The annoying habit
We live in a world governed by laws, but also common manners that make everybody’s experience a little bit nicer. Unfortunately, some people skirt these common niceties with annoying habits that can just be jaw-droppingly self-centered. Here’s one of the things I personally find the most bothersome. Let me set the scene, you’re at university, sitting in the library along with hordes of other people trying to get last-minute studying in before the final for a class you decided to put off until it was too late. While trying to cram some information about derivatives or Milton or the hippocampus into your brain, you hear people talking at full volume at the end of one of the tables. People are looking at them with expressions of exasperation and desperation while they continue chatting.
What’s so terrible about it?
There are few things I get more annoyed at than noisy library users bec
ause they are taking what should be a nice quiet space for – I don’t know – studying and reading, and turning it into their own personal lounge area complete with yelling and loud laughter. It wouldn’t be so bad, but it just seems that these disturbing distractors tend to congregate in the library around midterm and final exam season to try and annoy the most people possible. Another thing that makes me just incredulous at their behavior is the fact that the exit is never really that far away and living in Southern California means that the weather is always fine and nice to hang out in, even at night.
How common is it?
Studying in the library I’ve had to deal with people talking on the phone like the library was their personal enormous phone booth, howling with laughter at relatively unfunny jokes, and generally being a nuisance to everyone around them. I remember one occurrence when I saw people carrying on a conversation across the library, basically yelling at each other from one end to end. Another incident had the people next to me munching on some sandwiches while talking and laughing like the library was a friendly restaurant environment.
Who are the worst culprits?
The thing is, you never know who is going to be a library disrupter: they come in all shapes and sizes. More often than not you’re sitting next to someone who looks like a regular quiet studious person – and then they turn out to be one of the worst offenders.
How do you deal with it?
To deal with this problem there are a couple of tactics. Luckily there’s a camaraderie between the other library users who are unwilling listeners to the loud conversation going on around them and there is an unspoken concerted effort to get them to shut up or leave. This can come in the form of dirty looks and shushes from the surrounding people. Eventually, if this doesn’t work, nicely asking them to quiet down or take their conversation outside usually works, but can also be a loud and shouty proposition.