlement here is boggling, really, and I suspect most of the people involved don’t even know it.

[end rant]

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