The answer is probably not: Can you hear me now?

Can you hear me now?

We have all said it a number of times loudly and at times frustratingly so. Can you hear me now? Can you? How many times have we been annoyed to hear that question while on a train, doctor’s waiting room or a movie theater?


While in California, I have witnessed staff walking around attached to their bluetooth answering calls while in the middle of a conversation with another colleague. Many employees are now holding multiple conversations at the same time. I must say that back east, no staff of mine ever walked around with a blue tooth attached to the head 24/7.  I find this behavior quite alien to both my being and workplace rapport. What is this obsession with constantly talking to others who are not in the immediate vicinity?


As we walk the crowded streets deep in our conversations, do we notice the bell chimes?   We can pass right by a church that is ringing its bells and it has no impact on us. Do we even notice those asking for help?   A while back, there was a hilarious scene of the season finale of Beverly Hills 90210. Dylan’s dad had been killed and he dropped to his knees and screamed in absolute terror and agony.  Yet, it was funny. Sure the acting was bad. But we also collectively laughed at a TV character screaming in pain. We have come very far from Munch’s Scream and his vision of our reaction to raw energy and voice.

Of course, there are other extreme reactions. take for instance how some are quite perturbed by a screaming kid in a restaurant-even a loud, crowded restaurant.  We can barely hear our table-mate but we can hone in on a screaming kid all the way across a crowded floor.  The same occurs on the plane. The plane is whirring, we have headphones on and yet that screaming child we can hear quite clearly. Yet, we can’t ever hear anyone when they are talking to us.

Speaking of which, have you ever been on a work teleconference? Every talks over one another.  Sentences do not flow from person to another. Discussion on teleconferences are often disjointed and at times just with oneself.  No one really hears anybody. Might as well stick to email communication in that case.

Everything we hear around us is just audio “wallpaper” these days. Of course, if I am to be subjected to Kardashian or Miley Cyrus musings, it might as all well be wallpaper that I can just ignore and paper over again when the wallpaper is coming of the edges.

7 replies »

  1. It’s difficult to hear someone sitting next to me in a noisy restaurant. Experienced that this weekend. I wish restaurants would install better soundproofing. This was an elegant place, too. Very frustrating to repeat, “What did you say?”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I hear ya! I’ve been talking to someone and mid-sentence their phone would ring and they would begin conversing with them. Now if it’s an emergency of some sort, I completely understand. But if it’s just another conversation, I turn and walk away. I don’t appreciate rudeness.

    Liked by 1 person

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