Thursday, June 25, 2009

Socially Unaware

I went to this luncheon today for work. It was all about social media – Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube – and how to use it effectively both personally and professionally. The guest speakers were two young women from Chicago who work for Google.

Overall, the content was really good. I learned a lot of new features about my favorite sites and even more about the sites I don’t use. Best of all, the speakers were entertaining and had a wide variety of funny videos that proved their points.

Unfortunately, I was seated next to a complete douche bag. He was one of those “with it” guys who think they’re super cool. He had two phones out and spent almost the whole lunch playing with phone applications.

I kept thinking, “Dude, you are trying WAY too hard to show everyone you think you’re way too advanced for this luncheon.”

He told me he owns one of the local hot spots in downtown Rockford (which he actually does, I learned later).

Anyway, about twenty minutes into the presentation, he put his head in his hands. He swiveled around in his seat and snipped nastily, “If that girl says ‘um' one more time, that’s it.”

Well, she did.

He got up huffily and stormed out of the room. He returned about ten minutes later, smirking, and spent the rest of the lunch making our table uncomfortable by mocking the speaker’s (few and far between) “ums.”


Also, his "friend" who sat with him (a bromance is brewing, methinks) made several sexual and extremely inappropriate comments about the female speakers - at a table with four women, including ME, who could clearly hear him.

Why are people such jerks, sometimes?

I had a wide variety of the peanut gallery at the table behind me, too. One woman kept flapping her flip-flop off the end of her foot. So, every ten seconds, I’d hear this “Thwack!” sound. She kept this up the WHOLE time.

In what universe do you NOT know how annoying that is?

Also, at her table was a woman who I think had whooping cough. I say this because she started coughing and clearing her throat (and not discreetly) as soon as she sat down. Now, here’s the thing – one or two coughs/throat clearings are totally acceptable. If you’ve got to do more than that, please, please leave the room.

It’s common courtesy. Constant coughing and crying children are distracting. Always. And you are NOT the exception. Ever.

Perhaps, the RUDEST thing I experienced was people leaving before the emcee closed the event. It was like a mass exodus, and the poor guy at the microphone was left to sputter thank-you-for-comings to the four of us left in the 300 person room.

The workshop was on social media, but the majority of these people didn’t even know how to be socially polite.

I always want to ask these kinds of people why they are like this.

Do they think they are SO important that they must crudely dash off, or answer that text immediately, or split attention between a speaker and the little, electric darling in their hand?

I don’t get it.

I hate it that people – real, actual flesh-and-blood people – get lost in the shuffle.

I hope the next workshop will teach people to be social. Period.

6 comments:

Alice said...

Honestly, this is why I haven't been to a movie theater more than three times in probably the last 7 years. Paying to be surrounded by rudeness was just too much for me. I actually think (though I like some of the social media forms) that they encourage surface-type behavior and rudeness.

Diana Chambers said...

All those people would have drove me CRAZY!! You have to wonder..
What planet were they raised on!!!
or
Were they raised by Wolves!!! LOL

http://www.dianachambers.blogspot.com/

Juliet said...

You got to go to this event? That was great to hear. I heard them talk about this event on TV.

I'm sure you learn some new things that you will share with me.

CAROL ASHMORE said...

ANN-MARIE, GREAT DESCRIPTIONS AND COMMENTS. MAKES ME THINK OF GRANDPA REHFELDT'S "WERE YOU BORN IN A BARN." I ALMOST LEFT MY HOUSE THIS MORNING TO ASK A MOTHER TO KEEP HER CHILDREN FROM SCREAMING AT THE TOP OF THEIR LUNGS. JIM SLEEPS IN THE AM AND I THOUGHT HE MIGHT WAKE. THAT'S MY COMPLAINT FOR TODAY.
LOVE, AUNT CAROL

October said...

"douche bag"?? Please. I thought you were above this type of characterization. I've heard it so much in class and I simply never thought I'd hear it from you. But, I do understand your frustration, and I'm glad that (under the circumstances) you were able to et anything out of the presentation. On the other hand I'm wondering what on Earth kept you from commenting back to your table members?

Ann-Marie said...

Tob - I calls 'em as I sees 'em. And seriously, if ever a person deserved the d-bag title, it was this guy. It really just sums up his entire character.

I didn't say anything, because I was raised to be polite to people's faces, and then write about them behind their backs! :-) LOL!