This is the fifth in the “Limited Networker Field Guide” series.

Name: The Bio-Mechanical Borg Bird

Environment: In their own little world.

Behavior: This oddly marked specimen is a close relative of the Googly-Eyed Star Spotter. The main difference is that while the Star Spotter is always looking for a better person to talk with, the Borg Bird is waiting for them to contact him — at any moment.  The distinguishing mark for this species is a small growth appearing as some sort of mechanical object on their waist, ear, or both. This growth, permanently bonded to the Borg Bird occasionally emits strange noises which cause the Borg Bird to ignore anyone else in his vicinity.

Broken Rules of Good Networking: Be with the one you’re with. OK, just in case anyone is wondering, walking around with a Bluetooth earpiece stuck on the side of your head is not cool.  The Borg Bird conveys only the impression that they are willing to interrupt the current conversation at a moment’s notice — that in fact the person in front of them is less important that anyone who might be calling.  Even the Star Spotter won’t leave the current conversation until they actually see someone better.  The Borg Bird doesn’t even accord his victims that much respect.

Counter-Measures: The only good thing about the Borg Bird is that they are easily distracted. You are unlikely ever to be “trapped” in a conversation with them. While you are speaking with them, do the best you can to ignore their prominently displayed communications technology.  If they should get a call, just silently wave to them before you walk away.

How We Can Help: Remember that some members of the species are inadvertent offenders.  Perhaps they just forgot to remove their Bluetooth headset or maybe they are expecting an important (urgent) phone call. Still, if you would like to help them out, you can try a few subtle hints to let them know that their plumage is showing.  You might ask politely if they are expecting an urgent call. You could gently let them know that they accidentally left their headset on and tell them that you forget all the time, too. Another option, especially useful in a one-to-one situation, is to take your own phone out and make it obvious you are turning it off, because “you don’t want your conversation to be interrupted”.  If they possess the capacity to take any kind of hint, that should force them to either turn off the technology or at least tell you why they are leaving it on.

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