Breach in Waiting Room Etiquette

phone Galaga in waiting room

The other day I accompanied my wife to the hospital for her MRI. While in the waiting room, I decided to play a few games on my phone to pass the time until she returned. I soon found myself receiving some rather unexpected negative attention.

I popped in my phone earbuds so I could enjoy a little phone gaming (with sound) without annoying anyone. The first game I tried out sounded a bit off for some reason. I didn’t think much of it at the time. It was a 3-minute game demo I had just downloaded and figured that was simply how the game sounded. Didn’t care for that one, so I browsed for another.

While doing so, a group of people were exiting the waiting room and passed right in front of me on the way out. Each one of them made eye contact and gave me a rather unpleasant look. What? Did I look funny? Did I smell bad? Why the look of disgust? It probably wasn’t because of the way I was dressed. I was in guy-mode at time, wearing a nice button-down shirt and dress pants. Okaaaaay, that was odd.

Starting in on the next game, I realized the sound was coming out of my phone’s built-in speakers. This was unusual since I was also getting partial sound through my earbuds. That would explain why the first game sounded odd – the game music was coming out of the phone’s speakers rather than the earbuds. I unplugged the earbuds, plugged them back in again and that corrected the problem. All sounds could only be heard through the earbuds now. I’ve had this phone for quite some time and this has never happened before.

Then it dawned on me. This might explain why that group of people each gave me a nasty look as they were exiting. They could hear my phone’s game sounds for the 3 minutes I played that particular demo. It wasn’t very loud, but probably still annoying. I can’t imagine it was more annoying than the two women who were talking and laughing rather loud just a few feet away from me, but playing games with the sound turned on in a waiting room is a no no.

I’m sorry, annoyed people who took the time to give me dirty looks. I didn’t realize you could hear the sound. My bad. Maybe next time give the loud talkers a dirty look too though, k?

Galaga was my game of choice, by the way. I’ve always loved that classic arcade game. After trying a few game demos that did nothing for me, I downloaded the tried and true classic gaming greatness that is Galaga. It isn’t easy to play on the little phone buttons, but it’s still almost as addicting as the arcade game itself.

What do you do if you’re stuck in a waiting room with an annoying person? If you could hear someone’s phone-game-sounds, would you ask them to turn it down, or just give them an evil look? How about loud-talkers who laugh at everything? What about loud, obnoxious, whining kids who’s parents just put up with it and expect everyone else to do the same? Would YOU put up with it?

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