Phone Blabber

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"Careless Words Can Liquidate Ships-Bette...

A reader wants to know how she can tell a phone blabber to shut up.

You’ve heard of a phone blabber, right? Someone who sits in her cube all day long and talks too much.

My sciatic nerve is killing me. I’ve been trying out these new compression socks from CVS and they make my toes sweaty. And my doctor thinks I need a hysterectomy because my uterus is swollen. Blah blah blah.

You may be surprised to hear that I have sympathy for the woman on the phone. One person’s blabber is another person’s critical point of contact for a very serious problem. You might hear her talk about her psoriasis but she might also have important conversations about serious issues.

And most office acoustics suck. It’s not her fault that management thought it was a good idea to create an ‘open office environment’ to foster innovation.

My advice to you? Try noise-canceling headphones.

Yes, you can tell this woman to be quiet — but you better prepare for office armageddon because this woman’s response will be textbook Office 101.

  1. She will talk on the phone more frequently and with a louder voice.
  2. She will complain about you to your peers.
  3. She will listen to your conversations to make sure your voice isn’t too loud and your time isn’t being wasted on personal stuff.
Seriously, get some headphones. Better yet? Get a job where you can work from home a few days each week to really focus on important projects.
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