Poor Bill. As he sits at his desk daily, he’s caught in the crossfire of one obnoxious conversation after another. Blah blah blah blah. “I need to be able to work through people in my office talking incessantly,” he bemoaned. “Why can’t they shut up?”
We’re here for you, Bill. Here’s our second user-requested pep talk. If you think you can do better or have more encouraging words for Bill, then submit a pep talk of your own for him!
The war rages on, eh? Every day is a new battle with these people.
First they drink all your coffee. Then they ruin your projects. Idiots, all of them. And now this. Now they’ve kicked it up a notch or ten and brought the conflict right to your doorstep.
Don’t these people ever shut up? Don’t they ever have a work-related conversation? Don’t they see you working? Do they really get paid to stand around and do nothing?
No, no, no, and no.
So what are you going to do?
You could sit there and take it. You could sit there and stare at the hours of work you have, getting nothing done, listening to Dale talk about his upcoming fantasy football draft. You could sit right there in your desk and listen to stories about Cindy’s stupid Labradoodle peeing in her husband’s shoe. Oh, har har. You could sit there and listen to Rob and Miranda from accounting harp on and on and on about Farmville. Big whoop.
But that’s not your style. You’re a go-getter, a playmaker, a 12-gauge shotgun loaded with initiative. When the going gets tough, YOU get going.
So get going. Get up out of that office chair and let’s silence these hooligans. This isn’t just an office, it’s YOUR office, and when YOUR office gets too loud for you to get work done, mothafuckas gotta pay!!!!
So do this: Walk over to their little conversation and put your conversational skills to work. Talk about your hyperhidrosis and how you have to change shirts after even the slightest bit of physical activity. They don’t know you sweat like any other person. Talk about your cookie jar or doll collection. They don’t know you don’t even own one of those things. Complain about how Mittens snubbed the tea party you were having with all your cats. You’re a dog person, but they don’t know that. Say something outlandish about how your lunch is giving you gas. They don’t know that you metabolize food so efficiently you hardly even need a toilet in your house.
You’re not asking them to be quiet, you’re simply leaving them no choice. You’ll only need to join their conversations two or three times in the next week or so before they take their conversations elsewhere. This isn’t some passive-aggressive Hail Mary. This is calculated. This is the end-around-double-lateral-throwback-to-the-quarterback-in-the-flat of passive-aggressive behavior. You might feel bad, or you might feel embarrassed, but most importantly, you’ll feel productive again. Remember: Awkward silence for them is golden silence for you.