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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

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?

MonkeyGoneToHeaven Fri 25-Oct-13 16:39:47

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.

AgentProvocateur Sat 26-Oct-13 14:32:04

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"!


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

....whatever. go and chip your nail varnish a bit more eh?!
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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