Sunday 19 June 2011

Who are you talking to?

Communication has brought the world closer. It has made you slower.
Every day as I set out to work, I encounter several amongst the hordes of people on their way to work chatting away on their cell phones. Whom are these people talking to?
For the past several months, it has been of common observance to me of a whole lot of office goers talking on their cell phones blissfully unaware of what’s happening around them. The motion of walking is only incidental to the main activity of the continuing conversation which suspiciously looks informal and less business. The fact that they have to move is only a sub-conscious act of their reason to leave home and get to work.
I will call them the “blah blah walker”.
The phone conversation continues immaterial to the action of the body. Catching a moving bus/train, buying a ticket with the phone cradled between the shoulder and the ear, pushing someone to get to the exit are just minor irritants to otherwise a bitchy talk.
Any conversation has to be between at least two people. While one may be imaginary, there will still be one doing the talking. And in a phone conversation, it will be the caller who will be doing most of the talking. What amazes me that there is a listener who also has time to spare at such a morning hour, when most of the world is in a hurry to get to work and begin the day. Can’t some conversations wait or better still what is the hurry to relate to a needy ear and pass information faster than you can dial or in this age punch a number.
When cell phones were invented, it was to bring the world closer. But rather I say the world has become slower and dangerous.
Is any talker on the road aware of their actions or inactions may lead to? Did they knock off another walker? Did they miss getting hit by a vehicle/train/bus? Did they cause anxiety to a motorist?
Many a car driver has been left honking away at a blah blah walker who is unaware that he is blocking the road and other traffic. Tempers soar and so does rage. A green light missed, travel time lengthened, and a motorist red with anger.
A commuter knocked off by a train while busy in a phone conversation and walking on the edge of the platform may now be common news. A reason for trains to be delayed by up to half an hour and another reason for exams to be missed and late arrivals for office goers.
And guess what, the morning scene repeats in the evening. It’s like a television announcement. The show will be telecast again “same time every day” or more like “on the hour, every hour”.
So the Blah Blah Walker is an evil you have to live with. But there is another evil who lives in an office cubicle called the “Blah Blah Sitter” who will chatter incessantly through the day disturbing the lives of fellow cubicle beings. And wonder or wonders it will be the same Blah Blah Walker in a less dangerous role.

But does work really happen with a Blah Blah Sitter around? I once sat through a cubicle conversation on urine infection, the burning sensation and how to be examined. I no longer drink lemonade.
While the government urges you not to drink and drive, I urge you not to talk and drive.
Be responsible folks. Don’t walk the talk, at least not on a phone call.

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