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Use your indoor voice

This traveling toolkit tip was inspired by a recent layover at the Houston Hobby airport.

As you probably know, there are some larger club type chairs in some gate waiting areas. They are great because of the small table that connects them, as well as plugs to charge your electronics. I found a middle club chair at my gate and sat down quietly to read. The aisle club chair next to mine was occupied by an attractive lady that I’m guessing was in her mid 40’s. While I was plugging in a few things and getting out my Kindle Paperwhite to read, she was chatting with a lady across the aisle about the winter weather at a normal decibel level.


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I needed wine or a lounge find peace and quiet…


Then she got on her phone.

And began to use her outside voice.

Did she suddenly think she had been surrounded by a force field or a cone of silence? Was the person she was speaking to in a really loud place and could barely hear her unless she yelled? Was she on a really old phone that had poor reception.


She was talking on her iPhone 6 to the Geek Squad inside of a Best Buy. Apparently she was trying to make an appointment for them to come to her house to set up her sound system. Everyone sitting within five gates of her could hear all about it. Very slowly (and loudly) she set up the appointment. Not only did she let us know her address, and that she lived in a gated community surrounded by golf courses, she mentioned that she was hardly ever there! Apparently she travels from her home in Louisianna a lot due to her busy and important job in the oil and gas industry.

I kid you not.

Did her parents ever tell her not to tell strangers where you lived? When I was a kid and I answered our home phone, I was told to lie and tell the caller that my mom was in the shower. Well, loud lady apparently didn’t get any of those lessons. Thinking back on it now, I wished I’d written down her address and mailed her a postcard. Can you imagine the look on her face? I could have moved, but I had just plugged in a few things that really needed charging. I was also at my gate for a short layover. Even if I moved, I still would have heard her, she was practically yelling.

I’m sure you are asking what she could have done differently? She could have waited until she was in a hotel room. There were plenty of corners tucked away in gates that were less busy for her to make her phone call. She was smart not to make her call in the bathroom since everything echoes in there. Even if she had made the call out on the sidewalk, the street noise would have muted some of her voice. Although that may have made her talk even louder, God forbid.

So the lesson is this.

Use your indoor voice inside the airport. Try to find a quiet corner if you absolutely have an important call to make. Don’t share sensitive information on the phone in a public area. In this instance the information was of a personal nature, but I’ve heard worse. Most companies don’t appreciate their business being discussed loudly by an employee in an airport for everyone to hear.

On this trip I was apparently a magnet for this issue. On the way home, I listened to a guy talk (complain) about his job to another employee in his company. Ugh. I can’t help but wonder whether he will have that job for long. So that’s it for my public service announcement while traveling.

Use your indoor voice. Please. Your fellow travelers will thank you.

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