General Etiquette > Life...in general

Eavesdropping and general nosy-ness...

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KitchenKitten:
OP here.

Ok being as I do not have employees, I am pretty much at the shop from open until close, which is noon until 10pm every day except weekends until 11pm and sundays until noon.

DH and I only go home to sleep and we rotate weekends with the kids. So there is little I can do to avoid shop/home intermixing. We pretty much live here right now and it will be that way for probably another year. Especially since DH works a job outside the store until it is at an income level to support us fiancially.

From the time I/we get up in the morning, around 8am, until we open, is the only time I have to get anything done such as running for supplies, getting a healthclub workout in 2-3 days/week which is needed for my heart health. I can't really be anywhere that doesn't have people around except my car. Do you suggest I talk and drive? I don't have nor like using bluetooth sets and do not have the overhead option in my car (never would use it anyway). 

While there is some expectation that public phonecalls are no longer private, is it really expected that I get a reaction or questions about my conversations every single time? It isn't just me mumbling to myself that she reacts to, it is asking about each and every phonecall I take/make in front of her, which seems to be happening more and more. She seems to want to know details of the phonecalls. I have gotten calls from my son's school (which I cannot just blow off when they do, because it is usually something serious) and she's asked about THOSE conversations. My son has some health issues that I really just don't think are other peoples' business unless I choose to disclose it to them directly. What I mentioned was just ONE example.

Being here 10 hours a day, much of it during hours that places like the vet and schools are open. Weekends are reserved for spending time with my kids so unless it is chatting with family with the kids, I hardly use my phone. I don't always have the luxury of leaving the shop or sitting somewhere quiet out of earshot. Again... it isn't the necessarily the nature of the phonecall I am worried about being overheard (if it is, I typically try to communicate via text or email vs. phonecall). It's this thing about needing to know everything going on in my life and feels intrusive. I don't feel the need to share or explain every single detail of my life after every phonecall, especially when it comes to my kids or finances. Why did I call and ask the vet if they took CareCredit? Because I have a small balance due to them and do not have the free cash flow to pay them (shop is in a slow time of year and DH's last contract ended early-so tight budget), but I have plenty of room on my CareCredit account to satisfy the bill until DH's next contract pays out. But did I want to say that to her? No, because honestly she doesn't need to know that.

While it may seem like a harmless call to ask about, maybe the reason behind it is personal.


When did it become ok to ask people details about phonecalls (aside from the possible solution for assistance situations) that you were not a part of?

While phonecalls made in public are not really private, when did it become ok to pry into what they're talking about?

The people I call friends in my store are really considered like family. But even 'family' members should have a reasonable expectation of personal privacy boundaries regarding phone conversations that aren't concerning others.

The 'asking what I am laughing about' was more of an add-on with this phone-call thing. It's more annoying but that's it. The phonecall thing is what I feel is intrusive, no matter how innocent things may be.

Do me this favor: Find one person you are around most (not a spouse) and after every phonecall they make or receive, ask details about the call. How do you think they will react?

Bexx27:
Your OP described a very different situation from what you're claiming now. You originally said she asked if you were OK in response to your muttering after the phone call, not that she was eavesdropping or asking about the phone call itself. Now you say she asks for the details of every phone call you make. It's frustrating for other posters in a thread when an OP becomes extremely defensive and seems to be changing the scenario because they are not getting the responses they wanted.

m2kbug:
Are you unhappy with the responses?  I thought this customer/friend was responding to your personal mumbling, which can be curtailed, hazard avoided. 

I think the only thing you can do is say, "It's a personal thing, don't worry about it."  "I can't really talk about it."  "It's a family thing," "That was a customer call, don't worry about it."  Try to take calls away from the customer/friend, if you can, a small office with the door open, a corner away from the main area?  "Excuse me while I take this call" or "excuse me while I make a call," and move away.  If I was sitting at my friend's kitchen counter and witnessed half of a call in front of me, how private is it, really?  And I might ask about what's going on.  I think it's just natural.  If you don't want to talk about it, don't expand beyond, "Kid's school, same ol' stuff, so tell me about your weekend." 

If it's meant to be a private call, make it private the best way you can within your limitations by separating yourself by space and/or by words.  Prioritize during slow hours or when "the gang" isn't there whenever you can. 

I think it's reasonable to expect that a shop owner has shop business to take care of, and in the absence of someone to watch the front, you can verbalize your need to take care of shop business (and personal business), which is separate from the socializing, despite the fact that you have to be up front.

No, this person should not be eavesdropping in the manner you described in your follow-up, but I still think you can take some measures to create a boundary within the environment. 

cass2591:
When the story ramps up a few notches after the OP doesn't get the replies she/he obviously expected, one tends to wonder why, especially when it's clear that the OP is very defensive.

I find it interesting that you claim every person inquires about your phone calls. Really? Every single one? If these people are so invested into your personal business perhaps you should take a step back and not treat them like family which I assume means that you share some personal info with them? Since it appears they continue to do it tells me they get positive reinforcement of some sort, so it is up to you to set boundaries, and ideally the customers/friends will respect them. m2kbug gave good examples of some polite responses that you can start off with.

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