Author Topic: Being startled at work.  (Read 11517 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

oceanus

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 693
  • pronounced o-see-ANN-us
Re: Being startled at work.
« Reply #60 on: March 05, 2013, 10:14:51 AM »
I don't see dismissiveness either; I see people telling the OP that this kind of behaviour is not something that one's co-workers should have to make accommodations for if she can't control it in a professional setting, because it is unprofessional. Lots of people who aren't pouring out sympathy have also made suggestions as to how the OP can minimise it, while saying the onus is on her, not her co-workers.

She knows it is her responsiblity to figure out what to do. That's why she is here.

Okay, most of us get it - that she/OP knows it's her responsibility to figure out what to do.  We also know that's why she started the thread - to get advice and suggestions.  There is no need to tell everyone 'why she is here'  OP has done a good job of speaking for herself.

(However, some other people have said that people at the worksite should modify their behavior.)
« Last Edit: March 05, 2013, 10:20:12 AM by oceanus »

LeveeWoman

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4137
Re: Being startled at work.
« Reply #61 on: March 05, 2013, 10:32:24 AM »
I don't see dismissiveness either; I see people telling the OP that this kind of behaviour is not something that one's co-workers should have to make accommodations for if she can't control it in a professional setting, because it is unprofessional. Lots of people who aren't pouring out sympathy have also made suggestions as to how the OP can minimise it, while saying the onus is on her, not her co-workers.

She knows it is her responsiblity to figure out what to do. That's why she is here.

Okay, most of us get it - that she/OP knows it's her responsibility to figure out what to do.  We also know that's why she started the thread - to get advice and suggestions.  There is no need to tell everyone 'why she is here'  OP has done a good job of speaking for herself.

(However, some other people have said that people at the worksite should modify their behavior.)

Was the snark necessary?

oceanus

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 693
  • pronounced o-see-ANN-us
Re: Being startled at work.
« Reply #62 on: March 05, 2013, 10:40:50 AM »
I don't see dismissiveness either; I see people telling the OP that this kind of behaviour is not something that one's co-workers should have to make accommodations for if she can't control it in a professional setting, because it is unprofessional. Lots of people who aren't pouring out sympathy have also made suggestions as to how the OP can minimise it, while saying the onus is on her, not her co-workers.

She knows it is her responsiblity to figure out what to do. That's why she is here.

Okay, most of us get it - that she/OP knows it's her responsibility to figure out what to do.  We also know that's why she started the thread - to get advice and suggestions.  There is no need to tell everyone 'why she is here'  OP has done a good job of speaking for herself.

(However, some other people have said that people at the worksite should modify their behavior.)

Was the snark necessary?
I don't think I was snarky.  But I can't help noticing how you've admonished people several times in this thread.  Please . . . .that's not helping the OP and it adds nothing to the discussion.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2013, 10:42:36 AM by oceanus »

WillyNilly

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7490
  • Mmmmm, food
    • The World as I Taste It
Re: Being startled at work.
« Reply #63 on: March 05, 2013, 11:08:28 AM »
I don't see dismissiveness either; I see people telling the OP that this kind of behaviour is not something that one's co-workers should have to make accommodations for if she can't control it in a professional setting, because it is unprofessional. Lots of people who aren't pouring out sympathy have also made suggestions as to how the OP can minimise it, while saying the onus is on her, not her co-workers.

She knows it is her responsiblity to figure out what to do. That's why she is here.

Okay, most of us get it - that she/OP knows it's her responsibility to figure out what to do.  We also know that's why she started the thread - to get advice and suggestions.  There is no need to tell everyone 'why she is here'  OP has done a good job of speaking for herself.

(However, some other people have said that people at the worksite should modify their behavior.)

Was the snark necessary?

I don't think oceanus is being snarky, or dismissive. I think many are letting Mom21son's popularity cloud their honest opinions.


Ok for me, I struggled with commenting on this thread.  I read it when it was posted but waited a few days and until about 3 pages of posts to join in.  why?  Because I like Mom21son.  Shes a regular poster, shes smart and insightful and helpful.  I didn't want to come out and post my initial reaction, because it was, in my head, pretty harsh.  So I didn't post anything. That plus the mirror solution was suggested pretty early on, and I think that will help a lot.

So of course because many posters like the OP they want to naturally 'take her side' against the mean ol' supervisor who lost her patience.  But... that doesn't mean the person who needs to change is the mean ol' supervisor.  The OP's reaction is inappropriate for her setting.  The supervisor should to have to approach loudly. She shouldn't sneak up on tip toes carefully avoiding the creaky spot in the floor like a kid playing a trick, but she should not have to announce her approach.  Its really actually not reasonable.  Its cool (and weird, quite frankly) that other co-workers do, but its not really anyone's issue but the OP's.  And its really possible the co-workers aren't making noise for OP's sake, they might being doing it for their own sake because they too have lost patience with the OP's startle response and its either make noise or yell at her themselves and they just don't want to deal with it.

