One bud or two... office etiquette

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Aceon6, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Get off my lawn

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    Hi, I had one of those moments today. I work in a cubicle environment (Dilbertville) and my space is right near a conference room. Folks entering and leaving tend to be fairly loud, so I usually just keep my earbuds in most of the day.

    Today, I was working on a presentation, going back and forth to the central printer that's about 100 feet away from my space. I had my buds in and my iPhone in my pocket. Anyway, I passed co-workers and gave the usual greetings.

    What's the bud etiquette here? One bud out? Both buds? Obviously, I'd remove both and turn off the iPhone if I was in a deep conversation, but what about those casual things or when people stop by your cube to ask one question or fill me in on one fact?

    Your thoughts?
     
  2. backspin

    backspin Active Member

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    Personally I think remove them both if anyone says more than a passing hi. It's kind of a pet peeve of mine; I want to know someone can hear me/is listening.
     
  3. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

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    I would remove them if I am walking around the office.
     
  4. numbers123

    numbers123 Well-Known Member

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    Personally, I would use one ear bud and be alert to the office noises. If you need real quiet time and would use both ear buds, put a small but noticable sign :Working on a presentation (paper, spreadsheet whatever) please tap my shoulder to obtain my attention:
    Only you know what your office environment is and how things are perceived.
     
  5. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

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    My office is open plan and no one has any problems with listening to music. I only ever leave one in at a low-medium volume, unless it's SUPER loud in the newsroom, because there's casual conversation flying around constantly, and I can't hear my phone ring otherwise. If I put in both, I'll let people know that I've gone "undercover", since just saying "Hey vesperholly" isn't going to get my attention. I take it out if there is going to be extended conversation, like anything longer than "the story is in".

    A coworker of mine has bigger headphones, wears both ears constantly, and it drives me nuts because I always have to repeat myself. Every conversation invariably goes like this:

    Me: Hey Q, I wrote you a headline.

    Q: *removes headphones* What?

    Me: :mad: I. wrote. you. a. headline.

    In your situation, I might remove them, just because it looks a little more professional. Whatever you do in the cubicle is one thing, but outside your cube is "public".
     
  6. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Get off my lawn

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    I guess I should explain that I don't work with anyone who sits near me. I'm a project manager, and the folks around me are PMs on other projects that have nothing to do with my work. When I work with my team, it's in a conference room. So, basically, anytime I'm in my cube, I'm heads down as are others around me. Also, the buds are the kind that let in some of the office noise, so I hear the phone, my blackberry buzzing, and my incoming mail tone on the PC.

    It's mostly the conference room that kills my mojo. If people were more aware when they entered or left, and when they start up the Spiderphone, I could get by without blocking.
     
  7. luna_skater

    luna_skater Well-Known Member

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    Wouldn't it make more sense to save yourself a step by getting Q's attention and then starting the conversation?

    I and many of my co-workers wear headphones during the day. We're in an open concept office too, so having headphones on is the rough equivalent of having your office door shut. You wouldn't say someething through a closed door, then get irritated when the person on the other side doesn't answer. When I need to get someone's attention and they're wearing headphones, I'll either "knock" at their desk, try to catch their eye visually, or MSN to say, "do you have a minute?"
     
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  8. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

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    IMO it's hard to understand if you haven't worked in one, but a newsroom is not like any old office. To work smoothly and quickly, we need to be generally listening to each other and available for quick, off-the-cuff discourse. Fitting into the culture of a newsroom means you have to be somewhat "plugged in" to the machine, not isolate yourself. Our work is all on deadline, so office formalities/niceties are much less observed. And there's a lot more swearing. :lol:
     
  9. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Get off my lawn

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    Sounds much like the hospital I worked in. There would be a ton going on, yet everyone was tuned in to certain noises or words that were cues for that person's particular role. Not much swearing, though, except behind closed doors.
     
  10. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

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    I always think this thread is about how many bud lights to drink....:shuffle:
     
  11. luna_skater

    luna_skater Well-Known Member

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    Makes sense. The office I work in isn't a fast-paced environment like that, and the vast majority of communication takes place across electronic platforms. I often consider my headphones a "do not disturb" sign, and sometimes even put them on when I'm not listening to music just so people won't pester me. :D
     
  12. Kasey

    Kasey Loving on babies!

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    I thought it was about how big of a flower bouquet is acceptable, as opposed to ostentatious :shuffle:

    (would kill to wear my ipod at work)
     
  13. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

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    I kind of read it like this too. :lol:
     
  14. minx

    minx New Member

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    How much bud to smoke :rofl: