So, last night I went to a local awards banquet for the lighting association in my area. I was looking forward to meeting people in my industry out here. While waiting in line to sign-in to the event, five people behind me started popping gum out of the blister-pack of one person who was sharing it with everyone around him in line. The sounds of all of them chomping their succulent gum (yes, it was audible) drove me to the point of getting out of line and walking away to an adjacent corridor for about ten minutes. (Yes, it was that bad.)
After a period of time, when I was able to calm my nerves down a bit, I walked back to the entrance and was able to go in without much of a wait. (Thank goodness.) The entry door was right across from a water fountain though and I was a bit rattled when a guy started slurping very loudly from it. (Seemed kinda odd that he was even using that water fountain, considering they had a big, clear glass, beverage dispenser at the bar filled with water and slices of lemon and line. You'd think that would've been more appealing, and tastier too.)
There were two connecting rooms: a huge rotunda with all the 8-person dining tables for the main banquet, and a smaller side room with the bar. As much as I would've liked to schmooze with everyone by the bar, the acoustics were terrible and it was so loud, I could barely hear a person standing directly in front of me. So, I gave my ears a break and went back into the larger rotunda where I was able to have better conversations with the few random people who didn't want to be in the noisy room either.
Once the dinner and speeches started, it was much more enjoyable. Perhaps if I had worn my earplugs and done a little lip-reading during the social part of the evening, maybe I would've been more comfortable.