General Etiquette > All In A Day's Work

Stop listening. Stop Commenting. I'm melting.

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Today was day 1 in my new position. I now share an office with 8 people.  Our job is such that we are not always in the office at set times.  The office is our home base....but we are pretty busy for most of the day, from what I can tell, we should be away from the desk more than at the desk.

It seems there really is one in every crowd.  There is a person, who sits at the other end of the office from me, who listens in on conversations, phone conversations, and comments about everything! It's really obnoxious. I noticed it for sure when I was training...and today it was even more noticeable. I reacted by not acknowledging what she was saying, especially when I was having a phone conversation.   Day one she (yes she) told me that she farts a lot. That she believes in letting gas go as needed. :o  Very awkward and unexpected to hear someone say this, let alone a lady in a professional setting.

And oddly enough, this very same person is thermostat controller. Her desired temperature?  78.  78 degrees.  It feels like we are in the tropics, for goodness sake.   She also has yet to leave the office. She certainly seems like the office busy body and the general PITA. 

I don't want to start off on the wrong foot, or overstep my boundaries. Looking for advice on how to maintain etiquette and manners in the office.  I have never worked in an office environment before. I have to say that I am thankful that I can leave my office for most of the day.

Would it be too snarky to say.......Thank you for sharing that with me...... when she tells you inappropriate information?  This should be said with a bemused smile.

As for the thermostat, I'm surprised that those above her don't take charge of this, since heat is a costly item in most places.

I always try to head of trouble with humor.  I'd say something like:

"Is this some kind of hazing thing?  Like, try to scare the new guy with freaky and disgusting facts?  Because seriously, you're sharing way too much personal information here.  How about we limit our conversations to "work-only" topics, OK?  Otherwise, if you feel compelled to discuss such matters, I suggest you save it for your doctor."

"The sharing light is off."

The good news is that you are now aware that she is listening to your conversations. I would avoid any personal calls (if you are allowed to make them) in the office, specifically those that you don't care for her to comment on. Otherwise, I would continue ignoring her commentary for the time being, although a good e-Hell approved phrase may be good.

As for the temperature, I might try to get a feel for what your coworkers are feeling. "Gee Dale, is it me or is it quite warm in here?" If you find that the majority are not comfortable with the temperature, then you may be able to rally the troops and come up with a compromise.


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