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  1. #1

    Default How to tell coworker to stop talking to me?

    I work with a woman who will not stop talking. Period. Her duties are very brainless and boring to her, and she loves to talk. Never stops. Period. I am the only one near her, so she talks in my direction. Non-stop. Getting the picture here? The thing is, our office is a no-talk office. NO ONE talks unless it's about business, and that's the way the boss wants it. I have absolutely no problem not talking. However, it disrupts my work and makes me afraid that my boss will think that I'm talking WITH this woman, instead of her talking and me ignoring like I try to do without being too rude.

    How do you tell someone NICELY to stop talking? I've tried using the "boss thinks you're not working if you're talking", which is what was used by our supervisor to reprimand in the past, and I've also tried, "I'm really busy", to no avail. Nothing stops her. Oh, and if she's not talking, she's SINGING. OUT LOUD. My supervisor said I have to talk to her about it myself. I'm very non-confrontational, and I don't want to piss her off, since I have to work with her, but nothing is getting through!
    Last edited by Haven'tJumpedInALongTime; Oct. 28, 2012 at 03:14 PM. Reason: typo



  2. #2
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    Uh no, your sup needs to man up and enforce the office "policy". Employee to employee issue are rarely resolved by the two of them trying to mediate each other. Tell your sup that this very experienced sup says he (or she) is a super wuss and needs a demotion for lack of employee support.
    The Knotted Pony

    Proud and upstanding member of the Snort and Blow Clique.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
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    Uh no, your sup needs to man up and enforce the office "policy". Employee to employee issue are rarely resolved by the two of them trying to mediate each other. Tell your sup that this very experienced sup says he (or she) is a super wuss and needs a demotion for lack of employee support.
    The Knotted Pony

    Proud and upstanding member of the Snort and Blow Clique.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
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    Wear earbuds/headphones?


    2 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
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    Earphones and ignore. Ignore everything. Be rude, as it seems being polite does not work. If she continues after being ignored state clearly to her " I am working and I do not have time to socialize at work." or something similar. She is being rude to you by doing this so only a VERY clear non agressive statement might work.


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  6. #6
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    Twotrudoc - I also thought the super was supposed to take care of the problem, which is why I told her. I was quite surprised when she told me that I had to talk to the woman.

    Simkie - that's a good idea. The only thing is that I do a lot of interaction with the other office people and they catch my attention by calling my name!

    Bopper - Yes, I might just need to grow a pair. I like your suggestion.



  7. #7
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    Your sup is incorrect. You may need to tell them you feel uncomfortable and need to escalate to their boss and/or HR (preferably both!).
    The Knotted Pony

    Proud and upstanding member of the Snort and Blow Clique.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by twotrudoc View Post
    Uh no, your sup needs to man up and enforce the office "policy". Employee to employee issue are rarely resolved by the two of them trying to mediate each other. Tell your sup that this very experienced sup says he (or she) is a super wuss and needs a demotion for lack of employee support.
    Agree.

    Let's go over co-worker relation basics, shall we?

    There is an issue between Susie and Bobby. Bobby is doing things that are disruptive to Susie.

    Step 1: Susie should talk to Bobby about the issues she's experiencing.

    Step 2: If Bobby does not listen, Susie might talk to him again, but really, she did her due diligence in step one.

    Step 3: Susie tells Supervisor Frank about the issue.

    Step 4: Supervisor Frank takes care of the issue.

    I'm sorry, but if you've talked to your co-worker a few times and it's not working, it's time for the supervisor to deal with it. They're a supervisor, it's their job to deal with issues such as these. They probably also get paid more for this position as well.

    If they refuse to talk to the employee about her disruption, I personally would have a little talk with them about how you felt ignored and if it continued this way you'd have to go up a step on the ladder.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by twotrudoc View Post
    Your sup is incorrect. You may need to tell them you feel uncomfortable and need to escalate to their boss and/or HR (preferably both!).
    Actually, my sup IS HR, as well! The only one higher in the company is the owner, and since I recently got this job, I sure don't want to complain to owner.



  10. #10
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    So you work for HR? The VP or head of HR may report to a CEO or pres but no one reports to HR except HR. Having other depts report to HR is a conflict to their job as well as poor internal controls (with the exception of payroll who usually either reports to HR or Finance).

    Or is it a small company? Like 5 people?
    The Knotted Pony

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  11. #11
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    I don't know your office situation is but I can say in past situations at work I found it useful to have a paper trail to cover myself. Just an e-mail to your supervisor stating that you are concerned about the situation with the employee talking constantly and disrupting your work might be a good idea. It really depends on your situation.

