Author Topic: Getting people to stop an upsetting conversation near you  (Read 5797 times)

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cicero

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Re: Getting people to stop an upsetting conversation near you
« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2012, 04:58:03 AM »
This kind of thing upsets me, too, but since I'm used to playing by men's rules in the office I'd say "Could you please take this conversation elsewhere?  I will be on a conference call in a few minutes."

Never even hint that anything makes you cry.

I agree. this makes it about *the non-work conversation* and not about *this particular subject*. because at work - we are supposed to be *working*, not shmoozing. and while some amounts of shmoozing/non-work discussions are ok (and at times even a good thing), people sometimes need to be reminded that we are at work.




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thunderroad

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Re: Getting people to stop an upsetting conversation near you
« Reply #16 on: October 16, 2012, 06:44:49 AM »
"Guys, really, disgusting animal stories?  Would you mind taking it somewhere else please?  Thanks!"

Redsoil

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Re: Getting people to stop an upsetting conversation near you
« Reply #17 on: October 16, 2012, 08:24:13 AM »
Speaking as a farm kid, and current farmer, I'd have no problem at all is speaking up about this.  Cruelty is NOT funny.  My personal ethics would have me saying something.  (And yes, I work in a medical setting as well, so I know  "office politics" too.)

Something like "Really?  You find that funny?  I don't."  Let them be uncomfortable.  Like bullying, cruelty needs people to speak out.  Otherwise, you become complicit in being seen to condone such things.  I doubt they'd like it if someone was discussing a sensitive topic that was offensive to them. 

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Shoo

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Re: Getting people to stop an upsetting conversation near you
« Reply #18 on: October 16, 2012, 09:56:41 AM »
I'd have a private, brief, meeting with my manager and simply explain that you didn't want to confront them publicly, but you couldn't help but hear their conversation and it upset you greatly.  Let him/her know that this is a particular sensitivity of yours, and then let your manager handle it.

CarolinaEmerald

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Re: Getting people to stop an upsetting conversation near you
« Reply #19 on: October 16, 2012, 10:13:00 AM »
How about keeping a pair of headphones to put on when conversations bother you?  No one else would  know that you are not transcribing dictation or listening to a presentation or even music.

You may not be able to control the conversations around you, but you can control your own environment to a certain extent.
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NotTheNarcissist

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Re: Getting people to stop an upsetting conversation near you
« Reply #20 on: October 16, 2012, 10:21:39 AM »
I've got to disagree with the whole "mans world" mentality of hiding your feelings and not crying. Be honest. You spend 8-10 waking hours a day around these people and if they knew you better as a person I doubt they would purposefully say upsetting things if they could comprehend that they bothered you. Give people a chance. You'll get a lot farther than the stone cold routine. 

While I do agree to some extent with this, it all boils down to the office climate where the OP works. The OP knows best what the limits are there. There are some offices where emotions are generally ok to share & a person can let it all hang out; however personally my experience has been crying in the workplace backfires. There will be some work environments where it's ok but not many. 

BTW the OP never mentioned crying; someone else did.

bopper

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Re: Getting people to stop an upsetting conversation near you
« Reply #21 on: October 16, 2012, 10:25:44 AM »
Honestly if this was one time I would not say anything...you don't know if they are the type to say "Oh, sorry" or the type to keep talking about it just to bother you.

joraemi

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Re: Getting people to stop an upsetting conversation near you
« Reply #22 on: October 16, 2012, 11:07:53 AM »
I thought about it awhile and I think I would probably say something to the effect of, "Guys! Seriously?  When did the harming of other living things become entertainment?". 

Then I'd walk away on some sort of task so they'd have the opportunity to talk about me behind my back and move on before I returned.  I think most socialized people would take that as a signal to take their convo elsewhere or change topics...OR... dare I say it...go back to WORK.




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Moray

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Re: Getting people to stop an upsetting conversation near you
« Reply #23 on: October 16, 2012, 06:34:20 PM »
This kind of thing upsets me, too, but since I'm used to playing by men's rules in the office I'd say "Could you please take this conversation elsewhere?  I will be on a conference call in a few minutes."

Never even hint that anything makes you cry.

Men's rules? Saying "I have a conference call" or even "I'm trying to do [x thing] and find the conversation distracting." is always preferable, simply because getting weepy or making emotional appeals at the office isn't really appropriate. That's true regardless of gender; yours or your co-workers.
Utah

AngelBarchild

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Re: Getting people to stop an upsetting conversation near you
« Reply #24 on: October 16, 2012, 08:32:39 PM »
I think that making emotional appeals or trying to make the other co-workers uncomfortable is just a fast way to get yourself labeled as "that person" at the office. It may not be true or fair, but it may still happen. I'd go with a work reason, like the aforementioned phone call, or needing to concentrate. Headphones might be a good way to go as well.
 

EMuir

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Re: Getting people to stop an upsetting conversation near you
« Reply #25 on: October 16, 2012, 11:15:38 PM »
OP here.  Headphones, that's a great idea! I had some too, never thought of it. Probably my best option.

Yes, the people discussing were from farm/country backgrounds, and one was a woman.  Heck, I'm from the same background and it's not so much that I'm squeamish, but it just upsets me to hear those attitudes and not be able to tear a strip off the person for treating animals like that (career limiting move) or give unwanted advice.

I may mention something if it happens again as well, the conference call idea and the other ideas are great too. Thanks so much!




Sirius

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Re: Getting people to stop an upsetting conversation near you
« Reply #26 on: October 17, 2012, 02:01:06 AM »
One thing I noticed when I worked in a cube farm was that people tended to forget that there were people on the other sides of the barriers, especially if the person on the other side was working quietly.  Once when I was in my cube two people who came in to use a piece of equipment outside my cube were talking about how a third person was cheating on his wife and went into great detail on how it was being done.  I didn't know either the speakers or the third person, but I leaned around the corner and said, "Guys?  I can hear everything you're talking about."  They apologized and changed the subject. 


cheyne

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Re: Getting people to stop an upsetting conversation near you
« Reply #27 on: October 17, 2012, 02:40:04 PM »
I am a farmer and Ag worker.

In this particular instance I might have said, "Really?  You know, most serial killers started out torturing animals."  Shuts the conversation down without getting emotions into it. 

But then I can be blunt that way, and I am the boss.  >:D

WillyNilly

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Re: Getting people to stop an upsetting conversation near you
« Reply #28 on: October 21, 2012, 07:34:27 PM »
This kind of thing upsets me, too, but since I'm used to playing by men's rules in the office I'd say "Could you please take this conversation elsewhere?  I will be on a conference call in a few minutes."

Never even hint that anything makes you cry.

Men's rules? Saying "I have a conference call" or even "I'm trying to do [x thing] and find the conversation distracting." is always preferable, simply because getting weepy or making emotional appeals at the office isn't really appropriate. That's true regardless of gender; yours or your co-workers.

Thank you.

I agree with the idea of using a neutral work related excuse like a conference call, or concentration, but I really object to the idea that crying is unprofessional is a male sentiment.  I'm a female, and I think crying at work, or being overly sensitive at work is unprofessional and in almost all cases unacceptable.  Work is for work, obvious emotional responses are personal, and especially when not positive reactions (smiling, laughing, etc) should be limited to every extent possible to personal time.

cheyne

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Re: Getting people to stop an upsetting conversation near you
« Reply #29 on: October 21, 2012, 10:07:17 PM »
This kind of thing upsets me, too, but since I'm used to playing by men's rules in the office I'd say "Could you please take this conversation elsewhere?  I will be on a conference call in a few minutes."

Never even hint that anything makes you cry.

Men's rules? Saying "I have a conference call" or even "I'm trying to do [x thing] and find the conversation distracting." is always preferable, simply because getting weepy or making emotional appeals at the office isn't really appropriate. That's true regardless of gender; yours or your co-workers.

Thank you.

I agree with the idea of using a neutral work related excuse like a conference call, or concentration, but I really object to the idea that crying is unprofessional is a male sentiment.  I'm a female, and I think crying at work, or being overly sensitive at work is unprofessional and in almost all cases unacceptable.  Work is for work, obvious emotional responses are personal, and especially when not positive reactions (smiling, laughing, etc) should be limited to every extent possible to personal time.

Actually, I agree with you, WillyNilly.  It isn't just a male sentiment.  However, Venus and I are from a different generation of workers.  I know that "busting" into a "man's field" 30 years ago it was seen as "feminine" and unprofessional to cry or even give the appearance of crying at work.  A woman doing so would be seen as unable to handle the job and there would be no promotion (and possibly no job at all).