Feb 4, 2012

You are a hypocrite!

I work in an office environment where silence, if not paramount, is very important for the quality of work. Academic editing requires a lot of concentration and can be taxing. So, editors need a release too. In such an environment, the time and method of release chosen by a particular person might conflict with the work of others working nearby. It can be annoying if a person a group constantly creates a lot of noise, especially laughter and/or giggling.

My office unfortunately has such a group of people who, despite repeated warnings, carry on laughing loud and giggling. During these episodes, they fail to control the decibel levels of their conversations too. To avoid getting distracted, you could possibly listen to music. But when you are trying to read sentences aloud in your mind to try and understand and edit them, music is also a hindrance sometimes. There is no other way but hope that these people would stop and realize others are getting affected by it.

I tried to talk to a member of this group and let that person know what exactly the issue is. One day, in the evening, the person appeared to be apologetic and promised to be careful in the future. The very next day, after repetition of the same unruly behavior, and after it was pointed out, the same person was aggressive and rude. The ego was offended and exploded like a volcano. The person started pointing out other groups of people having small conversations in the office and went on to insist that I was being biased against him/her.

I tried to tell the person that I have features of adult ADD and I am particularly sensitive to noise and get distracted very easily. Even that backfired. I was told that I am trying to hide behind the façade of ‘mental conditions’ and I wanted everyone to work in a way that I wanted them to. Eventually, I ended up being called a ‘hypocrite’ for being only sensitive to the noise created by a particular group. I decided that it was best to end the conversation at that.

What would you have done in the same situation?

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I guess stabbing him/her with your pen wasn't an option, so you did the next best thing.

Kris Bass said...

Yeah, I didn't want to waste the ink. :)

Anonymous said...

You remember Carlos, KK. He is dealing with a similar problem and solved it by moving to a quieter part of the office. He is at the ADD/Aspergers end of the spectrum and cannot deal with the same sort of distractions you find unbearable. I don't know if you're able to move, but if so, it could mitigate or solve the problem. Trying to get people to pipe down will simply not work, and will create tensions.
Also, isn't instrumental music - jazz, classical, whatever - with no lyrics, an option? That's how I insulate myself from audio distractions. - Alan

Kris Bass said...

I understand what you are saying, Alan. I don't think I can move to another place. I can try Jazz/instrumental music however. However, I have noticed that when I want to insulate myself from the noise that kids that make in my building, even instrumental music interrupts my thought stream when I am working on text. So...

sunny said...

in my case Even if i ended conversation they blamed me for giving them silent treatment.then things went very very violent...one thing lead to another ...and we are sworn enemies! Better buy them a pizza and be friends, even if u are pissed off.

Kris Bass said...

Buying a Pizza is not my cup of tea. But yeah, we are now 'talking' with each other.