    Hilary


    1 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
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    Can you wear headphones? If not, just ignore that person. Sooner or later they get tired of talking to themselves.
    Yes, I smell like a horse. No, I don't consider that to be a problem.

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  13. #13
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    If confrontation makes your skin crawl, any chance you could ask to move offices or cube space?

    Otherwise, maybe try, when interrupted by Big Talker yet again, "BT, I'm having to really concentrate on this _______. Sorry, I just can't VISIT right now." Rinse, repeat. Probably she's just one of those people who can't stand the sound of silence, but that must be pretty annoying for you to work around!!
    "And now," cried Max, "let the wild rumpus start!"



  14. #14
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    Ignore her. buy earbuds or headphones..send an email to the supervisor so you have a record of seeking assistance in the matter if it ever comes back on to you...I do however, find no talk workplaces very very strange...just another reason I am glad I am self employed.



  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by twotrudoc View Post
    Your sup is incorrect. You may need to tell them you feel uncomfortable and need to escalate to their boss and/or HR (preferably both!).
    ^^^^yup
    Your employer cannot force you to confront someone.
    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haven'tJumpedInALongTime View Post
    I work with a woman who will not stop talking. Period. Her duties are very brainless and boring to her, and she loves to talk. Never stops. Period. I am the only one near her, so she talks in my direction. Non-stop. Getting the picture here? The thing is, our office is a no-talk office. NO ONE talks unless it's about business, and that's the way the boss wants it. I have absolutely no problem not talking. However, it disrupts my work and makes me afraid that my boss will think that I'm talking WITH this woman, instead of her talking and me ignoring like I try to do without being too rude.

    How do you tell someone NICELY to stop talking? I've tried using the "boss thinks you're not working if you're talking", which is what was used by our supervisor to reprimand in the past, and I've also tried, "I'm really busy", to no avail. Nothing stops her. Oh, and if she's not talking, she's SINGING. OUT LOUD. My supervisor said I have to talk to her about it myself. I'm very non-confrontational, and I don't want to piss her off, since I have to work with her, but nothing is getting through!
    ^ I think we work in the same or similar offices. I sit in the vicinity of the office PITA. this person.. RARELY. SHUTS. UP. managers are well aware and they do what they can, but it does not have any effect. I went the ear buds route which helps somewhat, but when this person sets their sights on you, there is nothing that will stop them short of the top dog telling the person to shut it... even then this person is confrontational, argumentative. Good advice going to your boss, HR etc. Nothing else I can suggest.. maybe you will be luckier than I am and something will be said/done. I love my job, but this person makes me want to whack myself with a bat until I loose consciousness... I might try talking to the PITA in my office one more time... but it will likely fall on deaf ears. You're not alone Haven't Jumped in a long time...
    ....... pausing



  17. #17
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    Frankly, if she's this freaking unpleasant & non-stop, I wouldn't have a problem with being "rude" at all. After all, this is YOUR job, & you've already contacted a supervisor (I DO hope you have this contact well documented).

    I'd simply look up briefly - or not - & say "I CAN'T DEAL WITH YOU RIGHT NOW. CAN YOU PLEASE LEAVE ME ALONE WHILE I TRY TO WORK". As for the singing, I wouldn't have a problem with saying LOUDLY - "Can you please SHUT UP!! SOME of us are trying to work".

    If you've documented your contact with your supervisor, if SHE has the cahonies to complain about YOUR attitude, you should be covered. (But it does sound like one helluva lame-ass chain of command where you work.)



  18. #18
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    Suggest that she listens to music/the radio while she's working? (Through earphones, of course.) Some people just really can't deal with the quiet.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by twotrudoc View Post
    So you work for HR? The VP or head of HR may report to a CEO or pres but no one reports to HR except HR. Having other depts report to HR is a conflict to their job as well as poor internal controls (with the exception of payroll who usually either reports to HR or Finance).

    Or is it a small company? Like 5 people?
    It's a big company, but only a couple administrators.



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Yonder View Post
    If confrontation makes your skin crawl, any chance you could ask to move offices or cube space?

    Otherwise, maybe try, when interrupted by Big Talker yet again, "BT, I'm having to really concentrate on this _______. Sorry, I just can't VISIT right now." Rinse, repeat. Probably she's just one of those people who can't stand the sound of silence, but that must be pretty annoying for you to work around!!
    I WISH I could move, and have asked, but been told no. She's one of those that thinks every detail of her life is interesting to everyone, and she has told me how she hates that no one talks at our office. YES, it's very annoying!



  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by tradewind View Post
    I do however, find no talk workplaces very very strange.
    I thought it was weird, too, when I started, but I have discovered that I love the silence so I can concentrate on my work.



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