Author Topic: If you don’t want to hear my answer, then why ask me the question?  (Read 3442 times)

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Sheila Take a Bow

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One of my coworkers, Lisa, has a tendency to ask questions, and as soon someone begins to answer, she shushes them and cuts off their answer.

A few weeks ago, Lisa was having a problem with some software, and decided it was a permissions issue.  Since I handle permissions, she came to me for help.  I checked her permissions (they were fine), and then tried to work with her to figure out what the real problem was.  When I had my lightbulb moment, I told her I’d figured out what was wrong.  She asked, “What is it?”  I started to tell her and she said, “Shush!  IT can just figure it out.”

Several days later, Lisa was still having the same problem.  As it turns out, not being able to describe the problem beyond “the software’s not working right” meant that IT couldn’t narrow down the issue.  So she asked me what to tell IT.  I started to tell her, and before I could even finish the sentence she said, “Shush!  I don’t need to know all that.”

All I could say was, “Okay then.  Good luck with your problem.”  Then I walked away.  (From what I understand, it took another several days before IT could figure out what was wrong.)

It seems to me that Lisa doesn’t really want answers, she just wants to call attention to the fact that she’s having some sort of problem.  Well, I don’t have the time or the inclination to entertain her questions unless she wants an actual answer.  So how can I shut her down?

Morticia

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Re: If you don’t want to hear my answer, then why ask me the question?
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2013, 03:22:07 PM »
How about a little boundary setting? "Don't shush me. If you don't want an answer, don't ask a question."
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magicdomino

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Re: If you don’t want to hear my answer, then why ask me the question?
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2013, 03:23:56 PM »
Quote
“Shush!  I don’t need to know all that.”


"Then why did you ask me?" 

My guess is that she wants a short, non-technical answer, something between the her vague description, and the detailed report that the tech person would prefer.

Sheila Take a Bow

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Re: If you don’t want to hear my answer, then why ask me the question?
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2013, 03:36:34 PM »
Quote
“Shush!  I don’t need to know all that.”


"Then why did you ask me?" 

My guess is that she wants a short, non-technical answer, something between the her vague description, and the detailed report that the tech person would prefer.

I *was* giving her a short, non-technical answer, though.  I knew she wouldn't be able to relay a more complicated answer, so I was just trying to tell her to let IT know that she didn't have a "Doodads" tab.  I figured that IT would know, if they had that information, that she needed to have the Doodads tools installed.  But I couldn't even get that far.  I was cut off around the part where I said "You have to let IT know that you don't have...."

Hmmmmm

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Re: If you don’t want to hear my answer, then why ask me the question?
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2013, 03:36:58 PM »
Quote
“Shush!  I don’t need to know all that.”


"Then why did you ask me?" 

My guess is that she wants a short, non-technical answer, something between the her vague description, and the detailed report that the tech person would prefer.

This is my guess to.  Next time she shushes you respond "Why did you just shush me?  Do you realize that you have a habit of asking questions and then shushing people when they answer you?" 

artk2002

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Re: If you don’t want to hear my answer, then why ask me the question?
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2013, 03:50:14 PM »
Personally, I think "Good luck with your problem, then" and walking away is an excellent response.
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zyrs

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Re: If you don’t want to hear my answer, then why ask me the question?
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2013, 05:15:55 PM »
I might answer her next question with; "I know how to fix it and if you don't shush me I will tell you how."

bansidhe

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Re: If you don’t want to hear my answer, then why ask me the question?
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2013, 06:23:50 PM »
She asked, “What is it?”  I started to tell her and she said, “Shush!  IT can just figure it out.”

She honest-to-goodness, really says "shush" to you?  :o  Perhaps I'm overly sensitive about this issue, but I'm tempted to give you a medal for responding as politely as you did. This would make me see red.

I think if I were you and she asked me another question, I would remind her that she told me to shut up last time and inform her that I'm not willing to help her unless she promises not to do that again.
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diesel_darlin

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Re: If you don’t want to hear my answer, then why ask me the question?
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2013, 07:08:24 PM »
How about a little boundary setting? "Don't shush me. If you don't want an answer, don't ask a question."

This. Shushing me pretty much guarantees that I will have no further interest in anything she would say.

YummyMummy66

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Re: If you don’t want to hear my answer, then why ask me the question?
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2013, 06:41:56 AM »
I think your title says it all and this is what you should say each and every time she tries to "shush" you.


Jeremy

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Re: If you don’t want to hear my answer, then why ask me the question?
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2013, 07:22:46 AM »
Personally, I think "Good luck with your problem, then" and walking away is an excellent response.

I agree.  I would also go further and refuse to answer any more of her queries, because answering her is obviously pointless.  It might teach her not to ask questions in future if she's not going to pay attention to the answers.

Coley

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Re: If you don’t want to hear my answer, then why ask me the question?
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2013, 09:12:03 AM »
Personally, I think "Good luck with your problem, then" and walking away is an excellent response.

POD. If the problem isn't something you are responsible for fixing (i.e., she needs to take it to IT), then I'd probably say, "Sounds like a problem for IT," and I'd wish her good luck with it.

BeagleMommy

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Re: If you don’t want to hear my answer, then why ask me the question?
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2013, 03:10:59 PM »
I might try writing down the answer, handing it to her and say "Tell IT this.".  Otherwise I'd go with "Okay, good luck with your problem.".

Iris

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Re: If you don’t want to hear my answer, then why ask me the question?
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2013, 06:38:02 PM »
How about a little boundary setting? "Don't shush me. If you don't want an answer, don't ask a question."

This. Personally I think it is unacceptable for one adult to say 'shush' to another, especially in a profession a setting. I would say this to her every single time she said 'shush' to me, no matter what the question was.
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MissRose

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Re: If you don’t want to hear my answer, then why ask me the question?
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2013, 08:03:30 AM »
If this person keeps this up, it could go into PD territory.  Honestly, here is how I would handle it:

Co-worker: I need this setup done to do my job

Me: Just a few moments please, let me go into the systems for you to do what is needed.

Co-worker: Shush, I can go to IT directly to do it faster

Me: I can get it done now, or if you submit an IT ticket to the help desk group per office procedure, the request takes much longer.  Do you wish to wait a 1/2 day at least or not?

Co-worker: Go on, do what you need to do.

Me: Work is done, you can go on and get the TPS reports out now.