We have had over the years countless threads about loud co-workers.  And for that matter loud walkers in other areas of life.  Its generally universally agreed adults should not stomp or make unnecessary noise, that learning to navigate life more quietly is the better way to be.  Its not fair to now, simply because we like the OP, to do an about-face on that stance and start in with "well yeah its totally those quiet people, who are considerate of 99% of the other employees in the workspace who are at fault, people should bug all their other co-workers with unnecessary noise to accommodate you Mom! Buncha meanies!"

LeveeWoman

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4137
Re: Being startled at work.
« Reply #64 on: March 05, 2013, 11:12:23 AM »
Please, don't presume to speak to my motives.

Ms_Cellany

  • The Queen of Squee
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5693
  • Big white goggie? No. Hasn't seen him.
Re: Being startled at work.
« Reply #65 on: March 05, 2013, 11:18:10 AM »
"well yeah its totally those quiet people, who are considerate of 99% of the other employees in the workspace who are at fault, people should bug all their other co-workers with unnecessary noise to accommodate you Mom! Buncha meanies!"

Quite a straw man you constructed there, WN.
Current fosters: Boojum (F, adult); Zuul (F); Magpie (M); Balrog (M); Nazgul (F)

Docslady21

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 86
Re: Being startled at work.
« Reply #66 on: March 05, 2013, 11:30:39 AM »
I don't see dismissiveness either; I see people telling the OP that this kind of behaviour is not something that one's co-workers should have to make accommodations for if she can't control it in a professional setting, because it is unprofessional. Lots of people who aren't pouring out sympathy have also made suggestions as to how the OP can minimise it, while saying the onus is on her, not her co-workers.

She knows it is her responsiblity to figure out what to do. That's why she is here.

Okay, most of us get it - that she/OP knows it's her responsibility to figure out what to do.  We also know that's why she started the thread - to get advice and suggestions.  There is no need to tell everyone 'why she is here'  OP has done a good job of speaking for herself.

(However, some other people have said that people at the worksite should modify their behavior.)

Was the snark necessary?

I don't think oceanus is being snarky, or dismissive. I think many are letting Mom21son's popularity cloud their honest opinions.


Ok for me, I struggled with commenting on this thread.  I read it when it was posted but waited a few days and until about 3 pages of posts to join in.  why?  Because I like Mom21son.  Shes a regular poster, shes smart and insightful and helpful.  I didn't want to come out and post my initial reaction, because it was, in my head, pretty harsh.  So I didn't post anything. That plus the mirror solution was suggested pretty early on, and I think that will help a lot.

So of course because many posters like the OP they want to naturally 'take her side' against the mean ol' supervisor who lost her patience.  But... that doesn't mean the person who needs to change is the mean ol' supervisor.  The OP's reaction is inappropriate for her setting.  The supervisor should to have to approach loudly. She shouldn't sneak up on tip toes carefully avoiding the creaky spot in the floor like a kid playing a trick, but she should not have to announce her approach.  Its really actually not reasonable.  Its cool (and weird, quite frankly) that other co-workers do, but its not really anyone's issue but the OP's.  And its really possible the co-workers aren't making noise for OP's sake, they might being doing it for their own sake because they too have lost patience with the OP's startle response and its either make noise or yell at her themselves and they just don't want to deal with it.

We have had over the years countless threads about loud co-workers.  And for that matter loud walkers in other areas of life.  Its generally universally agreed adults should not stomp or make unnecessary noise, that learning to navigate life more quietly is the better way to be.  Its not fair to now, simply because we like the OP, to do an about-face on that stance and start in with "well yeah its totally those quiet people, who are considerate of 99% of the other employees in the workspace who are at fault, people should bug all their other co-workers with unnecessary noise to accommodate you Mom! Buncha meanies!"

Actually, I don't know her. I don't appreciate you discounting my advice as if it were skewed my opinion about the OP. Who I don't know, at all, even from seeing her occasional post.

What I know, is that I hate being imposed upon, startled, or any number of things while I am working in a job that requires intense concentration. I like people to knock, clear their throat, tap my desk--any of those things. My cubicle is my office. And just because I don't have a door, doesn't mean you can just barge in and start talking at my back as if anything you need is more important than me providing error free copy to our clients. It's not. Alerting is courtesy. Period. A reaction to surprise is natural. Being yelled at for a natural reaction is rude. That is all I am saying without any bias toward the OP and plenty of personal experience fro which to create an opinion.

Lynn2000

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4818
Re: Being startled at work.
« Reply #67 on: March 05, 2013, 11:34:48 AM »
If you have an actual door (as opposed to just an empty doorway), could you close it partially? Not all the way closed to invite suspicion, but closed enough that people have to push on it to get in. Then you might hear the squeak of the door, or you could even put a jangly thing on the doorknob that would make noise when someone pushed the door open. Like those Christmas doorknob decorations with a jingle bell.

I do actually think it's more polite to get someone's attention before launching into what you want to say, especially in a work setting where people are, presumably, concentrating on their work. I think one should make sure one isn't interrupting a critical task, for example. This could be achieved through knocking; but it could also be achieved through clearing one's throat or saying something like, "Hi, got a minute?" Some of those things might unfortunately trigger startle reflexes, while others don't; but I think asking for the initial noise isn't rude. So, I don't think a "please knock" sign would be rude, for example.
~Lynn2000

oceanus

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 693
  • pronounced o-see-ANN-us
Re: Being startled at work.
« Reply #68 on: March 05, 2013, 11:40:00 AM »
Saying "Excuse me Bob" or "Hi Mary, got a sec?" is definitely appropriate and imo the thing to do - even if the person is facing me.

However,
Quote
A reaction to surprise is natural.

But quivering, welling up in tears, having ourbursts just because someone came to talk to you and you didn't see them coming..............?   hmmm.  That doesn't sound "natural".

WillyNilly

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7490
  • Mmmmm, food
    • The World as I Taste It
Re: Being startled at work.
« Reply #69 on: March 05, 2013, 11:41:42 AM »
I don't see dismissiveness either; I see people telling the OP that this kind of behaviour is not something that one's co-workers should have to make accommodations for if she can't control it in a professional setting, because it is unprofessional. Lots of people who aren't pouring out sympathy have also made suggestions as to how the OP can minimise it, while saying the onus is on her, not her co-workers.

She knows it is her responsiblity to figure out what to do. That's why she is here.

Okay, most of us get it - that she/OP knows it's her responsibility to figure out what to do.  We also know that's why she started the thread - to get advice and suggestions.  There is no need to tell everyone 'why she is here'  OP has done a good job of speaking for herself.

(However, some other people have said that people at the worksite should modify their behavior.)

Was the snark necessary?

I don't think oceanus is being snarky, or dismissive. I think many are letting Mom21son's popularity cloud their honest opinions.


Ok for me, I struggled with commenting on this thread.  I read it when it was posted but waited a few days and until about 3 pages of posts to join in.  why?  Because I like Mom21son.  Shes a regular poster, shes smart and insightful and helpful.  I didn't want to come out and post my initial reaction, because it was, in my head, pretty harsh.  So I didn't post anything. That plus the mirror solution was suggested pretty early on, and I think that will help a lot.

So of course because many posters like the OP they want to naturally 'take her side' against the mean ol' supervisor who lost her patience.  But... that doesn't mean the person who needs to change is the mean ol' supervisor.  The OP's reaction is inappropriate for her setting.  The supervisor should to have to approach loudly. She shouldn't sneak up on tip toes carefully avoiding the creaky spot in the floor like a kid playing a trick, but she should not have to announce her approach.  Its really actually not reasonable.  Its cool (and weird, quite frankly) that other co-workers do, but its not really anyone's issue but the OP's.  And its really possible the co-workers aren't making noise for OP's sake, they might being doing it for their own sake because they too have lost patience with the OP's startle response and its either make noise or yell at her themselves and they just don't want to deal with it.

We have had over the years countless threads about loud co-workers.  And for that matter loud walkers in other areas of life.  Its generally universally agreed adults should not stomp or make unnecessary noise, that learning to navigate life more quietly is the better way to be.  Its not fair to now, simply because we like the OP, to do an about-face on that stance and start in with "well yeah its totally those quiet people, who are considerate of 99% of the other employees in the workspace who are at fault, people should bug all their other co-workers with unnecessary noise to accommodate you Mom! Buncha meanies!"

Actually, I don't know her. I don't appreciate you discounting my advice as if it were skewed my opinion about the OP. Who I don't know, at all, even from seeing her occasional post.

What I know, is that I hate being imposed upon, startled, or any number of things while I am working in a job that requires intense concentration. I like people to knock, clear their throat, tap my desk--any of those things. My cubicle is my office. And just because I don't have a door, doesn't mean you can just barge in and start talking at my back as if anything you need is more important than me providing error free copy to our clients. It's not. Alerting is courtesy. Period. A reaction to surprise is natural. Being yelled at for a natural reaction is rude. That is all I am saying without any bias toward the OP and plenty of personal experience fro which to create an opinion.

But the OP does not have a "natural reaction", by her own admission she has an extreme reaction. She is near tears over it.  And apparently this has been on-going for years and never once did she think to put up a mirror? Or printout a sign that says "please knock"?

