‘I confronted woman over her loud phone – it went wrong’

Imagine seeking solace in your favourite coffee shop, only to have the tranquillity shattered by someone blaring videos at full volume.

This was the plight of one woman and her boyfriend who were attempting to work in “complete silence” in a secluded room of the establishment, until their peace was disrupted by another patron’s noisy video.

The frustrated woman resorted to plugging in her headphones and cranking up “electronic music” to block out the disturbance, but to no avail as the video’s sound pierced through. “I decided to go up to her at this point, with the intention of nicely asking her to turn it down. Not turn it off, just turn it down so that I wouldn’t hear it over my headphones,” she recounted.

In search of moral support, the woman turned to Reddit‘s ‘Am I The A**hole’ forum, questioning if her request for quiet was out of line. She detailed the ordeal: “We were working for at least an hour before someone came in. She threw the door open (normally everyone closes it to block out the rest of the coffee shop noise) and then started to play a video at full volume.

“I closed the door and put headphones in but I could still hear her video even over my blasting electronic music. I walked over to my boyfriend (we were sitting a bit apart so we could focus) and he was clearly also thrown off by the incomer.

“I decided to go up to her at this point, with the intention of nicely asking her to turn it down. Not turn it off, just turn it down so that I wouldn’t hear it over my headphones.”

She was worried she may have been in the wrong as she “tapped her lightly to get her attention”, and the woman’s response was not great. “She immediately responded ‘can you not touch me’ and glared at me,” the woman said. “I apologised immediately. I’m from an Eastern European family so it came naturally to me, but I recognise that in the US personal space is super important.

“After apologising I asked – ‘Do you mind turning it down a bit?’ She responded, glaring at me, ‘This is awkward because I always work here and you’re the first one who’s said anything’ and ‘you have those headphones don’t you’. I told her that both of us were getting super distracted and that I could hear her video over the headphones.

“She continued to glare at me and ignore me and then my boyfriend said we should go. I gathered my stuff and followed him out. By the way, we have been visiting this cafe regularly for the past four years and I don’t remember ever seeing this girl.

“I keep thinking about it because I really felt like she was not being a decent human, but I wonder how bad my transgression was because I did start the convo by tapping her shoulder. Am I the a**hole?”

Commenters reassured her that she hadn’t done anything wrong. One person wrote: “Not the a**hole. You tapped her shoulder. It’s not like you grabbed her or something. People who treat designated study and quiet areas like their personal homes are the worst.”

Another person commented: “Anyone playing video or other noisy things in public spaces without headphones is ALWAYS the asshole. Occasional conditional exception for places like parks if the volume is kept fairly low because music at a picnic or something isn’t too bad.

“We all have smartphones, tablets, etc – want us all to play our videos and music out loud? But of course these people don’t want that, they assume everyone else will use headphones and the ‘free air’ is for them. I’d love to see that stupid woman’s reaction if you’d just taken out your headphones and let her hear your music.”

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