General Etiquette > All In A Day's Work

Stop listening. Stop Commenting. I'm melting.

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OP, as the new kid in town, will have to tread carefully for several weeks/months before tackling the PITA. In the meantime, OP, keep your phone and other conversations short and business-like, and act like you're in a room of snakes - tread carefully.

Edited to say:  And wear your summer clothes.

When my company moved from single offices to cubicles it was a HUGE adjustment for many people. Three coworkers (that I knew of) couldn't handle it and quit. The lack of privacy was very jarring, and it became a busybody's paradise. I learnt very quickly not to take private cell phone calls at my desk lest I wanted to be grilled on the conversation. My business calls are not necessarily confidential, but I still have people who sit several cubicles away coming up to me, asking "Oh my goodness, what did that customer say to you? That sounded awful!" despite my speaking as low as I can. The work atmosphere has relaxed a bit -- and I suppose I have too since I am used to it all now and roll with it (still taking my private calls out to the stairwell) -- but perhaps we are too relaxed, etiquette-wise. Everyone interrupts everyone else and jumps into conversations.

Perhaps it's no coincidence that our dress code also relaxed after the office-to-cubicle change. We typically wore business suits, blouses, and nice slacks to work in our offices. Now, pushed together in cubicles, we wear jeans and t-shirts. My theory is that there's something about the cubicle that compels a causal attitude towards life.

OP, I think you should tread lightly as the new person, as others have said.  If the PITA starts interrupting your phone call/training you could say something like "I'm sorry, I need to concentrate on this.  Could we talk when I'm finished?".  She has probably gotten into the habit of doing this to other or is trying to show how much she knows.

As far as the heat?  Oy, I feel your pain.  I had an office mate who thought 78 was too cold.  Her preferred temp was 82.  :P  Check with others to see if it bothers them and keep a desktop fan at the ready.  If it bothers others you can suggest to management that a "regulated" temp be established.

Talking while you are on the phone:  Go to her and say, "Cow-irker, if you have a question or comment for me could you wait until I am done talking with a client? I cannot listen to you both and I hate to make the client repeat what they have said.  If you want, you could shoot me an email and I can look at it later."

Thermostat:  Do you have a office manager or boss?  Mention that the temperature is very hot which is not only uncomfortable but surely is very expensive? Is there a preferred range that it should be in?

Farting: Get some kind of air purifier or something. I would not bring this up at this point.

For the temperature, a small fan and the odd comment about how warm it is sounds fine to me.  If everyone else comments how comfortable it is, then you're stuck, but they might be needing an opening to comment too.

For the other comment, maybe "wow, that's great, I always have a high fiber breakfast and wondered what to do".  It's probably over the top to suggest a competition.....and almost certainly rude. 


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