I just found this and got a good laugh out of it because I have done it....lol
And since I almost always am using supra-aurals, people just assume I can't hear them.
I know how that is. Sometimes you hear things you'd rather not. Amusingly, it's often accompanied by a retort about how "he's always got those &*$(#(@ things on his ears."
I'm also amazed that people seem to think that headphones block out all sound while you're wearing them, too. It's as though these people have never worn headphones before, and I know that's not the case for many of them, so they should know better.
I use open-back portables so that I can hear the cars coming (I was hit by cars twice in my younger days), and also if I am at the grocery store, I can simply press "pause" to interact with the cashier. If I'm walking and there's enough traffic that it drowns out my music, I'll stop it rather than blast my tunes louder and damage my ears further.
Due to a long childhood filled with ear infections and such, I can't use IEMs, which is too bad because they sure would be a lot more convenient to carry around.
I actually do that quite often. >_<
It's useful just to wear headphones for isolation's sake.
I'd normally wear my alessandros if i want to hear my surroundings but if i want my own world, i switch to some iem's. Though i' pretty sure regardless of what i'm wearing i think they expect me to hear everything and be able to reply...