Monday morning commutes, by almost unanimous vote, are reserved for quiet transitions from the weekend to the work week ahead. So when riding the subway this morning I and those around me were jarred by a gentleman bellowing into his mobile:
Jim, we need to re-key the locks today. But I don’t know if we should have one lock or two on the front door. And, if two, should they use the same key?
He went on to discuss the merits of both with what must have been his contractor while the man next to me turned and said “It’s always so disturbing when someone talks that loud. I can’t concentrate on my newspaper.” Of course, I commiserated for you know how I feel.
He finally hung up and we thought that peace had been restored only to, once again, be awakened by his second broadcast, this time to his wife:
Honey, we need to re-key the doors today. Should be have two locks on the front door and should they use the same key?” What about the back door?
He noted his wife’s instructions and hung up. And, of course, he immediately made his third call back to his contractor while all of his fellow commuters nearby groaned. I tried to make eye contact but, naturally, he would not look my way. I turned to the man next to me and told him I had found a set of business size cards online that said in an elegant typeface: STOP TALKING. These would have been perfect in this situation. He laughed.
Jim, just talked with the wife. Let’s go with the two locks for the front door and one for the back. Yeah, that’s right. Different keys. Ok.
As he ended his final call he finally looked up and noticed he had acquired an audience. “Oh, was I talking too loud?” I said.
“Let’s put it this way,” I replied, “we all agree that you should go with two locks in the front, one in the back and they should all be keyed with the same key.”
He quickly made his fourth call of the morning.