Short flights with talkative people

6 minutes


Not all people can sit still while traveling. Other people can listen to music, read or sleep the whole ride, but some people don’t have the ability to do that simply because they get bored. Usually, when this happens, they try to find someone to talk to - which is the person closest to them. Though having a conversation with someone can help pass time, you still need to be mindful of whether you’re disturbing someone else.

Hello, and welcome to the Traveling Introvert. Today I am going to talk about... Wow, I had that thing in my head and now it has gone. So I'm going to go on feedback that I just got recently from one of my listeners. I'm going to talk about plane travel, but not just any plane travel, that plane travel that you have, when next to you sits someone who just can't stop talking.

So recently I was on a flight to Denver, and I was in the corner, I had my little window seat because it was a short flight, I had my noise canceling headphones on. They were on, I mean I wasn't listening to anything, but they were on my head and they were plugged in, and it looked like I was listening to something. And the guy in the aisle, he sat down, and so you're waiting and you're waiting and you think no one's going to sit in the middle seat and you're almost a little bit excited. You almost start to stretch out a little, and then someone comes and sits in the middle seat, which is fine.

I'm looking out the window because I like to see how they're loading in the bags because I tend to see my suitcase, because it's very recognizable. Let me rephrase that, it was recognizable, I had to buy a new one recently, which was sad. So now I'm on the side, minding my own business, looking out the window with my headphones on, and the two next to me start talking. The usual, "So where are you going? Where are you heading? What are you doing? Business or pleasure?" And all of that sort of conversation. And those two are having this loud enough conversation that I can hear them over... My noise canceling headphones are now on, but they've got the noise canceling function on, so there's that hiss sound, and that's fine.

And I normally take my headphones off when flight attendants are giving the emergency speech because I want to let them know that I'm paying attention, and also pay attention. No matter how often you have flown you should always pay attention, because all planes are different, and different airlines do different things. And you want it to be automatic, the thing why they tell you the same thing over and over and over again, is because when you are panicking you need to hit into automatic, and so you need to know it's under the seat or it's this, I need to do that. That's why you hear it time and time again and that's why you should pay attention, side note.

So they do that, and I put my headset back on because they've finished the speech. And we take off, and we're flying and it's wonderful. I get to look out the window, which I don't normally.

And then the flight attendants come around with the drinks cart and the food cart. And so, I'm not in the first row, we're three rows back and so they're like, "What would you like to drink?" And they're asking everybody and they're throwing pretzels at them, but they also have the option of ordering food or extra drinks if they wish.

And so our flight attendant gets to our row, and she asks the person in the aisle, "Hey, what would you like?" He's like, "Well, what do you have?" And she's like, "Well, here's our magazine and if you look on the pages here, you can then pick some things." And then she goes and deals with the other side and she comes back. She goes, "Well, what would you like now?" And he's, "Okay, I want this thing." And she's like, "That's the breakfast menu, if you turn over the page..." So he picks something, and then the lady in the middle is like, "Oh well, Oh, Oh there's a magazine. Oh, let me look at the magazine," bearing in mind she had all this time in between.

Anyway, she looks at the magazine, in the meantime the flight attendant asks me what I want, I already know what I want, I order. And the person next to me was like, "Oh, you already knew what you wanted, smarty pants, you knew about where to find the drinks and everything. You're obviously a frequent flyer.".

FYI, I still have my headphones on, and I just smile and nod. And we get our food and everything and I put my headphones back on and I've got my book out and the woman decides she's going to turn to... And you know when you see someone turning to you, like they want to talk to you but they haven't done so yet? And I literally pick up my book and put it in front of my face to be like, "I can't actually see you and I can't hear you," whether I could or not is beyond the point.

But then I did this for most of the flight, I actually slept for some of the flight, but every time I woke up I could... You know, you get that sense when someone wants to talk to you? And then at the end of the flight, to get off the plane, I took my headphones off and she starts talking to me.

"So what do you do? How are you? Do you fly often?" And I was polite enough, but the fact that for 90% of the flight I had headphones on, and was reading a book, should have been the universal symbol of, "Please don't talk to me," and that was for the short flight.

I've now realized I've rambled for almost my five minutes allotted time, so there will be a part-two of what to do when someone won't stop talking in an extra long flight, like a 13-hour flight to Asia.

The other thing about these two is they talked the entire flight. I knew about their grandkids, their mom, their dad, what they did for work, what they ate for breakfast. Because they were loud, they didn't keep it at a reasonable level. Yes, I know planes are loud, obviously why I listened, and have noise-canceling headphones, but you're sitting next to each other.

So that was my... it wasn't even a rant, it was just information about traveling. Headphones on, book out, as close to your face as possible to try to ignore them, or just do one-word answers.

Thank you for listening. This is Janice from the Career Introvert, helping you launch your podcast with minimum overwhelm using workflows and systems, so you can recharge quicker.

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