Author Topic: Boss Talking Constantly.  (Read 2745 times)

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Hollanda

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Boss Talking Constantly.
« on: August 13, 2012, 04:33:22 AM »
Our admin boss is a talker. She just loves to chatter. I Am also a talker but I need to work. Unfortunately it is difficult to concentrate when she is talking.  Co worker feels the same, as do colleagues who have experienced her being stationed in their office.

I have started putting headphones on even when I don't have any work to do that involves typing. Are there better ways to deal with this interruption? I Am talking about hours at a time not simply a few minutes.
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DaDancingPsych

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Re: Boss Talking Constantly.
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2012, 09:07:32 AM »
I think that the headphones are an excellent option, however have you tried being more direct? After chatting for a few minutes, I believe that it would be perfectly polite to say, "Gee Boss, I would love to finish this conversation, but I really need to finish the TPS reports today. We will catch up later!" I imagine that any normal chatty person will understand that you need to do your work and will respect your time.

Margo

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Re: Boss Talking Constantly.
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2012, 09:08:45 AM »
Headphones are a good idea. Also thinking of ways to stop her once she gets going. Do you and your co-worker share a room, or are you able to see when she starts on the other? If so, maybe a mutual agreement to "remind" the other of a call which needs to be returnned, or to ask the other for assistance with something, so as to break up the conversation.

I also think if Boss is chtting then a polite - "It's great to talk to you, but I'm going to have to get back to [job related task] speak to you later" is fine - if said task is something which allows you to get up, move physically away or to turn away from her then that re-inforces your verbal cur to end the conversation.

Hollanda

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Re: Boss Talking Constantly.
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2012, 06:00:01 AM »
The subject was brought up (not by me) at our meeting this morning.  She seemed to blame everyone for noise but herself, when we all know this is just not true.  It has been said to me by another colleague that her boss is aware of the problem but advised us to say something gently first.
 
I have to say, I am not wholly in agreement with this idea - she is our boss and from a professional point of view (not to mention etiquette) it is a bad move to say something like that to someone of a higher rank than yourself? It was actually said very evasively, something like "I am trying to get used to some new reports now and find it hard to hear his voice (it's dictated), and I need to be able to hear him". Nothing that specifically points to boss at all. She took that opportunity to "delegate" the "blame" (if these are the right words) to everyone else. It was clear what was happening.
 
I wonder personally whether she's even aware of it.  I am sticking with the headphone idea for the moment and seeing how things go.  I feel that her boss should move her out of our office and back into her own (she was moved from that one because her constant chatter was driving her colleague absolutely insane). I really don't know whether there is any good answer to this?
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nonesuch4

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Re: Boss Talking Constantly.
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2012, 07:56:16 AM »
If she's been removed from one office for this behavior, and the same behavior is interfering with your work,  this seems like something HER boss needs to address with her.  Telling you to do it is passing the buck.  Her boss needs to do his/her job- coaching her to perform better in the workplace, and not interfere with others' work.

I worked with someone like this one summer.  Sadly, she talked so constantly that even on the occasions that she had relevant information to pass on, no one listened to her.

bopper

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Re: Boss Talking Constantly.
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2012, 10:24:01 AM »
"Hey boss, sometimes you are talking to another team member and when I really need to concentrate I am going to put my headphones on, okay?"

If she is talking to you, then after 5 minutes you could say "I am supposed to get the TPS report out by 3:00, can we talk later?"
If she keeps talking then say "Just want to check that you are okay with the TPS report being late? If I don't start now it won't be done on time."

Also tell all your coworkers to use the same techniques.

PastryGoddess

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Re: Boss Talking Constantly.
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2012, 12:07:54 PM »
Maybe its time to go to her bosses bosses boss and see what you can do :)  How's HR in your company?  Everyone but her recognizes that she is the problem, this is what HR is for.

Mikayla

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Re: Boss Talking Constantly.
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2012, 03:15:02 PM »
I think you're in a squeeze play if her superiors know about this and either don't care, or else they expect her subordinates to handle it.  I don't think it's bad etiquette for you to say something, but from an office politics standpoint, you shouldn't have to.  And that goes double with the recurring nature of the yakking.

I believe in strength in numbers.  So I'd gather a few co-workers, go to her superior, and politely point out that it's his/her job to handle this, because it's interfering with your work.

O'Dell

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Re: Boss Talking Constantly.
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2012, 05:01:19 PM »
I'm still not clear on what she's doing. Is she cornering an individual and talking nonstop? Or is she just addressing the room with random comments?

If she's addressing an individual, then you'll all need to learn how to end conversations politely and firmly and put that info into action. And when she approaches if you are really busy ask "Is this about work? I'm really busy and don't have time to chat socially."

If she's addressing everyone in earshot, then I'm afraid that your headphones (or earplugs if they might work better) is all I can think of. Or maybe a white noise machine for the office to take the edge off the noise? For sure don't do anything to encourage her: don't chat with her about non-work stuff, don't respond when she makes random comments, don't be friendly/social.

I've known coworkers to laugh off comments or even reprimands for their talking too much. Either it's a compulsion they can't control or they think "it's just talking and being friendly". Unless her superiors are willing to treat it as the disruption it really it, I doubt that she'll take the issue seriously.
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CaffeineKatie

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Re: Boss Talking Constantly.
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2012, 03:10:35 PM »
anonymous note time?  something along the lines of "we all know you are just being friendly, but you should know that your talking is interferring with work completion, and you have been mentioned to the bosses as a problem in the office"?  I agree most things should be addressed directly, but when there is a power difference, maybe anonymous is the best course?

Hollanda

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Re: Boss Talking Constantly.
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2012, 03:37:51 PM »
Well boss's boss is involved as my supervisor has spoken to her. I would think something will be done soon. She's in our office next Tuesday so we have a couple of days of peace!

I wondered whether it was.just me being over sensitive because I know my fuse is short now. I'm making sure to work as hard as possible and not allow myself to be distracted!! :-) This has been noticed.
Time flies like an arrow.
Fruit flies like a banana.