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Guest Recluse

So I finally gird my loins and pack my writing stuff, put on actual clothes, fix my hair, and embark for the smoke-filled diner I've begun haunting on a semi-regular basis. The decision to go somewhere by myself and stay there alone for several hours was already vexing enough. I mean come on, there's a reason my username here is 'RECLUSE', and it's not because I like spiders.

With my iPad propped up, a pair of earbuds clearly crammed into my ears, (it's not like they're hard to notice, there's no hair to hide them, I have a fucking mohawk), and my head buried in my word processing app, you'd think that most socially-adapted, even barely perceptive human beings would look over and think to themselves, 'she looks busy, maybe I shouldn't bother her,' right? I mean, I'm not asking people to be Zatoichi or Sherlock Holmes, just a basic level of perception seems a reasonable request.

Apparently I'm asking too much.

Not once, not twice...but three times, someone walked up to the table, total fucking strangers, and started talking to me. One even went so far as to wave his hand to get my attention and then wait for me to take out my earbuds so he could talk to me about random, stupid crap. Maybe I'm just being my usual crazypants self, but that just seems incredibly rude to me. I realize that there are people out there who feel the need to drag people out of their own digital headspace in thie self-important and misguided belief that they'll be grateful for basic human interaction, but for fuck's sake why pick me out of a room full of people? I'm not playing with a smartphone or surfing the internet - there is clearly a document open, an enormous wall of goddamn text, and I'm writing it...how much more obvious could it be that I'm busy with something important?

I know, it's the nature of the beast to have encounters like this outside of the house, and I let it go at the time, but the residual 'dammit' factor lingers a bit. I know they were just trying to be friendly, but I can't help but view their actions as selfish and rude...if I shut myself off from the outside world, there's a good reason why I have.

The last one finally pushed me over the edge, and as I sat there staring at him, aghast, irritated, I felt my mouth start moving without conscious thought...and while usually this is a sign that I'm about to lay into someone whether they deserve it or not with a white-hot torrent of ego raping profanity and rage, what came out instead was a short, firm; "I'm working."

No cursing, no screaming, no immediate apologies thereafter, just a statement and nothing more. For a few seconds, I was as bewildered as he was. Verbal autopilot didn't cut him to pieces and leave me red-faced and feeling angry guilt, I didn't imagine hitting him with a chair, the anger was gone and I was just staring at him expectantly. He had the nerve to look offended, but at least he walked away.

Anyway, people suck. When I am Evil Overlord of this dirtball, my first decree will be 'do not casually interrupt a stranger who is clearly working on something', and the second will be, 'bring me the head of Justin Beiber.' That is all.

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Ok, so sure, the guy was rude to interrupt you. But really now, you were in a public place. What exactly were you expecting - to be totally ignored? Good for you for holding back, though, when telling him to leave you alone. No wonder he was surpised - some people are shocked at honest bluntness.

That said, I'm am totally with you about Justin Beiber. Even if I were 12, I would not think he was at all fab. Can't imagine how his memoir has more than 1/2 a page in it. Gotta be all pictures of his bad haircut.

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I personally wouldn't bother someone that looked busy the way that you did. I also personally wouldn't bother with anyone at all because I hate contact with people. I agree that it was rude that people did that to you while you were obviously working, and to me, ear buds are a huge sign to leave that person alone, but that just might be me.

Olga is right about the library. People likely wouldn't bother you there.

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I think I would feel the same. You are clearly busy, why do people feel like they need to interrupt you? What were they saying that was so important? I understand friendly conversation, but when you are obviously occupied, I don't think it's necessary. Maybe if you were sitting there, looking bored.

I don't really like talking to strangers anyway, so I wouldn't speak to anyone first, regardless, and I'd be a bit startled if a stranger started talking to me.

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Guest Recluse

<br />Ok, so sure, the guy was rude to interrupt you.  But really now, you were in a public place.  What exactly were you expecting - to be totally ignored?

I know, it probably seems really unreasonable and absurd, lol. I really did expect to be ignored by total strangers, yeah. To some degree, I still do, even if I suspect strongly that it's unrealistic. I mean, when I'm walking through a restaurant and I see someone hunched over their books or laptop and they have headphones on, my first instinct is 'they're busy, don't interrupt them just to make sure they know that it's going to rain all weekend or compliment their gauged ears as an excuse to show mine off'.

Then again, I'm not really a social animal just yet. I'm working on it. I mean, if I'm walking through the diner and someone looks up at me or smiles or indicates that they see me and want to talk, hell yeah, I'll talk to them if I'm not feeling like a crazypants, but that's a totally different scenario.

I like the suggestion of a library, there would be far fewer interruptions, but I might have to give some serious sexual favors if I wanted one of the librarians to periodically come by to make sure my coffee was hot. I'm not entirely opposed to the idea, since I have a fetish for intelligent, well-educated people, but it might complicate my marriage a bit. (In case it's not totally clear, I'm just kidding around, I'm not being sarcastic or snippy.)

Anyway - All of that said, I will try to be more tolerant in the future, but people still suck.

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Guest Recluse

<br />I think I would feel the same.  You are clearly busy, why do people feel like they need to interrupt you?  What were they saying that was so important?

One of them wanted to stand there for as second waiting for me to start the conversation, and when I pretended not to notice him, he started talking to my earbuds about 'Hey, did you hear? It's gonna rain all weekend...yeah...so....' and then waited for me to pick up the slack and talk, so I made small talk for a few minutes and threw in a 'my husband an I...' at which point he fucked off.

