This summer I've been spending a lot of time working on various projects at the library. It's a pretty nice routine. I find a table in the reference section, set up my netbook, and get to work. Usually, it's nice and quiet; everyone else is there to do the same thing. But there are four people that not only cause me to jack up the volume on my iphone, but send menacing glares in their direction.
Least offensive of these is the Robot Chicken Teen. Right behind the reference section is the young adult section. In a perverse show of generosity, the library has computers in the YA section, on a lower level where no one can see what the teens are browsing. Unfortunately, headphones are not included for the vast amounts of YouTube viewing the YA patrons do. From time to time, there is the group of teens who decide to watch something on par with a few episodes of Robot Chicken, where EVERYTHING has to be bleeped so if you can't see the screen, all you can hear is a Morse code of bleepity bleeps.
When you spend a certain amount of time at the library, you start to realize that not everyone is there to use the reference section for, well, reference. Despite the signs reminding people of library mobile phone etiquette, there is a woman who consistently receives texts with her cell phone beep on maximum volume. After enough glares in her direction, you realize she's never going to turn off her ringer and she's never going to break even in her rounds of internet poker.
We have all developed many different study habits. Some tap pencils, some listen to music, some always need the same exact table. And some people eat snacks from the vending machine. A snack to curb the hunger is one thing, but when you spend hours there you realize some people are really just eating to have something to do while they study. I'd like to see the vending machine sell all of their snacks in little cotton drawstring bags becuase those crinkly chip bags are just the right frequency to cut through anything coming in through my earbuds.
Finally, there are the people who have either no sense of volume or no sense of place. A man and a woman stood right next to my table and had that conversation that people on have when they're catching up because they haven't seen each other in ten years. Lots of nearly flirtatious laughing, lots of impressive gesturing, and lots of stuff that the people around you never wanted to hear in the first place.
I seriously hope that the worst people could say about me is that my backspace key makes an annoying sound while I'm typing.