noise pollution in office, LOL

(41 Posts)
HelloBoys Wed 23-Oct-13 13:53:54

I work in a reception area of a solicitors office. As a Legal PA/secretary/receptionist etc.

The other legal PA used to work downstairs and had her own office. there are 2 meeting rooms directly opposite me - one is occupied by a new solicitor the other is just that, a meeting room.

The new solicitor is Iranian (nowt wrong with that), has been here 3 months, but speaks very loudly, seems to have a loud voice/accent. He takes calls on loudspeaker phone and i can hear him through the glass walls (can't hear clients or my boss in front meeting room with same glass walls).

New sol also leaves door open which contributes to noise flow.

I do audio work (typing) as well as reception - I do filter out clients voices, other people etc but this guy when he speaks loudly (80% of the time) is REALLY LOUD. Loud enough to be heard over my loudest setting on my audio machine! What would be perfect is if he would just shut the door. I feel its not my place to say something though.

The other week I was concentrating trying to look at a lease and other legal documents and this solicitor and a colleague were loudly speaking (with door open again) - it was Friday, my other colleague was off and after 30 minutes of loud talk I sort of lost it (not really) and said could they tone down the noise a bit, or close the door and if not please carry it on elsewhere.

I sound/feel like such a bitch. And I know it's a very much FWP (first world problem).

Am I being TOTES UNREASONABLE or have a got a point? smile

YDdraigGoch Wed 23-Oct-13 13:55:19

I don't see what's wrong with asking him to close his door so that you can concentrate. He probably knows he has a loud voice.

HelloBoys Wed 23-Oct-13 13:59:44

Thank F for that. I'm not BU! smile

generally he speaks really loudly (I think it's accent etc) and I do think he knows it. generally I have to concentrate every day.

He rarely tones it down. I do like him otherwise he's quite nice. Just the silence of having door closed would be bliss. I'd be useless in a call centre

lessonsintightropes Wed 23-Oct-13 14:24:38

I'm not sure how the accent you mention in either of your posts impacts on the volume or disturbance you refer to. YANBU for asking him to keep his door shut but think you are being a bit wierd/UR re accent...

livinginwonderland Wed 23-Oct-13 14:27:12

If his accent/the fact he is Iranian isn't the problem, why mention it? YANBU to want him to be quiet, but bringing up his nationality/accent isn't necessary at all.

HelloBoys Wed 23-Oct-13 15:28:15

ok maybe that's what I notice more. he just seems to have a very strong intonation and the accent seems strong.

I think all nationalities can have strong accents but it seems his in particular is very strong.

HelloBoys Wed 23-Oct-13 15:32:01

The fact that he's Iranian - well it does and does not matter.

1. his clients are mostly Farsi (Persian) so he has to speak to them either in English (if they speak this) or in Farsi. I think sometimes when he speaks to them in English (if their grasp is limited) he speaks louder to try to make himself understood.

2. But on the otherhand him being Iranian has no bother to me at all.

I must admit at first (having spoken to an Iraqui former colleague/friend of mine who dislikes Iranians) that I wondered if he was a strict Muslim but from speaking to him and others I know that Iranians are very westernised and tolerant generally.

I don't like feeling the above (distrustful) but TBH (and flame away) I wouldn't be comfortable working with an extremist Muslim.

Chippednailvarnish Wed 23-Oct-13 15:45:40

Just ask him to close the door. Talk about making a mountain out of a molehill...

Chippednailvarnish Wed 23-Oct-13 15:46:51

Just read your last post, you're the one sounding like an extremist.

HelloBoys Wed 23-Oct-13 18:20:34

Like I said chipped flame away

whatshallwedo Wed 23-Oct-13 18:33:17

Surely being a strict muslim does not equate to being an extremist? hmm

HelloBoys Wed 23-Oct-13 20:20:12

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Iamsparklyknickers Wed 23-Oct-13 20:38:42

All you need to do is very apologetically and lightheartedly ask to close the door as whoever has dictated is practically whispering or your machine is rubbish - voila.

