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by Abigail Van Buren

Boy's Disrespect for Dad Is Hard for Girlfriend To Take

DEAR ABBY: I'm surprised by how many people choose not to use headphones while talking on the phone, listening to music or watching videos in public places. Instead, they use the speaker option or their Bluetooth speakers for all to hear.

I travel frequently. It's bad enough to suffer through one side of the conversation, but hearing both is worse (and these folks talk at top volume and make no attempt to step out of earshot). Lately, I have also noticed people watching videos in restaurants.

At my apartment's pool, several neighbors do the same thing. Sometimes the music includes offensive language, which I find inappropriate at a family pool. I'm tempted to start competing with them with random videos and music, but I know that's wrong. Is there a reasonable way to handle these folks? -- BLASTED OUT IN ARIZONA

DEAR BLASTED: If you are in a restaurant, ask the manager to move you to a quieter table. If you are bothered at your apartment swimming pool, take your complaint to the manager of the complex so a sign can be posted asking tenants to keep the volume low on their devices or wear headphones. It's worth a try. Do not make the mistake of confronting them yourself.

P.S. Consider putting on headphones and listening to something of your choosing. It will drown out what you don't want to hear.

Read more in: Etiquette & Ethics