Some people do not have a volume switch.
Or, to be more precise, there are some people whose volume switch is stuck at ten.
We have this guy at work. Everything he does, he does loudly.
He talks loudly, and as he’s on phone meetings almost all the time, we hear him talking almost all the time. Then just to make it easier for us to hear him, he stands while he takes his meetings, to bring his voice that much closer to the not-so-acoustic tiles of our ceiling. Occasionally he’ll take a call on his personal phone while he’s in a meeting and, just to up the ante, he’ll put his personal phone on speaker and take both calls at the same time. One day I brought in a decibel-meter and clocked him at 95dB at twenty feet. That’s “busy residential road” territory. From one guy.
He is, without equivocation, flabbergasting.
But it’s not just his voice. It’s everything he does.
His clothes are loud, and not just in color (though today it was a hi-viz yellow jacket and a purple paisley do-rag and khaki-green cargo pants, so he was doubly loud). No, I mean that his clothes make more noise than anyone this side of an ante-bellum crinoline and muslin hoop dress. They crinkle and zush and flapple and zippp. It’s like he’s wearing clothes made of wood and canvas.
And of course, he eats loudly, and with food that assails the senses. He clonks his Great Dane-sized soup bowl down on his desk and we are “treated” to smells of garlic and pepper and shrimp and fish and kelp. This is followed by his rendition of “Night on Bald Mountain” written for slurps and ahhs and the clang of metal spoon on porcelain rim. Not to mention the eructation of appreciation at the coda.
We’ve complained and confronted him and tried throwing things at him. Nothing makes a dent. He’s oblivious. Or he’s livious and just doesn’t give a rip.
Which he also does.
So, what makes a person this way? What makes a man so unconscious of his fellows that he will not only behave in this manner, but continue to do so after repeated requests and demands that he rein himself in?
Judging by his own self-description, there’s a fair amount of ego involved. He is, by all of his reports, quite a remarkable person (and, to be perfectly honest, technically he’s right; we remark upon him quite a bit.) He imagines himself a guru of sorts, in tune with nature and all things spiritual (except, naturally, the people near him). He is fond of going out on the patio on sunny days and holding forth to anyone who will listen.
He is a large, large personality–larger than any I’ve met–but I canna ken if it’s the “large” of the leviathan–by dint of sheer size–or the “large” of the pufferfish–all inflated out of fear. I want to admire his unabashed confidence, but I’m not sure if it’s really there or if it’s all mirage.
But he is memorable, a caricature of himself, and noted down in my Log of Unusual Persons I Have Met.