When my dad used to drive a truck, they had this expression to use for “a person who cranes, stains or otherwise awkwardly turns their head and stares while passing the scene of something interesting.” These people were called rubber neckers. It is not uncommon to spot a rubber necker on the road when an accident has occurred. Everyone starts driving 30 mph under the speed limit and staring intensely. What do you do though when you encounter several in the restaurant you’re in and you are the subject of their fascination?
I’m working on this special/top secret project. It’s a little crazy and well, daring. I’m in Denny’s right now, just going at it on my laptop and I notice that EVERY single person who walks by me cranes their neck to look over my shoulder and see what I’m doing. It’s starting to drive me absolutely crazy. These people are gawking and getting awkwardly close to me to see if I’m doing something “interesting”. They are dangerously close to bumping my shoulder and/or walking into my table. What’s funny is that I know when they see what I’m working on they are thinking “wow, that girl is weird, bold and …how old is she?”
I realize that makes it sound like I’m doing something sketchy; I assure you, I am not.
Anyways, how do you go about dealing with these Restaurant Rubber Neckers? Do you start setting up menus around your screen to block them out? Do you use the reverse of the always acceptable”golden rule” and stare each person down that walks by, thus treating them as they are treating you? What is proper etiquette for this situation? Am I the only person who deals with this? Right now, I’m just glad that no one has been seated behind me, then I would definitely have to leave (or resort to the tower of menus). Although, I have to wonder if I should say something to the waitress who awkwardly cleaned the table behind me (that no one has sat at). I don’t know what’s so fascinating about a young girl typing on her laptop, but apparently it intrigues people. If I were anyone but me, I would probably use this as an opportunity to change my status of being single. As a guy walks by and almost runs into my table, I would come up with some crafty and creative pick up line that would no doubt endear him and thus ensure us a life of marital bliss.
Alas, it’s me we’re talking about and I have not reached that point of desperation. I also can’t see myself hitting on a guy who is THAT nosey. Let’s be real, I can’t see myself hitting on anyone, period.
So, here I will sit, working on my project as the center of awkward public gawking and wonder what the proper response to this situation could possibly be.