I did every irritating thing in the library and watched people get annoyed at me
It was a terrifying moment realising just how angry stressed students can get
Picture the scene: you're 1,500 words in on your dire essay about land law, 750 of them are pure word vomit and you're starting to get irritable. You're manically chewing down all the library snacks you bought with you and flicking between Facebook and Twitter, thinking they're going to help you in someway. You're on the brink of an existential crisis.
And then the person next to you does the unimaginable – they sneeze, loudly, open a packet of crisps AND take their shoes and socks off.
That's it. You've cracked.
When people don't follow the rules of the library, people get aggy – real aggy. So as an experiment, I went to 'study' with my crisps, a pen and my phone on loud just to see how annoyed people would really get, and which behaviour gets the best results for pissing people off the most.
Eating a packet of crisps as loud as I could
The opening of the crisps caused absolute drama. The crackle and bang from ripping them open created approximately 10 stares. You could see the pain in their eyes at the prospect of me eating such a loud snack amongst the deadly silence.
I forgot about all manners and proceeded to eat as loud as I physically could. Picture an ape in the wild munching on vegetation. It was not a pretty picture. I didn't think crisps were that loud, but in a room with absolutely no noise besides the breathing of panicked students, my mannerless actions had dire consequences.
Two people put headphones in.
One person left.
The anger in their eyes was evident. Everyone was staring.
Letting my phone ring on loud
So, after pissing off only a few people, I thought I had to do something else. Something loud, inappropriate and completely against the library rules. I let my phone ring.
It rang for 10 agonising seconds. After eventually "finding" my phone and receiving stares penetrating my soul, I hastily shut it off. There was only one thing I could think to do, I announced in a very normal voice "sorry!" My attempt to patch up the damage only made it worse, as I realised my normal level voice was the equivalent to shouting. Shit.
Taking my shoes and socks off for all to witness
In all honesty I've never understood why people do this, but I have to say there's a home comfort in getting your feet out. Makes the library feel cosy.
However, even though I was thoroughly enjoying the freedom of getting my bare feet out, those around me were not. I didn't catch anyone directly leaving, but the numbers around me were decreasing. As time was going on, more and more people were slowly leaving on the sly.
I hardcore sneezed
I decided to then take it to another level. An ill person sneezing all over you whilst you're stressing so much you've started debating smart drugs? Well, here I come. I decided loudly sneezing for a few minutes would definitely get people heated up. And it did. After not receiving a single "bless you", people really started to make a point.
Three people put headphones in.
Another two people left.
This was the library when I first got there – please note there are 13 people
And this was the library after the crisps, feet and phone ringing – please note there are now only four heads
I'd practically cleared out this section of the library. People were fuming. One guy aggressively stared into my eyes, another girl looked at me, patted the guy next to her and quite evidently asked him if he was as frustrated with me as she was. I saw a clear, precise nod.
I decided it was time I moved to another part of the library, the Law section.
Taking up enough room for four people
I actually loath people who do this. I've never understood it. But for research purposes only, here I am taking up all the room on this giant four seater table. And it's bloody comfy. I now also understand why people do this.
I admit, it's selfish, also completely unnecessary, my coat had half the table when I could've easily put it behind my chair. But I'd started to quite enjoy the looks of anger I'd been getting from people, and therefore as each stare got deeper and deeper, I got more and more inclined to annoy them.
Humming the Star Wars theme tune
Now that I'd started to get a bit of thirst for hate, I decided to be really irritating. At first I was going to play some music. But why treat these miserable people to good music when they could have my tone deaf humming instead?
The Star Wars theme tune is a weird choice, but it worked. People were so confused and bewildered at what was going on, they started laughing. Literal fits of giggles were erupting around me. I think the only way they could numb the pain was through laughter. Fair.
Tapping my pen non stop for ten minutes
The tapping went on for so long that even I got annoyed with myself. I believe they thought I'd peaked at my level of irritating after Star Wars, but yet here I was, somehow being even more of a pain in everyone's arse.
The final results:
Eight people left.
Four people put headphones in.
One very passive aggressive student discussed her frustration with another library goer.
After countless stares and angry vibes, it's clear to say my fellow students really hate irritating people. I now also hate myself. I think I'll work in the comfort of my own home for a while, my well being might otherwise be in danger.