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Ask Shifra

Something Different... Answering questions and making curious observations (online) since 2005.

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Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Dear Big Boss of my Department,

I think it's great that you like to keep your office door open.
It means you are accessible and a regular guy... I get it, it's great.

Unfortunately, I sit right outside of your lovely private office, in a
wide open cubical with a mountain of work to do today and the sound of
your constant meetings and calls on your speakerphone ARE DRIVING ME

Shut your goddam door or I'll do it for you!




At 3:05 AM, Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Wow. I hope he doesn't read your blog.

Sounds like you need some extra coffee...or earplugs.

At 8:30 AM, Blogger treppenwitz said...

Try playing music softly at your desk. The microphones on the speakerphones pick up music very clearly... sometimes more clearly than the spoken voice... and it will only be a couple of minutes before he/she closes the door in self-defense.

At 9:13 AM, Blogger Shifra said...

Jameel - the day the boss reads my blog is the day I stop blogging (and also possibly working!)

Trep - Good advice! I tried headphones yesterday but even that couldn't block out the sound...
I am just concerned about disturbing my other cube-mates.
Maybe I'll get the guy next to me to turn up the top Brazillian hits he normally listens to at a "reasonable volume."

At 9:38 AM, Blogger MUST Gum Addict said...

Here are David Letterman's Top 10 Drawbacks to Working in a Cubicle.

10. Being told to "think outside the box" when you're in a freakin' box all day long.

9. Not being able to check e-mail attachments without turning around to see who's behind you.

8. Cubicle walls do not offer much protection from any kind of gunfire.

7. That nagging feeling that if you press the right button, you'll get a piece of cheese.

6. Lack of roof rafters for the noose.

5. The walls are too close together for the hammock to work right.

4. 23 power cords... 1 outlet.

3. Prison cells are not only bigger, they also have beds.

2. The carpet has been there since 1976 and shows more signs of life than your coworkers.

1. You can't walk out and slam the door when you quit.

At 9:45 AM, Blogger MUST Gum Addict said...

BTW, I do sympathize with you on this issue. On two accounts: Speakerphones, and Obnoxious People in the Workplace.

I understand the value of speakerphone, and during some conference calls, they are necessary, although I'll also tell you that I use a headset now and they are SO much better.

I have to sit at a cubicle when I'm at a certain client and on one side I have a nut who is always muttering things under his breath, not realizing how loud he's really saying these things. On the other side of me, I have this one guy who obviously is having issues at home because he's always on the phone and saying things like "I have to GO honey -- no no, listen to ME -- no, I will not -- ok, I'm going to hang up now -- oh no, you better not start -- look, I don't have the time for this now -- yes, I -- no, stop it -- listen, I have to really go -- that's it, I am HANGING up this phone -- can't we talk about this later, because I -- why are you crying?..." and this goes on ALL FREAKIN DAY....

At 11:00 AM, Anonymous Essie said...

You must work at my office! We all wear headphones to block out the surrounding conversations.

At 12:48 PM, Blogger Ger Tzadik said...

You think it's bad with offices, try in cubicle land. We have someone here who always takes calls on his speakerphone, even though we're all provided with headsets. One day someone will snap and use his neglected headset cord to strangle him.

At 1:03 PM, Blogger Shifra said...

Ger - We have some of that too (in one of the other offices I work out of.) To solve that problem I came in early and switched the "call release" button with the "speakerphone" button on his phone. A couple lost calls and he got the message ;-)

At 1:31 PM, Blogger Scraps said...

Oh wow, so I'm not the only one! I sit RIGHT outside my boss' office, and I hear EVERY BLESSED WORD HE SAYS. He happens to have the kind of voice that carries very well, and I hear plenty of conversations that I'm fairly certain I'm not supposed to be hearing. At least it sometimes makes things interesting. ;)

At 5:35 PM, Blogger Ezzie said...

the day the boss reads my blog is the day I stop blogging (and also possibly working!)

More likely, stop working. Then a lot more blogging. :) (Oh, I hope that you keep your job, I'm just saying...)

At 9:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tell you boss that there was a study that shows that working with too much noise lowers productivity by 25%. Also, another study showed that multitasking has a 20% rate of no productivity per task. Ask for a quieter cube. Good luck.

At 12:07 AM, Blogger Shevy said...

I dont understand what the problem would be if you kindly went to your boss's door, and asked nicely "Do you mind if I close it?"

Try it.

At 1:55 PM, Blogger Sweettooth120 said...

We had one of those too, but she just got fired.

WooHoo! Yippee!

At 10:37 PM, Blogger Shifra said...

Murduac- As I recall when we shared an office it was "all Fleetwood Mac, all the time" to this day I'm still ODed on that band.
PS I'm happy you are still reading my blog! Keep in touch!

Must Gum - oooh that is SO uncomfortable!

Shevy- I'd LOVE to ask him to close his door but he's always in meetings or on the PHONE!!!
Thank god it's not like that everyday.

Ezzie - don't jinx me!

At 12:50 AM, Blogger Jack's Shack said...

Leave some sort of stinky food right outside his door. Or if you are feeling really bold comment on his phone calls. Tell him that he really handled his wife well or did a great job with that client.

But don't forget to blog about this. ;)

At 10:43 PM, Blogger The back of the hill said...

One day four of us called each other on speakerphone about every little thing, even though we're only cubicles away from each other.

Speaker phone manager got the hint.

Perhaps because it interfered with her very important speakerphone conversations.

At 4:12 PM, Blogger Eliyahu said...

this won't solve the problem, but it will keep you in the dark as to what is being said -- makes it a little more like background noise. but abba's greatest hits it's not. http://www.thetechgap.com/2006/02/babble_will_bog.html

At 4:14 PM, Blogger Eliyahu said...

sorry. lost the ".html":


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