I catch public transport every day. For the most part, I like my two-bus commute – I’ll generally use the time to read whatever book I’m in the middle of and reply to group chat convos. Haha lies, I will sleep. I will rest my head on the very dirty bus window and have a little nap. Until it happens. In the midst of the precious silence of 40 strangers just doing their own thing on the way to work… some dumb fuck decides to have an irrationally loud phone conversation.

I feel like I hear an irritating convo on public transport EVERY GODDAMN DAY. Every fucking day, there is some moron who must pierce the blessed silence/dull murmur of normal conversations with their guttural horn of a voice set to audio level 400 for no reason, yelling into their phone about some stupid fucking thing.

Some notable ones of late:

  • the woman who called her work colleague back to loudly complain about the HR department, then started asking if they’d seen Game Of Thrones and began rehashing – in the most botched way imaginable – the plot of the finale.
  • the teenager calling her mum or dad to complain about how it’s so unfair that they won’t let her go on the school ski trip, finishing with a huge “FUCK YOU THEN!!
  • the British expat Facetiming (!!!) her family on speakerphone (!!!!) in front of me so I was both privy to her entire conversation about how a guy just ghosted her and also featured heavily in the background of her video.
  • the woman complaining loudly to her phone company about her most recent bill, repeating herself five times over because she kept being put through to a new person.

Look, I get that sometimes you have to answer the phone on public transport. When you’ve got life admin to do or you’re living overseas and it’s one of the only times you can call your folks, sometimes your commute has to double as phone-time. Life’s busy! I get it!

But why – WHY – do these people not have the common decency to STFU a bit and talk at a normal audio level so the entire bus doesn’t have to be involved in their conversation? It’s 2019, we don’t need to scream into our phones or have them on speaker for the other person to hear us. Put your goddamn earphones in and use the little microphone thingy, and talk at a soft level so I can’t hear your braying laughter to your bro over how “crazy” his ex is being over the top of my podcast episode, you know?

It also seems to be the absolute worst of society who do it – the conversations aren’t just irritating because of their loudness, they’re irritating because the human being bellowing down the aisle of the bus as well as down their phone connection is a fundamentally terrible piece of shit – sexist, racist or a selfish dickhead. So then we all have to have our aural personal space interrupted AND have to be privy to some trash-fire of a convo, too.

Also – of the above phone chats I would say only the expat and the woman with the phone company have grounds to ABSOLUTELY have to have that convo on a quiet bus?? The rest – wait til you get off? Just message your damn boyfriend about the cat food he needs to buy and how soft or hard Sammy the Siamese’s stools were this morning?

I can’t decide if these cretins of society think everything they say or do is worthy of piercing the ears of all who surround them, or if they’re simply the most un-self-aware humans on the planet.

Also, in a very real way, I don’t give a fuck what their reasoning is – just shut up. SHUT UP, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS HOLY BEFORE I THROW YOUR PHONE OUT THE WINDOW, THE END.

Thanks for coming to my TED Talk.

Image: Seinfeld