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The Abhorrence of Office Loud Talkers
The Abhorrence of Office Loud Talkers

By Prunella de Pedant

At one’s workplace, precious few bad habits can compete with the piercing, penetrating presence of a high-volume co-worker - even if it is unintentional.

The sorry ramifications of this unfortunate trait are especially relevant in an open-plan area. Enter the Office Loud Talker.

No one needs or wants to know about the romantic troubles of their colleagues or, even more perturbing, their latest crop of ailments – at least, not in skintight detail.

These matters ought to be kept private. Office Loud Talker, however, lacks this commonsense filter. Well, they wouldn’t be squealing so loudly otherwise, would they?

Irksome? Yes. Delicate? Quite often.

Here are some suggestions, a few gentle tips that will, hopefully, hush the Office Loud Talker:

- Try and say something light-hearted. A laugh always makes things easier. Perhaps he or she is unaware that they are loud. Give them the benefit of doubt. Try something along the lines of: ‘Do you really want me to know that you had an affair with your neighbour?’ (continued below).

No need to shout, we can hear you Office Loud Talker.

No need to shout, we can hear you Office Loud Talker.

- If joking doesn’t work, don’t be shy and – armed with your most charming smile  - have a quiet but direct word; ask if they can speak more softly

- Failing both these approaches, speak to a colleague or boss who
can decode and explain the situation to the one in question.

Now, what if it is YOU that is the Office Loud Talker?

- Please heed the tips above, your office chums will be most appreciative.

- It’s quite simple and painless: Keep your private matters private.

- If you must deal with personal affairs, there’s no need to shout.

- Take your intimate conversations to the corridor or a room with a closed door  - simply because it’s the correct thing to do.

Maybe you could try turning off your personal telephone, and save your voice for hollering at the favourite in the fourth at Ascot or, indeed, during your primal scream therapy.

Ah, that’s better, we can work in peace now.

* piece first posted on February 22, 2010

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It looks great. Congratulations to this very needed magazine!

  • ellena
  • 23 Feb, 2010
  • 1:16 pm

Great article Prunella.

May I suggest another way of dealing with office loud talkers? Send them Prunella’s article!

  • Greg
  • 28 May, 2010
  • 10:37 am

[...] voice on the telephone or on one of the many hand held devices is also very distracting (please, loud office talkers, shhhhh). I notice this in offices, in airports and in walking down the street. Frankly, I am not [...]

  • Office etiquette: a few social graces for the modern workspace | Social graces. Redefined | MIEN Magazine
  • 28 Oct, 2010
  • 2:59 pm

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