Mood: Fed Up
Is it just me, or is it a really bad look to be making and taking personal phone calls during the entire work day?
I am a firm believer that life must go on while you work. Most companies I have worked for are quite reasonable and understanding about their staff making and taking personal calls. Some of these calls are unavoidable – you may be waiting on some important news from your loved ones, or someone you love urgently needed to make emergency contact with you. However, there are certain limits to how many phone calls one should make or take at work, and/or for how long one should stay on the phone when it is obviously a personal call.
Since my return to the fold (ie. the company head office), I’m surrounded by people who think it’s their given right to make and take personal calls all day every day. And it’s driving me to the nth degree of frustration.
I sit in an open plan office. The joys of open plan offices are that you are able to see everyone at a glance, and you are able to share ideas with others across the room without having to getting up from the comforts of your desk. Alas, open plan offices also mean that everyone can hear (and in most cases, see) what you are doing for the 10 hours you are required to sit at your desk, every working day of the week.
I am almost at wits end with what I have to put up with! I don’t mean to eavesdrop, but there is only so much one can block out. Here’s what I’ve learnt about my colleagues through their endless personal calls:
The person who sits next to me is an overbearing over-protective mother who checks on her kids (19 and 13) every hour on the hour. There are so many dramas with her kids that I’ve stopped listening. There appears to be a new drama every day. Before my secondment to a CBD site office 14 months ago, I learned that her then 17 year old son was contemplating leaving school and moving out of home, which he did. He has since returned home, but it has taken him forever to find a job. Finally, there has been some good news – he recently started a new job and is seemingly doing well. I don’t blame him for wanting to leave home, if nothing else but to get some air away from the mother! The daughter hasn’t fared much better. She is sick all the time, and adding to the health issues, she now has braces fitted to her teeth and recently suffered a broken arm. The alarmist that is her mother has been flapping about for weeks running after the daughter, frantically trying to track down the orthodontist when a wire in the braces became loose, or ringing her husband at work a hundred times a day to remind him that their daughter’s arm was still in a cast. One more word about her kids and I’m likely to snap their arms myself.
Next, there is the team admin person who started with the company about 8 weeks ago. She sits diagonally opposite to me and has a fairly loud voice. So it’s fair to say that I have heard every phone call she has made since she joined the company. Why is she on the phone all the time? She is organising her wedding, all day, every day, while she is at work. She is on the phone about one thing or another to do with her wedding, up to and including organising her own hens night. I have been privied to personal conversations to who I can only assume is a spineless git of a fiancé (judging by the way she speaks to him), his silly mother (who she is constantly bitching about), and her even sillier mother (who comes across as a complete scatter brain). I’ve heard all about her bridesmaids who are her best friends but the girls themselves hate each other. I’ve heard about the dramas she has had to face with the future in-laws, the number of guests, the seating plan, the theme of the wedding, the priest, the ceremony – you name it, I’ve heard about it. Today alone, she has made more than 10 phone calls to various suppliers – the event manager at the venue of the reception about the wine and the music, the DJ or music person about what to play when her and her husband are being introduced for the first time as Mr and Mrs X, and back to the event manager at the venue about bringing a tape deck of sorts. Just get married already!! None of us care any more whether you have purple tulips or blue roses in your frigging bouquet!!
Then there’s my project team leader who has had a house guest for a few weeks. Her house guest just so happens to be her ex partner. According to the conversations we’ve heard ("we" as in about 10 of us sitting on one side of the floor, "heard" because she is so loud), their relationship was a fairly volatile affair and by all accounts, her friends and family were glad when the two of them broke up. The ex sort of kind of invited himself to stay with her, and she sort of kind of invited him to stay – we don’t know nor do we care. According to the conversations we’ve heard, the ex is sort of kind of trying to get into her pants again – TOO MUCH INFORMATION!!! But of course, this is hot off the presses information that she must share with all of her friends … repeatedly … brrr. Adding to her laments, she has recently bought an investment property in QLD, site unseen. She went on the advice of her brother and handed over her hard earned cash. She is flying to QLD to see the property for the first time on Friday, a week after contracts were exchanged and the deposit cheque banked.
And last but not least, there’s the new starter who resides in the area next to my desk. He is an anally retentive person who reminds me of an autistic child. Wait – that would be insulting to the autistic child. Anyhoo, the person who is suppose to be looking after him (the aforementioned overbearing mother) is treating him like a child – constantly huffing and puffing when he asks questions, yelling at him, cutting him off mid-sentence, saying to him things like "I’ve already told you – don’t you listen?" I feel a bit sorry for him – it’s hard enough to start a new job in a new company with a new set of colleagues, let alone be left to your own devices because the person who is suppose to help you is constantly snapping at you. The sympathy I had for him is, however, slowly dissipating as he has cottoned on to the "free personal calls" policy. He now sits at his desk and calls his mates to tell them all about the new job and his new client with a Spanish name which he keeps repeating and insisting his pronunciation is the correct pronunciation, and proceeds to give a lengthy history lesson to back up the pronunciation. Here, I’ll give you something else to pronounce – shuddupayaface!!
Damn it!! Just when I thought the team admin had ceased her personal calls about her wedding for the day, there she goes again, this time about her damn wedding invitations!! For crying out loud, batch up your call list and book a meeting room, then take the call list and make those damn calls away from everyone else who is trying to work. And trust me, if I am ever asked to give an evaluation of her performance thus far, my feedback would be "she would make a really great wedding coordinator".
It’s been joyful sitting here amongst all the action. Grrr …
Then again, I can’t talk – I’m on Facebook all day every day!!