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... to want to stop my colleague making personal phone calls at work

(60 Posts)
AnneBowling Wed 17-Nov-10 15:07:41

I work in an office, and I have a colleague who rings his family in Egypt every day for about an hour. I work in a research environment at a university, and he's on skype so it doesn't cost money (and time isn't a big issue), but it's really hard to concentrate while he babbles away in arabic for an hour.

I know I'm not being unreasonable, but it's his only chance to ring his family because of the time difference.

The question really is how to handle this sensitively.

LaurieScaryCake Wed 17-Nov-10 15:08:55

Can't you take lunch while he does it?

then go for a really large poo? grin

OldLadyKnowsNothing Wed 17-Nov-10 15:09:24

Every day for an hour? That is unreasonable, in work time! (Though I know university research time isn't always 9 - 5.)

AnneBowling Wed 17-Nov-10 15:09:38

It's always around 3pm (i.e. now), so it's a bit late for lunch

scurryfunge Wed 17-Nov-10 15:10:27

Get some earplugs or headphones?

thefurryone Wed 17-Nov-10 15:10:46

Also work in research and share an office, if my colleagues are making too much noise I just stick my headphones on to try and drown it out.

marialuisa Wed 17-Nov-10 15:10:48

Do you have a school/lab manager type who could send a general message about "consideration for others in shared office space"?

LaurieScaryCake Wed 17-Nov-10 15:12:40

Agree with noise cancelling headphones.

Use the time to mumsnet wink

oh wait, you are........ grin

AnneBowling Wed 17-Nov-10 15:13:09

I've got headphones, but I'd have to listening to Metallica on full volume to drown it out.

What annoys me is that he doesn't seem to realise how rude it is. I may pursue the route of asking a manager to send an email.

I know I should just tell him, but I'm not very confrontational

AnneBowling Wed 17-Nov-10 15:13:59

The fact I'm on MN is because I lose my concentration (it starts to wane around mid-afternoon anyway and he starts up, and it doesn't help at all)

scurryfunge Wed 17-Nov-10 15:14:36

Could you suggest he takes the phone to another area where he won't disturb people?

beebuzzer Wed 17-Nov-10 15:15:31

It would certainly do my head in! Are there others in your office and what do they think?

AnneBowling Wed 17-Nov-10 15:17:24

There are two others in the office, and we're all annoyed with it, but we're too polite to confront him

beebuzzer Wed 17-Nov-10 15:21:21

Do you have any manager or someone in charge?

AnneBowling Wed 17-Nov-10 15:25:20

There is a manager, I'm undecided as to speak to him or to the chap directly. Probably best to do the latter.

GetOrfMoiLand Wed 17-Nov-10 15:25:33

Why is the time difference a problem? Egypt is only 3/4 hours ahead. If he rang them at 5 o clock it would only be 9pm at most. So why doesn't he do it in the evening or morning.

He is taking the piss, nobody ahould have an hour long personal call at work. What is his manager doung?

AnneBowling Wed 17-Nov-10 15:28:17

He's got a young son, who I assume goes to bed at 7/8ish. The thing is that a manager (senior academic) leaves us to our own devices during the day (hence why I can MN)

LeninGrad Wed 17-Nov-10 15:30:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AnneBowling Wed 17-Nov-10 15:31:46

The thing is, he skypes from a desktop computer, so he's fixed to the desk, I don't know if he has a laptop

FindingMyMojo Wed 17-Nov-10 15:33:28

"we're all annoyed with it, but we're too polite to confront him"

but you are actually seething with resentment about it, so it's not actually that "polite" is it? Or perhaps it is "polite" but at the expense of honesty and fairness.

Something the best thing to do, even if initially it doesn't appear to be the most polite thing, if to actually say something, directly but nicely and politely. Your colleague probably has no idea that he is bugging you all and most people would want to do something once they are aware of this.

Katey1010 Wed 17-Nov-10 15:35:26

Looks like I will be the voice of dissent then... I used to have to talk to my DH at work because of a timezone issue. I always made up the time and my workmates were very nice but if they hadnt been it would have meant we never spoke except weekends if I didnt talk then. If you have your lovely family at home waiting for you this evening, please try to be understanding as it is heartbreaking to be away from them.

Sorry that keyboard issues mean I have no apostrophes!

RunawayChristmasTree Wed 17-Nov-10 15:36:31

Speak to your boss, he is taking the piss

FindingMyMojo Wed 17-Nov-10 15:37:00

on 2nd thoughts maybe "seething with resentment" is a bit harsh - but clearly you are quite annoyed about it & resenting his behaviour.

AbsofCroissant Wed 17-Nov-10 15:38:00

Egypt would only be two hours ahead, 1 hour during daylight savings.

I think you and your colleague should talk to him about it - see if he could rearrange the time, or use another computer for his skype calls, or get internet at home and do it from there like a normal person.

TattyDevine Wed 17-Nov-10 15:41:32

If you are going to take action, for gods sake approach him directly in the first instance. Nothing worse than being shopped to your boss when you genuinely had no idea it was a problem. He'll know its the team who have the issue particularly if the boss isn't there, and wonder why you didn't just say something to him.

If you dont have the balls to say anything, then put up and shut up.

If you say something and nothing changes or his attitude to it is bad, THEN approach the manager.

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