Loud Co-Worker

A reader writes…

I sit in a cubicle and my co-worker is SO loud.
How can I address this annoying issue with her?

Dear ”Distracted,”

So, you sit next to a “Larry Loudmouth” or a “Chatty Cathy,” huh? I know how that is.  I once worked next to a guy who would “talk” to his computer… literally. To make matters worse, he’d hum under his breath, so all I’d hear was an irritating and steady mumble from across the way. For cryin’ out loud… can it get any worse?

Let me tell you what I did. It may just be the answer for you…

  • First, I approached him directly.  I thought, “Who knows, maybe this guy has no idea that he is totally annoying!” Putting on my best poker face, I diplomatically and professionally explained that I work in close proximity and his volume is affecting my productivity.  In all due respect to the poor fellow, I believe it is only fair to address the situation directly, before taking further action.

Well go figure… my attempt bit the dust and the noise continued.

  • It was time for an intervention.  If the noise was bugging me and my thick skin, I could only imagine what it must be doing to other co-workers nearby.  So, I enlisted the help of my supervisor (or, you can always go straight to HR).  I sent an email explaining that I spoke with my colleague and attempted to address the issue, but he still had not responded to my request. 

After I rallied the troops, the problem seemed to be resolved.  Okay, for about 2 weeks. 

  • The noise and distractions started to really get to me.  I had enough and asked to be relocated to a different cubicle.  Seemed a little unfair that I had to move, but in the end I was in a much happier (and peaceful) place.

If you try all of these steps and things don’t get any better, my advice to you?
Ask Santa for some really good headphones.

Good Luck!

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bothered
    Jun 15, 2011 @ 17:10:05

    I also have a loud co-worker in the cubicle next to me. She knows (has admitted) she talks loud and is REALLY loud on the phone. When my other colleague and I are at my desk training, “Loudmouth Laura” asks us to keep it down because she “can’t concentrate”. My colleague and I look at each other, like – you’re kidding right? Coming from miss loudmouth herself. How do we say something back without starting something.

    Reply

  2. NATASHA
    Dec 21, 2010 @ 13:19:47

    TELL THE BOSS THAT’S WHAT I WOULD DO; BUT JUST APPROACH THE BOSS IN A CONFIDENTIAL MANNER. YOU KNOW TO KEEP THE CHAOS DOWN. YA DON’T NEED ANY STALKERS IN THE PARKING LOT. LOL GOOD LUCK THOUGH

    Reply

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Disclaimer

Anita Clew's blog posts are intended for general guidance and should never be taken as legal advice. In all instances where harassment, inequity, or unfair treatment is believed to be present, please consult your HR Department or legal representation.
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