Tuesday, March 09, 2010

The People I Work With: Loud Personal Phone Talker

I figured it was about time to do a series I've wanted to do for a while now titled: "People I Work With". It will be totally anonymous but will talk about some HR red flags that I've seen in the workplace. Our first installment of the series will focus on "Doug", a "loud personal phone talker".

Doug works nearby me and he's always on the phone making personal calls. He's in the process of making large scale changes in his life and talks to everyone from his wife to his doctors to his bank on the phone. And he talks loudly. VERY loudly. Doug obviously hasn't heard that people have move past analog cell phones because he shouts in every call he makes. Everyone who works in a cube within Doug's area can hear all his conversations loud and clear.

The Human Resources implications of this are very large. Doug's productivity goes down because of his large time making personal phone calls and his surrounding co-worker's productivity goes down as well because of his loud talking. He also talks about personal information on the phone which many people can hear about. When Doug is talking about his position or the people he works with, he makes other feel quite uncomfortable. And Doug's constant presence on the phone also leaves co-workers unable to conduct their own, business-related phone calls in the area.

This is just the first example of the HR hazards that I see around the office. Because there is no strict policy in place and because no one speaks up, this behavior is allowed to continue unchecked. In our next installment, we will talk about another co-worker who makes some people very uncomfortable with his self-depricating humor.



  1. Andrew, Personal phone calls are to made at break and lunchtime, or afterhours. During the 8 hour work time, you are expected to focus, engage, and conduct yourself in the business of your employer. PEROID. If it's his personal cell phone, it must be on silent or vibrate during working hours, and not ring out loud.

  2. Looking forward to reading more in the "People I Work With" series - great idea! This is a frightening story. The other commenter hit the nail right on the head.


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