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Leave me alone


I was working on the first phase of a project, which for a few weeks turned into a full-time job. This project required intense concentration. I usually work in an independent coffee shop, one of two bars, or outdoors using a hot spot.

I discovered that there are people who are annoying as f**k. Some so annoy me that I daydream about throttling them. Some are pests. Some are a pestilence.

Last week, in the coffee shop, a woman was talking business on her phone. She was loud and, on the speaker, so everyone heard both sides of the conversation. This went on for about a half hour. Why would anyone do that in a public place? I almost went to say something to this less-on, but fortunately, she ended the call.

In one of my local watering holes, I was working. A guy strikes up a conversation. He just never shut up. Yak, yak, yak. I kept staring at my laptop, trying my best to ignore him. He pointed to a young woman at the bar, working on something too. The guy said something about hitting on her. He went over and she tried her best to ignore him.

After several minutes, he went to the restroom. She shot me a dirty look. I told her I never saw this guy before. He came back to pester her, then went outside for a smoke. She came to sit near me, hoping the less-on would leave her alone. The bartender had to intervene. He paid his tab and left. He made a big scene, saying he was going down the street to the Greek restaurant for a drink. The next day, I heard the Greek owner kicked him out after about five minutes and another bar in the neighborhood kicked him out.

Last week, I was sitting at the bar, working. An acquaintance was there working. He works for a major corporation. Someone he knew came in and sat between us. He started loudly telling him a tale of woe about dealing with his landlord. My acquaintance told him to ask me. I told him how to find the ordinance covering landlords and tenants, hoping he would shut up.

No such luck. We had to listen to the story of his life, issues with drugs, drinking, women, family, on and on. After a while, he finally left. My acquaintance apologized, saying he was a good guy, he just has issues.

I swear, sometimes I think I have “Shit Magnet” tattooed on my forehead in neon colors. The pestilence just cannot understand why I do not want to be bothered. They can see I am working, yet, they feel the need to pester me.

Worse, they ask all these questions. What’s your name? Where do you live? What do you do or what are you working on? Are you married? Do you have kids? Geeze, do these people work for the F.B.I? Why do they want to know so much? Can’t they see people are working and do not want to be bothered?

Maybe I should just have a sign made to wear on my front and back, “Leave me the f**k alone.”

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