It isn’t a good idea to have a conversation around me. I’m a pretty nosy person. Not only am I blessed with a large nasal appendage I had developed the ability to overhear that would be of great use to any spy.
Sitting listening is a skill few have because they want to be involved, but you can find out so much more when you sit quietly selecting which conversations you want to eavesdrop. It might sound sneaky but if you want privacy then don’t speak in public.
It may be less technologically adept than the spy network the NSA and various governments have insidiously put in place, but collecting other people’s conversations is a very valuable tool.
Working as a call centre muppet blessed me with many skills (such as calculating how long you can keep an angry person on hold for to maximise their frustration) but it also taught me how to pay attention to one thing while doing something else. You develop the knack of listening with one ear and scanning around for something more interesting with the other.
You learn to quickly glance around and collect information with the flicker of an eye, even now on trains I can’t resist the urge to furtively peek at the screens and papers of those around me without a move of my head.
Many times I’ll mention something to Mrs G about people or chats around us and she’ll look at me as though I have developed pre-cog abilities. I explain to her that I’m one of life’s watchers, happy to sit on the sidelines taking in my surroundings and picking up on points of interest. You learn about all the secrets that others are trying to keep, their concerns and desires.
I could use this information for evil, but mostly the data I gather is uninteresting to me. It’s all about feelings and emotions as opposed to being about myself. If I was in the market for a new lady then snooping on your breakup could be useful (a situation I have found myself in), then again sometimes you can overhear something you rather you didn’t (like said lady is in a new relationship and you’ve been friendzoned).
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Hear No Evil.”
Tell us about a conversation you couldn’t help but overhear and wish you hadn’t.