You call that noise?

There's a volume war going on in my office at work.

The copy editors sit in a row of cubicles smack between two major hallways. We also sit just over the wall from project managers who lead conference calls all day every day. It's not exactly a library-voice volume in our area (although have you been in a library lately? it's not all shush-ey like back in the day).

I used to work in a newsroom. At various places in my employment past, I had to write coherent, page-one stories while the people around me talked on the phone, watched the evening news, yelled at each other, told dirty jokes, chain smoked, threw things across the room, played trash can basketball, paced while thinking of the perfect lead, and asked me every five minutes when my copy would be ready.

I kind of miss that.

Maybe that's why I didn't much notice when the other editors started complaining about the noise in my current location. To me, it seemed perfectly normal when people walked past, chatting about what they had for dinner last night, or what their kids were doing in little league, or where they were planning to party that weekend, or how they planned to tell a customer about a work scope change (occasionally people do talk about the job).

My colleagues up the row were incensed. They'd finally had enough when a couple managers held conference calls on speaker phone...with their office doors open. The other editors ran to our manager with complaints.

I think the manager quietly asked the others to close their doors. Then the call went out to us to figure out a way to keep people a bit more hushed when they turn our corner. Personally, the chatter doesn't bother me. When it might start to, I put on my headphones, plug in to my iPhone, and lose myself in Pandora.

But this is what they came up with. We should hide a camera and see just how many eyerolls it gets.

Edited to add: At the end of Day 1, we were short one sign. Either it blew down or someone, in an editorial comment to our passive-aggressive move, aided it in finding its way to the floor.

1 comment:

Aaron said...

Another one of the benefits of working from home is not having to put up with others' noise.