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  1. #21

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    One thing you may need to get adjusted to is the increase in noise level, and handling the distraction of having people working and moving around you. But you do get used to it, surprisingly.

    The *most* annoying thing, to me, is when coworkers listen to music. The "loud talkers" are no fun, either, but I find the music worse.
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  2. #22
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    I prefer a shared office.

    During the last big project, all 8 of us teamleaders shared one 20' by 20' fishbowl office (by fishbowl, I mean glass walls). There was a big U shaped table and we all sat around it with our laptops. When there were issues, we could bounce off one another easily. It was very efficient and great for team building. I loved it. If I needed to talk in privacy, I went to an empty conference room or outside. No big deal. Besides, we were there to work.

    Our team members were in alternate high-wall and low-wall cubes. The cubes were open plan and very spacious. When someone had questions, they could easily see if their team leader was in the fishbowl and came in at any time. We could also see some of them on youtubes often. But as long as the job was done it wasn't a problem. I don't know if anyone minded the cubes because really nobody had much privacy. But my personal sentiment is the same: after all, we were all there to work.

    Right now I have a window office. But to be honest, I would like to have the team office back.

    OP, your cube sounds awfully small and I don't think the washroom sounds like it will be enough to service 140 people. I hope you can at least get headphones. That way, you can block out noises and listen to music if you want to.
    Last edited by genegri; 04-13-2010 at 03:43 PM.

  3. #23

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    Another possibility for a private space for a conversation on the phone. Your boss has at least respected your privacy about your medical condition. Perhaps she might let you use her office when she is gone at a meeting, if you need to make an extended medical call?

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by GarrAarghHrumph View Post
    The *most* annoying thing, to me, is when coworkers listen to music. The "loud talkers" are no fun, either, but I find the music worse.
    I'll admit that I'm a loud talker . What I don't understand are people who don't turn down the volume of their cell phone ring tone. Why do I need that ring tone everytime they get a phone call?

  5. #25

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    Hopefully the move to cubicles doesn't have this result for some:

    http://gothamist.com/2010/04/13/cubi...at_hands_o.php

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by orbitz View Post
    I'll admit that I'm a loud talker . What I don't understand are people who don't turn down the volume of their cell phone ring tone. Why do I need that ring tone everytime they get a phone call?
    What really cracks me up is when the ring tone is not just loud, but also not work appropriate.
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  7. #27

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    AussieWilly, that's hilarious! (the second link, that is). Thanks for the humor!

    And Lorac, unfortunately we do have a couple of guys in our group that have tempers bad enough to have those results...we're all praying we don't get assigned to sit near them. We're going to be in groups of 4 or 6, depending on the configuration.

    And I can't remember who pointed it out, but yes, we also don't think one women's washroom and one men's washroom with 4 cubicles each is enough for 140 people either, but management seems to think it is.

    So, based on everyone's advice, I now know I have to
    - change my cellphone ringtone to something discreet
    - get some noise blocking headphones (if they're allowed)
    - get really focused on minding my own business (which I try to do anyway)
    - try to plan things so that I don't urgently need the washroom while at work

    Should be a piece of cake, non?
    Last edited by lurvylurker; 04-13-2010 at 07:52 PM. Reason: edited to correct spelling
    just my two cents...

  8. #28
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    You have my sympathies about the cubicle/pod situation, I used to sit in one and I hated how everyone can eyeball each other.

    I presently don't sit in a cubicle. I have a real desk that sits out in the open and there's nobody else in my area - sort of like a reception area but I'm in the center of the room.

    What I hate most is that 1) my desk is right next to the women's restroom. It is an individual-type restroom where you go in and lock the door. I swear there is this one girl who uses the bathroom at least 12 times a day, never passes it by on her way to her office, sprays an entire can of Lysol after each use, which wafts out into my space - once we ran out of Lysol spray, and guess what came "wafting" out when she was through. I tried putting a different-scented one in there, but it still smells gross.

    The men's restroom is right next to that, and this one guys pisses like a racehorse 10 times a day and I have to listen to that.

    When I use the potty, I flush before I pee so nobody hears me if they are passing by.

    The whole thing is disgusting and I don't tell anyone what I hear/smell during the day because they would probably just laugh to each other about it. I believe they are clueless.

    But, I'm happy to be working.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by GarrAarghHrumph View Post
    The *most* annoying thing, to me, is when coworkers listen to music. The "loud talkers" are no fun, either, but I find the music worse.
    Argh, yes, I hate that, even in offices. I cannot work and listen to music (and by listen, I mean have it within my hearing range, not have it sitting on my desk), and I hate wearing headphones.

    Quote Originally Posted by orbitz View Post
    I'll admit that I'm a loud talker . What I don't understand are people who don't turn down the volume of their cell phone ring tone.
    So they can hear it over the loud talkers, music and conference calls .
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

  10. #30

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    So, how about putting your cell phone on vibrate instead of ring? But very few of my coworkers apparently know how to work their cell phones. And, let me add, that these are mostly personal calls they are getting. The people who have Blackberries for business use mostly have them on mute.

