Friday follies

October 17, 2008

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlement, and welcome to this weekend’s edition of FRIDAY!

We begin this evening with Friday follies, a roundup of all the annoying shit our coworkers do during the week that remind us why our employers must bribe us each week to make sure we come back on Mondays.

This week’s topic: Office noise. Specifically passive noise.

If you work where I work, a certain amount of noise is to be expected. Ringing phones, chit chat, e-mail pings and a general dull roar is annoying, but tolerable.

No, the noise I’m talking about is not noise that anyone creates, but the kind of noise that just doesn’t need to happen.

The perp in this story is someone who used to have an office, but now has a cubicle. However, he still acts like he has a cubicle. Every other cubicle monkey I know is considerate enough to wear head phones when he or she listens to music, but not this guy. We all get to enjoy whatever Internet radio station he chose for the day. Sometimes it’s Baroque’s Greatest Hits, or others it’s Smooth Jazz. Today, we were all treated to the 70s station and enjoyed The Eagles, Janis Joplin and all eight minutes of “American Pie. That is, when he wasn’t taking calls on speakerphone.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t need to live in a hermetically sealed bubble to get my work done. I’m capable of tuning out all kinds of noise. What gets me is that this is stuff I don’t need to hear. I don’t want to hear it. And, frankly, in the case of the phone call, stuff that is NONE of my business.

Fortunately, this coworker is going to a different office soon, and maybe someone there will tell him to plug in some headphones. In the meantime, I’m just keeping my ears open for some juicy speakerphone dirt.

Am I alone? Who are your worst office noise perps?



  1. I work in a cubicle farm, and there is someone who was just moved over to the other side of the wall, I think because her co-workers hated her. She’s now about as far away from them as possible, and very close to me. There are your typical overly-loud, non-work related phone calls, bringing her kids to work, but really, the kicker has been her either watching or listening to telenovelas without headphones. I think if I could understand what was being said, I could block it out, but my Spanish can’t handle the affairs, backstabbing, secret love children and other possible stories that are unfolding on the other side of the wall. Drives me batty.

  2. Um, I have the same problems. A speaker phone abuser, and internet radio junkie that can’t use head phones, AND an office whistler. He walks around just whistling some off beat bad ditty. It makes me crazy.

  3. Ugh. I sit close to this one copyeditor who laughs at EVERYTHING. And her boyfriend, who works with us, always has to stop by her desk for a chat. No matter what he says, she laughs. And her laugh is like, “Heh. Heh. Heh. Heh.” It sounds painful.

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