The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


April 4, 2014

Career Coach: How to handle co-workers' habits that annoy you

The Career Coach, Joyce E.A. Russell, recently fielded questions from readers.



Q:Two days a week, I share a small, quiet room with up to four or five other people. The number of people isn't the problem, it's that I can hear every sound that every person makes. (the bathroom is steps away in the hall, so those, too). The sounds of chewing when people eat drives me crazy. Especially when somebody's eating a bag of chips, or the worst: slurp-chomping a piece of juicy fruit. I'm getting annoyed just thinking about it.

A: I understand. Coworkers — if this is you — think about moving elsewhere when eating or just be aware that it can be annoying to others working near you.

Another thought: While you could ask co-workers to try to keep it quiet in the room, is it also possible that you could use headphones so you won't be able to hear everything that goes on? have known folks who use headphones either to listen to music while working or to just block out the noise near them. Just a thought for your own piece of mind.

Co-worker's personal calls

Q: My cubemate is constantly on the phone making personal calls. Constantly. Once I clocked her on the phone for six hours out of the day. Naturally, she doesn't keep her voice down, and she talks about appallingly personal things — I know every detail of her life, from her marital problems with her husband, to her personal banking passwords, to the date of the beginning of her current pregnancy (ugh, with way too much information on that, too). I recently added many new responsibilities at work that involve lots of focus and reading, and her constant jabbering in my ear is driving me up the wall. (She sings along to the radio or talks to co-workers when she's not on the phone as well.) I finally broke down and approached our supervisor about these issues, and while he did talk to her, the situation improved for all of two days before she was back on the phone arguing with her husband all day. Any advice so I don't go nuts?

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