News: There is a new Ehell Kindness Project!  Check it out in the "Extending the Hand of Kindness" folder or here: http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=139832.msg3372084#msg3372084   

  • April 30, 2016, 05:46:32 PM

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: The walls have ears.  (Read 1595 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

jpcher

  • Member
  • Posts: 9529
The walls have ears.
« on: April 28, 2016, 06:43:24 PM »
Is there a polite way to ask/tell CW Sally to please stop listening to my conversations?

Okay, she'll probably never stop listening, but can I ask her to stop commenting?

This is starting to grate on my nerves. I'll have a phone call with the Editor and when I hang up she says "How is Editor doing? What was that about?" or a conversation with my boss about one of my projects and she'll chime in and say "Maybe you should do this." or a conversation with a customer where we are quietly discussing a project and a funny remark is made, she'll start laughing and say "That is too funny." She's even made comments while I'm on the phone with one or the other of my DDs! (rare occurrence, I keep personal chats to the bare minimum.) The list goes on and on.

No, I don't talk loudly. In fact, I've brought my talking down several levels to the point where I might have to repeat myself while on the phone. Just today, she even made a comment while I was muttering to myself under my breath, a bare whisper. ::)

I've come to realize that there is no such thing as a private conversation in my cube. We sit maybe 12 feet apart and there is a cube wall between us.

I hear her conversations as well, but tend to tune them out and not listen because I think there should be modicum of privacy, this is the polite thing to do, right? I would never join in on her personal phone chats nor comment while she's with a customer!



Is there a polite way to say "I know you can hear me, but I would appreciate it if you didn't join in on my conversations unless you are asked to participate?"

Or am I getting worked up over something that can't be rectified? Something that I just need to learn to deal with?



Thoughts?

Zizi-K

  • Member
  • Posts: 1597
Re: The walls have ears.
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2016, 06:49:37 PM »
there might be a technological solution to your dilemma - white noise machine. It will make it harder for her to hear you.

RainyDays

  • Member
  • Posts: 131
Re: The walls have ears.
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2016, 07:05:28 PM »
I'd be tempted to completely ignore her, as though she was not talking to you -- that is, pretend that little partition is a wall until she says your name or pops up over it; tune her out entirely. And then when that happens and she asks about how boss is or about something that occurred during your phone call, I would still assume it was a completely private call and be moderately confused. Seem like you were completely engulfed in your own thing, and her comments are only just now interrupting you. "How's boss?" "Huh? Oh I suppose just fine, why have you talked to her lately?" 

GardenGal

  • Member
  • Posts: 89
Re: The walls have ears.
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2016, 07:42:46 PM »
How frustrating and rude!  I'd ignore her and, if she pushes for a reply, say something about how you didn't realize your conversation was so loud that it was making it hard for her to concentrate, and that you're so sorry as the call had nothing to do with what she is working on.  (Is that snarky?) 

Oh Joy

  • Member
  • Posts: 1700
Re: The walls have ears.
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2016, 10:13:15 PM »
Perhaps you could approach it more like, "I know that with this darn open-office plan we can't help hear each other, but could we act like we have office walls and can't hear others' calls?  I promise I'll let you know if I need something."

I keep coming back to a bathroom analogy of how we don't comment on the noises we hear in the next stall,  but that just wouldn't suit.

GreenEyedHawk

  • Member
  • Posts: 2511
  • Not hot but SPICY
    • My Facebook.  Feel free to add me!
Re: The walls have ears.
« Reply #5 on: Yesterday at 07:43:20 AM »
How annoying!  I would respond to her the same way I do to anyone who talks to me about non-work-related stuff at work when I'm busy.

"Sorry, can't talk right now.  I need to concentrate on this!" said in a bright or breezy tone.  If you go back to the same response every time she feels the need to comment on your calls, I would hope eventually she would get a clue and stop asking.
"After all this time?"
"Always."

lowspark

  • Member
  • Posts: 5056
Re: The walls have ears.
« Reply #6 on: Yesterday at 08:01:47 AM »
I probably would start saying "private conversation" a lot.

"How is Editor doing? What was that about?"
answer: "Oh, it was a private conversation."

"Maybe you should do this."
(tell the person on the phone to hold on a sec) then say to her (with a smile) "This is a private conversation."

etc.
I think if you say that enough times, she should get the message to but out. She might still listen, but I would think she'd stop commenting.
Houston 
Texas 
USA 

MrTango

  • Member
  • Posts: 3038
Re: The walls have ears.
« Reply #7 on: Yesterday at 08:26:18 AM »
there might be a technological solution to your dilemma - white noise machine. It will make it harder for her to hear you.

Another option is a small desk fan.  It's not going to be quite as effective as a white noise machine, but it's probably cheaper.

sweetonsno

  • Grammando and Cupcake Lady
  • Member
  • Posts: 1738
Re: The walls have ears.
« Reply #8 on: Yesterday at 12:21:02 PM »
"I wasn't talking to you" (the tone should be more "Sorry for confusing you; I'm clarifying" than "Butt out" snapping, of course). That would be my starting point. If the comments continued, I'd probably go with Oh Joy's direct route.
You have just begun reading the sentence you have just finished reading.

flyersandunicorns

  • Orange Crush
  • Member
  • Posts: 64
  • Up Above The Ropes
    • Love Moonsaults - Livejournal
Re: The walls have ears.
« Reply #9 on: Yesterday at 02:51:12 PM »
As someone who is expected to listen most of the time, I hope that it's a bad habit that she hasn't broken  :o

Wishful thinking aside, that's so rude and I'd be flustered too. I like the idea of a desk fan or can you put your back to the wall facing her cube? I'm not sure if you are facing her wall or not, so I'm assuming you are in this case.

I think it just clicked why my boss drops his voice super lower half the time when he calls. Sometimes he's yacking away and then he'll drop it down like he's talking in a library.

rose red

  • Member
  • Posts: 9572
Re: The walls have ears.
« Reply #10 on: Yesterday at 03:14:30 PM »
As someone who is expected to listen most of the time, I hope that it's a bad habit that she hasn't broken  :o

People can't help but hear what's going on around them, but the rude part is commenting and butting in where you don't belong.

Can you say "I'm talking to (whoever) and it's distracting when you speak to me at the same time." If she grills you afterwards about what you were talking about, you can say "Oh, nothing that concerns you" or "Just business stuff"

If nothing else works, there's nothing wrong with this:
Is there a polite way to say "I know you can hear me, but I would appreciate it if you didn't join in on my conversations unless you are asked to participate?"

EllenS

  • Member
  • Posts: 3956
  • I write whimsical vintage mysteries.
    • My Author Page:
Re: The walls have ears.
« Reply #11 on: Yesterday at 03:34:25 PM »
I probably would start saying "private conversation" a lot.

"How is Editor doing? What was that about?"
answer: "Oh, it was a private conversation."

"Maybe you should do this."
(tell the person on the phone to hold on a sec) then say to her (with a smile) "This is a private conversation."

etc.
I think if you say that enough times, she should get the message to but out. She might still listen, but I would think she'd stop commenting.

I like this the best so far.

rain

  • Member
  • Posts: 884
Re: The walls have ears.
« Reply #12 on: Yesterday at 09:32:41 PM »
'nother vote for lowspark's suggestion
In search of a tag line