Hell Is Other Lawyers

Snippets from the professional course I’ve been spending my days at:

  • A girl talks throughout a lecture, not softly, but in chatty conversational tones with her friend beside her. Everyone around her is struggling to concentrate on what is already a very dull lecture, looking at her, looking at each other, rolling their eyes, but somehow no one says anything to her. I want to, but while I keep thinking of a polite way to phrase it, the only words that come to mind are “Shut the fuck up!” and some sort of inner reserve prevents me from saying that to a stranger. I keep thinking she must have a clue, she must realize this is disturbing everyone around her, she can’t be that much of a self-absorbed rude cow, surely she’ll stop soon? And of course she doesn’t. (She’s from your uni, Tamara!)
  • I mention this to another girl later. “Oh, actually I did that before too,” she twitters, “but I decided I shouldn’t do it any more lah, because then I don’t get anything out of the lectures.”
  • A girl sitting next to me has such overwhelming perfume that I have to change seats. Note that my sense of smell is so bad that a very real concern for me in chemistry QA practicals was that ammonia gas would be released and I wouldn’t smell it.


  1. When i’m at the movie theatre and someone is talkin in the middle of the picture i ask them to “please save the comentaries for later, when the movie is over” or simply “could you please keep quiet?”. Sometimes they would give you the freak eyes or consider you unpolite, i don’t care, i’m just asking for the respect everyone in the room deserves. The right to enjoy a movie without unwanted comments.

  2. Who was this?

    Someone who we went to school with?

    The perfume and loud voice thing is something I get a lot at work. you may have inspired me to write about it.


  3. I just read what onlyhuman wrote and it took me back to something that happened while James and I were watching some mind-numbing movie. It was a kind of Action flick, something not requiring much attention, but which I was still paying some attention to…

    Unlike a row of 5 Asian lads at the row behind ours, who, during the first hour of the movie, took 7 calls on their mobiles, received texts on a very audible vibrate, and chatted amongst themselves about “Suze, that slag” who three of them had “done hard”.

    We were tolerant, in a vaguely acquiescent state after work, but after an hour, it got too much even for James, who turned around and asked them politely to keep it down. Cue lots of taunting in loud voices. By now, there are some blokes looking like they might intervene. No one does.

    Five minutes later I’ve lost it. I turn around and say in pleasant tones, “Look fuckwits, I’m trying to watch this film, so shut the fuck up.”


    A heartbeat later – “What did she say?” by a couple of them

    I turn “I said, Fuckwit, Shut the Fuck Up, or shall we take this outside”


    They leave.

    James continues to live in fear.

    … sometimes, the old ones work best.

  4. Tamara, it’s obvious why a bunch of 5 Asian youths would taunt James but shut the hell up for you – it’s cos you is brown, innit? :P

    onlyhuman, I’d probably do exactly what you do in a cinema context, but in this situation I was somehow paralyzed by sheer disbelief that someone highly educated, who had lived 3 years in a considerably more gracious society than Singapore, could be so clueless. I live and learn. Next time I’ll speak up. Sadly, it’s quite possible there will be a next time.

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