Let me learn what I need to learn

In the “I don’t know what God is trying to produce in me…” portion of the blog:

I work across (not with) an incredibly loud person. We are in cubes and he refuses to use a handset when he is in a conference call…or headphones. Everything is done via speaker phone. Maybe his handset is broken? I don’t know and am too timid (read “interested in keeping the peace”) to ask him. Of course he shouts into his speaker phone as well when he talks.

Now he even refuses to use a keyboard. He has a speech recognition program that allows him to speak to the computer rather than type. Good for him! Now we can all hear “Comma…open parenthesis…close parenthesis…tab…tab...tab…”

Was it my sin or my parents sin that relegated me to this placement in the office. We all know the answer to that but man…it sure feels like I am getting punished for something.


  1. Meeeeeeeeeeerrde, just lost a comment. Well, I only asked if this was still going on, said it might be an opportunity to connect, and suggested finding out discreetly whether he has some kind of handicap. If not, I suggested trying the classic 4-step communication approach, and welcoming the chance to get to know the guy by active engagement.

  2. This guy still doing this? You know this could be a chance for connection.

    Can you find out neutrally whether he has a disability of some kind? You could ask HR, telling them you aren't complaining, just want to understand what's going on. If they offer to intervene, try to handle it on your own first. The good old four-step communication approach might come in handy:

    1. State neutrally how the situation seems to you. (Practice this with someone who'll pick up and point out anything non-neutral.) With sensitive people who are considerate, just this will be enough - they'll offer solutions and be motivated to change.

    If that doesn't happen, proceed to:

    2. Describe how the situation affects you. Use I-statements.

    This is generally enough to get decent people (who might be a bit thick, or caught up in other thoughts and thus not have responded to step 1) to engage and make a change.

    If not, well then get specific in:

    3. Request change. Lots of ways to phrase this. Stay positive, solution-oriented.

    If the guy refuses to work with you, then decide whether you want to take it to step

    4. Set and state clear, fair consequences.

    Maybe this guy'll become your new best bud at work.

  3. Thanks for the feedback. You're right about the communication thing. I'll give it a shot and see where it goes.


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