Big Mouth Bothers – Tuesday March 23rd

00ee8a3a94b4ff48Dear Poor Lucky Me,


I work in a very open, communal office space. We recently hired a woman who talks all day long about nothing and everything. She chats non-stop about her cat, her recent car crash, past work experiences, and on and on. She one-ups everyone in every conversation and is an expert in every possible category.


I have politely asked her to quiet down. I’ve given her gestures to suggest she should be more quiet, but she is not getting these hints. It is to the point where I am afraid I am going to explode and offer her a huge cup of shut the hell up.


How can I get her to keep her yapper shut?


Thank you.
Is Violence The Answer?


Dear Violence,
This is not good. I’m assuming that pretending not to speak English is not a feasible solution for you. Unfortunately this anti-social behavior usually comes from low self esteem, and that is a really hard disease to cure. Aside from sarcastic comments and big eye rolls, I think you’ll have to be more manipulative.


Start by leaning in one day and kicking up a conversation about some one else in your office- we’ll call her Kathy for the sake of this exercise. Consider letting Kathy in on this technique, in case the offender busts you out.


Describe to the offender all the things that SHE does- “Doesn’t it drive you crazy when Kathy talks so loudly on the phone about all aspects of her personal life?” The real offender will agree and be relieved to be given positive attention for once. Then say- “I hope that some one would give me a signal if I ever did annoying crap like that.” You’ll get an enthusiastic nod and possibly a boring story. When you can cut in say- “Let’s make signals we can give each other when the other person is being too loud, because I don’t want to be bothersome to people. We can trust each other to be honest.” She’ll be on board at this point. Make up a little signal that you two can share- a wink, a tap on the head, etc.


This woman will be so delighted to be paid attention to that she’ll want to please you. She will love having a secret little game with you. Plus, once you endear yourself to her, you can be more direct- like saying “Maybe you should start a blog about your cat and your car accident, because more people will be able to know about it.”


If this trick doesn’t work, you should start talking much louder whenever she’s on the phone, and whisper when you speak to her in person.


Poor Lucky Me

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