Thought For Thursday......

I spent all day at a patient safety conference. For somebody that doesn't work directly with patients, it was very interesting and gave me quite an insight. This post has nothing to do with what I learned, but more about what I observed.
I'm guessing there were about 300+ people at this conference. There were speakers that are known across the country for their expertise. In my mind, people are quite privileged to be at this event and hear what these amazing people have to say. Apparently, not all people think the same as me.
Let me preface this by saying that I'm not against a one or two word comment to your table mates when you hear something that the speaker said that really resonates with you. Now, that I've got that out of the way...
Multiple times I witnessed and heard people having full conversations while a speaker was presenting. And these people were not even at the same table as me. I'm not sure if they thought that they were whispering or what, but for the love of God, either zip your lips or excuse yourself and have your little conversation out in the hallway. I find it completely rude and disrupting to the presenter and to all of us that are trying to pay attention.
Now, my question for all of you is, not whether you are a conversation participant, but has anybody ever had to tell you to pipe down or have you had to tell anybody to quiet down?
I wanted to say something to these people throughout the day, but I never did. I did however give them the stink-eye a few times. I did hear people "shush" the talkers a couple of different times which brought me a little joy. A look that I've really perfected being the mother of two boys.


Jill said...

I am so glad you posted this. Yes, it's true...I am a talker. But the one thing I WILL.NOT.DO is talk when a presenter/teacher is talking. It is my very biggest pet peeve and I too, consider it so rude and disrespectful.
I belong to a mom's group in my current town. We often have speakers, and we sit our chairs in a circle. We have several women who will sit and chat the entire time someone is talking. I have "shhhh'd" several times, which I know is rather passive-aggressive, and maybe a little "teacher-ish" but it still doesn't seem to work.
This used to really bother me when I was in college, too. Even though I don't have any immediate plans of ever being a teacher, I've always seen myself presenting/speaking to adults at some point in my life. I will have NO PROBLEM drawing attention to the "chatters" and asking them politely to either take their conversation outside or stop chatting all together.

I wish more presenters/teachers/speakers were comfortable doing that, as they have every right to do so.

Happy Friday and have a great weekend.

Di said...

Oh yes, I'm so glad you gave the stink-eye. I can't stand it when people are so disrespectful. I am not a talker when someone is presenting. After years of Toastmasters, I really appreciate what it takes to present to a group. The other cool thing is that it teaches other members of the group to "shut up and listen". However, some people take a long time to learn that one. I like what Jill said - I wish more presenters would call attention to the talking. It might also be rude, but fight fire with fire I say!

Jaci said...

I will absolutely comment, and it's more like--hey, I can't hear what she's saying. Or something else that makes them feel silly for being the a-holes they are being. If its me holding the training or teaching the class, I'll stop. Hasn't happened in a crowd of 300 like you're saying, but if its a group (even of coworkers or managers in one of my sessions), I'll just stop & then everyone turns & listens, and then THEY apologize to me. Or I'll ask if they want to share, or if something I've said sparked something that we should all talk about. Then to be even bitchier, I'll say things like, "I try to be respectful of your time here with me so I am trying to be on point to get you out the door. If we keep chatting, it pushes us over." heh heh.

I hate it when people do it in smaller meetings too--that is awful!