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?