    The lack of privacy is a little irritating, but I can cope with that. For me the problem is actually getting work done. I was doing a series of complicated calculations recently, setting up a spreadsheet to do everything, and did it wrong, because one of my coworkers who doesn't actually work that much kept interrupting me, for no good reason, really. Some kinds of work, I can do with a lot of distractions. But for others, really, I need some peace and quiet. And with the way our business is, we are on a LOT of conference calls. It gets very difficult for everyone. We do have one team room with a door, where people can go to take calls. And today one guy was in there, but he might as well not have been because he was SO loud he could be plainly heard even though the closed door. And then on the other hand, there was the time when two of the guys were on the same conference call as me, all at our desks, and the echo/delay was really annoying! We all said we wouldn't do that again!

  11. #31
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    I have my own office, which isn't right next to the bathroom, but aligned just right so that I can hear everything. If I didn't have to spend so much time on the phone headphones would be my best friend.

  12. #32
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    I agree about turing the ringer OFF your cell phone. I can tune out just about any background noise, chatter, keyboard tapping...but any cell phone ring at all just sets my teeth on edge (I never have my cell phone ringer on because of this). I would hope that with that many people and those low cubicle walls that your company would consider adopting a no-audible-cell-phone-rings policy. My company has one and I am extremely grateful.
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  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by sk8pics View Post
    So, how about putting your cell phone on vibrate instead of ring?
    I think a lot of people don't because many cell phones have such a weak vibrate that their owners can't count on feeling it.

    It is amazing how many people don't know how to use their electronic devices. The college I work for offered a class in "How to Use Your Cell Phones and mp3 Players" last year and got so many responses that they have since offered specific seminars: How to Use Your Blackberry, How to Use Your iPod, etc. They even had one for VCRs. And they are mobbed.

    My husband hates being in an open office because of the interruptions, too. He doesn't work on a team or with a group; they're all in that office because there's nowhere else to put them. The one person he does work with is down a long hallway behind three locked doors. His work requires a lot of focus and concentration, but he sits next to the door and everyone likes him, so there is a constant parade of visitors dropping in to see him. The one phone they have in that office is about three feet away from him and it's in constant use.

    Yeah, I know that's not typical. But still, an open office or cube plan just isn't appropriate for everyone.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

  14. #34

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    Not that it helps, but in the late eighties there was a very interesting natural experiment in a mall town east of the Cascades. They built a second elementary school because the old school was no longer large enough. The old school was traditional, the new school was built using open space designs (no walls between classrooms, only low bookshelves, lots of shared classrooms with twice as many students and two teachers,...) The town was very homogenous, and students were assigned based on where they lived to attend old school or new school.

    Within a couple of years, the new school had a rate of ADD diagnosis that was much, much higher than the old school's. The ultimate conclusion was that in the traditional classroom environment, students who were clearly ADD still were ADD, but those who were marginal were often able to cope due to the relative lack of distractions, whereas the open space school was so noisy and disruptive and environment that kids on the margin had real problems and thus were diagnosed. Today you'd be hard pressed to find a new elementary school being built on these open space principles, and most have been remodeled at great cost to put walls up around classrooms.

    Not that we've learned in the business environment. Sigh.

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cupid View Post
    The men's restroom is right next to that, and this one guys pisses like a racehorse 10 times a day and I have to listen to that.
    Yeah, I'm so glad I don't sit right outside of the bathrooms. I don't understand why the urinals are situated right next to the bathroom entrance door.

    I guess I'm also happy that I have a job, but that doesn't mean I won't complain when I have to constantly work late and weekdends

  16. #36
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    I do use headphones to drown out "the piss factor" - but what do I use to block out the Lysol? I have sometimes brought out my own air freshener and zapped the area outside the bathroom after she goes in there. Then everyoen that walks by asks what is that smell? I can't bring myself to say why I spray it. They probably think I have gas or something.

  17. #37

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    If I have my phone on vibrate instead of ring and it's on a table when someone calls, it moves across the table and makes a noise far more distracting than if it rang! I try and keep it on a book or something not wooden.

  18. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cupid View Post
    I do use headphones to drown out "the piss factor" - but what do I use to block out the Lysol? I have sometimes brought out my own air freshener and zapped the area outside the bathroom after she goes in there. Then everyoen that walks by asks what is that smell? I can't bring myself to say why I spray it. They probably think I have gas or something.
    Just remove whatever it is from the bathroom and don't say anything.

    Seriously those things are toxic and the smell lingers a lot longer than they smell they are trying to cover up.

    If they want to cover up "natural" smells give them a box of matches. They work just fine.
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  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    I think a lot of people don't because many cell phones have such a weak vibrate that their owners can't count on feeling it.
    Really? Whenever I get a new phone, the first thing I do is set it to vibrate mode. Perhaps I'm just used to it, but I find the vibration strong enough to alert me to an incoming call or text message.

    I wish they'd introduce a law here to ban ringtones or at least not allow them on public transport.
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  20. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by lurvylurker View Post

    So, based on everyone's advice, I now know I have to
    - change my cellphone ringtone to something discreet
    - get some noise blocking headphones (if they're allowed)
    - get really focused on minding my own business (which I try to do anyway)
    - try to plan things so that I don't urgently need the washroom while at work

    Should be a piece of cake, non?
    You'll notice patterns re: washroom use. Certain times of day it will be busy, and at others, empty. If yours tends to be really frantically busy during the busy times, you can try to plan some of your visits for the less busy times, where possible.

    In addition, if there are washrooms available on less populated floors, you can seek those out and use them.
    Use Yah Blinkah!

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