She has not taken the most basic steps towards alleviating her own distress, instead has allowed this problem to continue, merely relying on everyone else around to make accommodations.  And when someone doesn't make those changes and accommodations for her, they have to deal with her screaming in fear and facing her near crying, and after dealing with this numerous times they yell back at her, they are suddenly the bad guy?  No, just no.

Docslady21

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 86
Re: Being startled at work.
« Reply #70 on: March 05, 2013, 01:05:37 PM »


But the OP does not have a "natural reaction", by her own admission she has an extreme reaction. She is near tears over it.  And apparently this has been on-going for years and never once did she think to put up a mirror? Or printout a sign that says "please knock"?

She has not taken the most basic steps towards alleviating her own distress, instead has allowed this problem to continue, merely relying on everyone else around to make accommodations.  And when someone doesn't make those changes and accommodations for her, they have to deal with her screaming in fear and facing her near crying, and after dealing with this numerous times they yell back at her, they are suddenly the bad guy?  No, just no.
[/quote]

Nowhere in this entire thread did she say she screamed. Can we please not resort to hyperbole?

"I have worked with my coworkers for a long time, some for 10 plus years.  I have been startled many times over the years.  99% remember I startle easily because my outburst and jumping has startled them."

bah12

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5056
Re: Being startled at work.
« Reply #71 on: March 05, 2013, 01:13:08 PM »
I have struggled with how to respond to this post and don't know how well I can convey what I'm thinking.

Of course the OP's reaction is unexpected.  Especially in the work force.  Of course she also seems to realize that most of the onus is on her to solve the problem.  I don't startle easily and I still hate to sit with my back to the door.  Having a desk with facing away from a doorway is just not good design.  But assuming that there is no opportunity to move it, the mirror is an excellent idea.

Here's where I stand:  I don't necessarily think that coworkers should have to approach the OP in an 'other than normal' manner.  They shouldn't have to stomp, bang on walls, etc.   BUT, I also don't think it's polite (in any situation) to just walk up behind someone and start talking.  Knocking, clearing the throat, and trying to get their attention is some way is just good practice...and I think, even expected.  Whether someone startles easily or not, I think it's rude to start a conversation before you are even sure if you have thier attention.

As for the OP's reaction to being startled.  Yes, it's out there.  But, she obviously doesn't do it on purpose.  It's an involuntary reaction that is more extreme than how most of us react in the same situation.  It's not like she's using this as some sort of punishment against those that surprise her or "don't make accommodation for her".  She can't help it.  And I think yelling at her in response is rude.

Of all the suggestions on this thread, the mirror is the best.  OP, try that.  I think your former supervisor should at least knock when she enters your office, but it's unlikely you'll be successful in getting her to do that.  The mirror may be your best bet.

oceanus

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 693
  • pronounced o-see-ANN-us
Re: Being startled at work.
« Reply #72 on: March 05, 2013, 01:21:00 PM »
Quote
Can we please not resort to hyperbole?

???

An outburst is a sudden, violent display or emotion.  An outburst is also inappropaiate workplace conduct.

It can be a shreik, scream, moan, groan, wail, sucking in breath, ......any number of things.  Since OP was not specific about what her "outburst" consists of (and I don't think she needs to be), it's reasonable to conclude that it might be a scream.

Yet, she complains about supervisor yelling at her.


LeveeWoman

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4137
Re: Being startled at work.
« Reply #73 on: March 05, 2013, 01:27:08 PM »
A knock would not startle me.  And I said on occassion my eyes have welled up and my chin quivered.  I am not some mouse afraid of my own shadow.  Heck, there are even times I am not startled. 


This is from yesterday, No. 40. She does not react that way all the time, and if we're to take her at her word, she doesn't scream. 

From her first post, the only one who raised her voice was the former supervisor.

The supervisor walks very softly and just starts talking when she is behind me.  After the third time of her startling me today and me startling her, she yelled at me.  "STOP DOING THAT!  IT DRIVES ME NUTS! NOONE HERE IS A KILLER!"  Since my heart was racing so fast I was only able to mumble a "sorry."




breny

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 267
Re: Being startled at work.
« Reply #74 on: March 05, 2013, 01:28:06 PM »
I am befuddled by some of the responses on this thread. I don't understand the hostility toward the OP for having a reflexive response to stimuli. People are different, we have quirks. If you don't startle easily, good for you! OP does. She's working on the best way to handle it.

As an aside, I don't understand how a reflex can be unprofessional. Is closing my eyes while sneezing unprofessional? Is blinking because I have something in my eye unprofessional? Personally, I find the supervisor's anger unprofessional. She knows this is an issue with the OP, yet she persists in aggravating the OP. Is it really a big imposition to give a little knock before entering someone's office (cube, work area, whatever)?