I have a new co-worker in my office suite, who has been here for just over a month. While our desks sit closely together, we work for completely different departments that do not really interact in terms of work and responsibilities. Our desks just happen to be that close because we're very limited on space here and there was nowhere else to put her.
This co-worker, Nancy, is very, very slow to do her work. She will be given a small, simple task to do and will take well over a week to do it. I think her main issue with slowness is because she wants to be a part of every single thing that goes on around her. My office deals with the research labs, so often times I'll have a researcher stop by my desk to ask if we can order more of this or that chemical, or they have a question about a particular form they need to fill out, or something along those lines. Any time someone stops by to ask a question or talk about something, she will stop working, turn around in her chair, and watch us, swiveling her head back and forth as though she is watching a tennis match. This has actually made several people uncomfortable, because she is so clearly engrossed in our conversation. We're not being overly loud or disruptive, and it's typically all work-related things, so we're not disturbing her work with gossip or banter. In addition to the watching, she'll sometimes interrupt the conversation with a completely unrelated question or comment. For example, one day last week, a professor came to tell me that we needed to order more of a particular chemical they use to clean the lab glassware. Nancy stopped her work, turned around, and did her usual staring. Finally, at a break in our conversation, she interjected that she dislikes going to the dentist but had a dentist appointment later that week. The professor sort of stared at her for a second and said he'd just e-mail me later about the chemicals.
It's not limited to in-person conversations. I had to call a company to get a quote for a particular service we need. She stopped her work, turned around, and watched me as I talked on the phone to the company.
It's making me uncomfortable. She doesn't just do it to me, either. Anyone having a conversation anywhere within her line of sight gets watched and she interjects random stories or questions into their conversation.
Any ideas on how to handle her?