The second one was a woman a few years older than me who stopped to tell me how much she liked my gauged ears (they're 3mm, they aren't hot shit and we both knew it) and then showed me her enormous ear-sphincters that were like two inches across and went on a long monologue about how hardcore she was and how she was 36 and still considered herself a scene-kid and 'Do you have any tats?/Check out my newest tattoo its a gothic butterfly on my calf.' Basically, she wanted to talk about herself and used questions as an excuse to do it. I would have enjoyed talking about piercings and mohawks and tattoos and hair dye if she'd actually heard a word I said, but the woman was waiting for her turn to speak. That was it.

The third one didn't get a chance to start. You watch, Murphy's Law, he recognized my face from a comic convention or something and I totally snubbed him. HE would be the one who had something to say, just because I cut him off at the ankles. In a few years I'm going to hear a story about how, 'Yeah, I met [Recluse] in a diner in South Texas and I was going to ask her to sign something and she basically told me in no uncertain terms to 'fuck off'.' It's gonna haunt me, I just know it.

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Guest Recluse

Isn't it nice? Satisfied by two words and not left with an after taste.

Actually yeah, but there's a surreal dread to it, lol. I keep imagining that I was given a brief reprieve by the universe because I'm going to be mangled later tonight in a head-on collision with a freight truck carrying Bibles or something, and then spend the next four months in a hospital,. in traction, being interrupted from my writing 4 times an hour, every hour. I'm totally kidding here, but I jokingly think to myself that my imagined 'future fate' could have been avoided by just screaming at him like a mandrill in heat and beating him with a dirty ash-tray.

We'll see if I make it home tonight, lol. Bets, anyone?

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Maybe I'm just being my usual crazypants self, but that just seems incredibly rude to me.

It seems incredibly rude to me too.

I felt my mouth start moving without conscious thought...and while usually this is a sign that I'm about to lay into someone whether they deserve it or not with a white-hot torrent of ego raping profanity and rage, what came out instead was a short, firm; "I'm working."

Good for you!! You really cannot rid the world of rude sucky people and instead of erupting in anger you went with the flow and continued working. That's progress.

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Its one thing if you are at a diner, eating alone, not doing something else. But maybe its just because I live near a lot of colleges, but on the bus? yeah, its okay, generally someone isn't sitting on the bus writing their thesis. But at a restaurant? especially one with wifi, earbuds + word document is like a red flag that that would NOT be the person you'd want to talk to.

Its like going up to a person with a thick textbook rapidly taking notes around midterms or finals.... it just seems stupid.

And to the person who suggested libraries: if you are going to be working for a long time, places you can get drinks and food are usually better. Libraries often allow covered or bottled drinks, but at least in my area they don't allow food.

If you are going to be working for hours upon hours.... restaurants are often the better place. Coffee shops/cafes too.

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I do NOT interrupt workers who are clearly out WORKING. It is just rude. Sometimes you need to get out of the house to rid yourself of distractions to work.

this is why I am So FUCKING GLAD I have my own nice office now where I can shut door, write notes, and rid self of co-workers as needed (though I mostly love them and if my door is open they may come by and say hi).

We all havre fucking pressures, man.

Anyway, you did good, recluse, you really really did.

Anna

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OK, I'm trying to make sense of this, no-one ever bothers me, like anywhere, whether I look busy or not, it's like I'm invisible. Were all the people that interrupted you men by any chance? I mean perhaps you are just getting hit on? My other thought is maybe people are interrupting you EXACTLY because you are busy. They see you are up to something and maybe get curious.

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Guest Recluse

OK, I'm trying to make sense of this, no-one ever bothers me, like anywhere, whether I look busy or not, it's like I'm invisible. Were all the people that interrupted you men by any chance? I mean perhaps you are just getting hit on? My other thought is maybe people are interrupting you EXACTLY because you are busy. They see you are up to something and maybe get curious.

Two were men, one of them promptly fucked off when I salted the conversation with a nice dose of 'my husband and I...' so I assume he was probably hitting on me, but the second man, I have no idea. He wasn't given time to speak, not that if he were hitting on me I'd have been remotely interested. (See the above-mentioned husband.)

Maybe you're right, but as the conversation has played out, it's somewhat counterintuitive to bother someone who looks like they're working on something, especially in a college town where you see that kind of shit everywhere, which - everyone here does.

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Two were men, one of them promptly fucked off when I salted the conversation with a nice dose of 'my husband and I...' so I assume he was probably hitting on me, but the second man, I have no idea. He wasn't given time to speak, not that if he were hitting on me I'd have been remotely interested. (See the above-mentioned husband.)

Do you wear a wedding ring?

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Congratulations on how well you handled your self. Awesome that you did not explode/overreact and then feel shame. very good

I am certainly Miss Social Friendly never met a stranger but I would NEVER, never bother someone working as you were. They are idiots.

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  • 2 weeks later...

You're not rude. This happens to me too. Tends to happen at the laundromat. I like to just read or write and sometimes watch the clothes spinning. At peak time, you would swear I was the laundry manager. Questions about the machines and "do you have change?". Do not look these people in the eye (talk to the spot three inches to their right). Otherwise, they take it as a conversation opener. A conversation that could last well beyond any drying cycle.

Someone who obviously has the ear buds in place is not up for interruption in my view.

I'm an old fogy who was raised to believe that good manners are inseparable from your life. WTF?

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You know, I'm pretty sure that would never happen here in The Great Northeast. Maybe that's why we get the reputation of being rude? We don't fucking talk to people. Which is just fucking peachy to me.

i agree yah in the northeast, there would be someone walking up to 'the person" who tried to talk to you and that person would yell at that 'person' to leave him teh fuck alone cuz he's doing something.

but in california its moderately different, people are friendly out there. and dont mind at times.

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