Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Noise control

Do you have noisy neighbours? By this, I don't mean 'hooligans' with stereos blasting all through the night while they party into the wee small hours on week days, or race noisy cars up and down the street on a peaceful Sunday evening. I'm thinking of the office lottery we play when we are assigned a desk; some are lucky enough to be allocated to a harmonious bunch with similar preferences for working, while others simply end up with neighbours from hell.

I used to sit next to the ultimate huffer and puffer. He would sigh dramatically all. day. long. and loved nothing better than having a good moan to whoever would listen (and many who wouldn't) before repeating the cycle all over again. All I can say is, "thank goodness for my iPod". I'd plug in my earphones, even if I wasn't actually listening to anything, and it would help me ignore his moaning and muttering while also getting the message across that he wasn't going to get the reaction he wanted from me – this is a no sympathy zone!

Another former colleague would constantly chatter to herself under her breath. It took me a while to work out on which occasions she was talking to me and wanted some kind of response, but for most of the time she was happy to just talk to herself, not even realising she was doing it. I'd happily ignore her, but visitors to my desk couldn't help themselves pricking up their ears or asking me why I was ignoring her. It worked for us.

I now sit in an open pod of four at the end of a an office with about 12 staff in total. My immediate neighbour is quiet and reasonably pleasant, my neighbour opposite is serious, gentle and kind, and the third is a dynamic and extroverted self-styled 'princess'. She is good for lifting energy levels and moods and keeps everybody else trundling along. She is vibrant and vivacious in every aspect of her personality. "Stop yawning," she will say, if she catches someone in the act. She told us about one occasion when she had some friends over to watch a rugby match. The game was going unexpectedly well and the team they were supporting won, against all odds. She and her friends were screaming and shouting so loud in celebration that a neighbour called the police, worried that someone was being attacked or murdered in her flat. Serious. Vuvuzelas would be no competition for her and her friends!

Other colleagues are less fortunate. One sits on the other side of a room from a chronic noise maker. She swears at her monitor at various points during the day, makes rude comments about what she is reading, and gives a running commentary while reading her emails. Apparently she once called out, "yes, oh, fantastic!", or words to that effect, so it's not always negative, but apparently she is well known throughout the organisation for her constant muttering and vocal skills. No-one is entirely sure if she is aware of this fact or simply oblivious to it.

How are your 'neighbours'?

1 comment:

Donna said...

we're all rambunctious like that in the office. Always discussing what is going on. At home, it's not so bad. the 15 year old lives on our floor and he's quiet for the most part. I love when he plays his video game because I can now predict when it says "Enemy UAV on line." lol The brother in law and sister in law downstairs are a little loud with movies and the WII but I suspect that will change when my newphew gets here this week. the inlaws are always quiet. Unless we are with them. As for neighbors, I love Ms. Julie who has such an eclectic IPOD mix that she will blare Classical and then it switches to the Black Eyed Peas..But she's the only one.