Bluetooth Business Blabbermouths
Monday, Jul. 18, 2011 at 2:24pm
I'm sitting in Oakland Airport listening to what appears to be a very intelligent person spilling proprietary information across the entire waiting area. I'm going to be kind to this doofus and disguise the name of his company and the identity of the individual on the other end of the phone, although both are now known to me. He's a jobber of some kind who works in telecommunications. His business has gotten more national in scope, so he's got to decline the proposal that was made by Kent, who works for ABCD, another firm that's up to something more local to northern California. This guy's name is Steve. He used to work more locally, but now his work takes him across the land, in fact he has absolutely no real business in the Bay Area at all right now.
Kent seems to have abandoned his big proposal and is suggesting an hourly rate. Steve is going to talk to Jerry about this idea, which he thinks is fair because obviously Kent needs to clear his overhead and can't work for free. Steve is going to Los Angeles. Jerry is the head of their tax practice and is a real good guy. Steve has hung up now and is speaking with his office about his schedule. I now know what he's got going on for the next three days.
What does he imagine? Does he think he's inaudible? That his bluetooth gives him Wonder Woman's cloak of invisibility? That his information is so unimportant that everybody in a 50 foot circumference should be okay to hear it? Now he's got his head down on the table in front of him. He's sleeping. Waiting for his phone to ring again, I guess.
Last week I sat waiting for an airplane to take off and heard all about how Ned didn't like the reading his Law department was giving him on a contract with Disney. I learned a lot about him, and a lot about Disney's purchasing department, not that I plan to do anything with the information. I can't imagine that Mickey and Goofy wanted me to hear it, though. And it's not like I was eavesdropping, either. You can't ignore these guys. They are businessmen, and businessmen have a certain timbre to their voices. Businessmen are loud. They enunciate. They give a little basso to their profundo. They're as distinctive and unavoidable as a crying baby.
I'm going to offer a few tidbits of information to you Bluetooth Blabbermouths out there:
1. You are really audible.
2. Your conversation is a weird admixture of boring and fascinating, like gossip about individuals you don't know.
3. Your Bluetooth setup doesn't create a karmic bubble that insulates you from the ears and eyes of others.
4. It is quite possible that a competitor is listening to you and taking notes.
5. Privacy that is not protected is lost.
For the rest of us? I suggest, when the situation becomes truly intrusive, a little intervention. Simply go over to the Steves of this world and say, "Too bad you had to bother Kent on his vacation to decline his proposal." I guarantee you the recipient of this observation will be utterly horrified. How dare you listen in to his private conversation?!