Strong accents and other languages can be harder to tune out, it's something unusual to the ear and you end up paying it more attention.

ohmymimi Wed 23-Oct-13 20:40:58

Hole is big enough, throw away shovel, OP.

HelloBoys Wed 23-Oct-13 20:41:54

Iamsparkly - see you get me when it comes to the accent/language etc - it's a question of tuning out and he DOES speak with a certain intonation (which is actually very pleasing to the ear when I've got time to listen!).

I'll do that though - be more lighthearted - to be honest I can be funny getting to know new people - takes me time - but we've laughed and joked and tonight I even shared a drink with him after work as we both worked late. So the Muslim stuff etc whilst my own views etc certainly doesn't apply here nor to anyone else who's Muslim who I work with or not!

HelloBoys Wed 23-Oct-13 20:42:37

ohmymimi - STFU - who gave you the right to police my posts?! LMAO

AlexaChelsea Wed 23-Oct-13 20:47:01

You sound like you are either about 16 or a bit thick. All the totes and lols and lmao's.

Oh, and a bit racist.

Fakebook Wed 23-Oct-13 21:12:42

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Helpyourself Wed 23-Oct-13 21:15:13

Closes the door and backs away quietly...

milkwasabadchoice Wed 23-Oct-13 23:06:06

At least you know you don't know much about Islam! Because there is a huge difference between strict observance and extremism.

As for the rest of it, politely ask him to close the door and explain why? It doesn't seem too hard.

HelloBoys Thu 24-Oct-13 13:45:15

I admit I don't know much about Islam and strict observance and extremism.

No need to jump on me or call me thick. I can say what I want AlexaChelsea.

On quite a few forums LOL and LMAO are quite normal! grin the totes I agree myself are teen!

HelloBoys Thu 24-Oct-13 13:47:19

oh and Fakebook - I am only being bitchy as I want peace and quiet in which to work.

I explained further down the post that I was nervous/judgmental of new situations etc. I admit I don't understand much about Muslims/Islam etc

No need to call me a bitch in a backhand way by agreeing with me.

AnyChippednailvarnishfucker Thu 24-Oct-13 13:48:49

DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH?

Re-reads thread, decides OP clearly doesn't, gives up and leaves.

defuse Fri 25-Oct-13 13:45:31

You are islamophobic.

WooWooOwl Fri 25-Oct-13 15:16:42

Many Iranians living in the UK are very westernised, even more so than some westerners.

I think you are confusing Muslim culture and Iranian culture. They are two very different things. All the Iranians I know, which is quite a few, are very much into their culture but they embrace British culture too. If I were Iranian I'd make the most of my culture, Iranian food is delicious.

AllThoseDirtyWords Fri 25-Oct-13 16:18:02

It seems your prejudice is born out of fear, so fight the fear with knowledge rather than believing lazy journalism.

Maybe if you did learn more about it you wouldn’t feel so uncomfortable?

OP, leaving aside the Muslim/Iranian issues, which seem to have taken over somewhat, if I were in your position I would email HR and explain that client confidentiality is being compromised by the volume of the speakerphone and the door being left open. If you can hear his conversations then presumably so can clients. Admittedly this won't be too much of a problem with the Farsi conversations unless many of your clients speak Farsi, but no need to mention that.

You can also say that the lack of regard for confidentiality in the reception area is giving a poor impression of the firm generally and is offputting for new clients.

Hopefully HR will get the managing partner to tell him to keep the noise down and close his door.

EBearhug Fri 25-Oct-13 22:01:29

No, I don't think you're being unreasonable. I work in an open-plan office, but we have meeting rooms around us. I have more than once got up and quietly closed the door, because the people in the meeting room were too loud to concentrate. I just say, "Excuse me, but it's a bit loud, so I'm just closing the door." Actually, if they're mid-flow in a conf call or meeting, I don't always interrupt by saying anything, I just quietly close the door. I don't care if they are more senior to me or anything. I am still being paid to do my work, and they are interrupting me - and actually, I'm better at cutting out sound than a lot of my colleagues (if I'm really concentrating on something, it can take more than one attempt to interrupt me, as I am so focussed,) so I figure if it's bothering me, it's probably bothering others too. The doors exist for a reason.

HelloBoys Sat 26-Oct-13 14:22:03

Thanks to MonkeyGoneToHeaven and EBearHug.

The office is very small (under 10 people) but strangely another secretary has just been put in charge of HR. LOL.

People don't hear his conversations or not clients as clients are in reception and in next room. But I could say stuff re lack of confidentiality.

The new guy and the other one talking - well new guy doesn't have much work (therefore has more time to spare) and the other one is a talker who chats generally about rubbish. It was also on a Friday which is our busiest day as work has to get out, completions are done then etc.

I just felt if they're really speaking loudly (they could see I was working, also my colleague was on holiday so doing her work too) then they KNEW this - as when I complained they closed the door and looked a bit sheepish.

I'm similar to you EBearHug in that generally I can filter out sound but I just think in this case maybe I should either state I would like the other office door closed all the time or sometimes. I really think he doesn't realise how loudly he talks. Strange thing is when he wants a private conversation or peace and quiet he shuts the door! Also it's been what 3 months since we've been working so we need to sort out working patterns etc.

But thanks for the suggestions. Didn't mean to bring the Islam/Muslim stuff into it.

AnyChippednailvarnishfucker Sat 26-Oct-13 14:26:45

Then why did you bring the "Islam / Muslim stuff into it"?

I suspect if people hadn't pulled you up on it, you would have carried on spouting racist comments.

FFS, just ask him to shut the door. Why are you making such a huge deal of this? You're adults. You work in an office. It's no biggie to ask him to shut the door, even if he is Iranian hmm

AnyChippednailvarnishfucker Sat 26-Oct-13 14:34:18

It's 'cause he's foreign innit? LOL, LMAO.

EBearhug Sat 26-Oct-13 16:49:44

I really think he doesn't realise how loudly he talks.

I have been known to mutter, "Why bother using the phone? They can probably hear you in Paris anyway," when certain people in the office talk. We recently moved desk to another area of the office, and the main culprit was looking forward to his new location, because he has fewer people sitting near him, and he was looking forward to how much quieter it would be. And yes, for the rest of us too, we thought.

I don't mind if people leave the door open when it's an interesting conversation. grin But it so rarely is, it's usually monthly figures on something dull.

HelloBoys Sat 26-Oct-13 16:57:36

I've asked him to shut the door.

he is in effect more senior than I am. I don't know him that well and don't want to appear rude.

My job is PA/Receptionist/Audio secretary and this week I was by myself without a colleague which is WHY I was making a big deal out of it because I was by myself and wanted to get work done.

AnyChipped - you obviously want to make a meal out of this and by assuming I am racist. whatever. go and chip your nail varnish a bit more eh?!

EnlightenedOwl Sat 26-Oct-13 17:05:03

so empathise. I am a Legal PA in an open plan office, the group of secretaries sitting behind me are horrendous constantly laughing and screeching. The only good thing is we are in the middle of an office move and when completed I will not be sat anywhere near them in fact on a different floor altogether! I do understand your frustration.
(have complained about this group, so have others, when the office move is completed they will be seated completely apart from each other!)

AnyChippednailvarnishfucker Sat 26-Oct-13 17:12:44

Fakebook summed you and your disgusting ignorant attitude to Muslims up. I'm assuming you're a racist because your posts are.

spongebob13 Sat 26-Oct-13 17:17:46

yabu for saying "totes unreasonable"!

wtf!!

Fakebook Sat 26-Oct-13 18:53:38

....whatever. go and chip your nail varnish a bit more eh?!
confused
Sharp as a marble.

Reality Sat 26-Oct-13 19:05:50

Your posts make you seem racist and thick.

Which is a shame.

AnyChippednailvarnishfucker Sat 26-Oct-13 19:27:43

I think marbles are well rounded in ccomparison.

kawliga Sat 26-Oct-13 19:41:14

OP, why did you write I sound/feel like such a bitch in your OP? Most professional people are able to ask colleagues to close the door without wondering if they are being a bitch, so maybe there is something more racist about your personality that makes you suspect you are being a bitch?

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