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glenjamin's avatar

Have you ever used sneaky measures/techniques to avoid someone who was annoying you?

Asked by glenjamin (2497points) February 11th, 2011

So we have this coworker who basically traps you in a conversation, once she starts talking she can’t stop, and she’ll literally be at your desk for a half hour talking about things that are completely unrelated to you or your job. Lately me and my colleagues have been calling each other whenever she’s at the other person’s desk, and when she sees their phone ringing she gives up on the conversation and walks away. It’s been a very effective technique, albeit a little sneaky. I guess this is what we do as opposed to telling her we are too busy to talk at the moment. Have you ever (or do you now) used a similar tactic in order to avoid someone who was annoying you? Please tell your stories (about work or in your personal life).

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10 Answers

VS's avatar

I have also used that technique, sometimes in a slightly different way. Sometimes, my chatty coworker will call me from upstairs and while I let her ramble on for a few minutes, when I’ve had enough, I simply take out my cellphone, call my direct dial line, and say, “oh, let me catch this call, talk to ya later.”

Coloma's avatar

Mmm..not really, no. I have not answered my phone when it is someone I am not in the mood to talk with, but, I prefer the gentle but direct approach.

” Nice chatting with you but I really need to get back to work now.”

In a way by being deceptive, even though effective in the moment, is doing nothing to really discourage her interruptions in the longterm. It is a short term solution to a longterm problem.

I’d go with the direct, honest approach and maybe invite her to happy hour for some social banter.

glenjamin's avatar

@Coloma that is the feeling I am getting, however I am so anti-confrontational that I will not be the one to deliver the blow. Also, judging by the type of person she is, I don’t think she will get the message unless it was delivered more forcefully, which I am not inclined to do. Everyone in the office knows how she is, and we all seem to just take it as how it is. I do agree that this is just a short term fix, and it also has to be done with care so that she doesn’t catch on (I’m even taking a risk by writing this here). Anyways, I think she is a good person, she just has diarhea of the mouth

JilltheTooth's avatar

Sometimes when the conversation is heading down a potentially bad road with my mother on the phone I tell her my call waiting as beeped in and I have to take the call. Saves having a pointless confrontation.

Coloma's avatar


I hear ya, it’s never fun to have to confront someone, still, better to swallow a bitter pill in one gulp than to let it melt in your mouth til you gag. ;-)

aprilsimnel's avatar

Have the boss tell her to knock it off, then, but remember this: There’s no reason why one of you or a couple of you can’t pull her aside and say, ”[Co-worker], this coming up to our desks to talk all the time is getting out of hand, and it has to stop. If we tell you we can’t talk right now, then we can’t and you’ll have to let us be so we can do our work. All right?”

Saying that isn’t rude. You’re all supposed to be working, her as well! If she gets upset at the truth, then that’s her problem, it really is. We’ve all been reprimanded in our lives and at our jobs and come out on the other side.

Then again, I have occasion to supervise people, so being polite yet authoritative is not a problem for me.

faye's avatar

If you keep working as she walks towards your desk, make quick eye contact and keep working as she initially talks, won’t she go away? Or say flat out, ‘I can’t chat, I’m behind as it is.’

glenjamin's avatar

@aprilsimnel I hear you. If she was working under me I would have no problem doing it at all. She is a higher rank than me though, so maybe we should complain to our superiors and let them handle it. Then again, I’m not a rat

aprilsimnel's avatar

She’s higher rank? Oh, jeebus. Well, I suppose, “Oh, I’m sorry, [Co-worker], I really can’t talk right now. This is due in half and hour to my boss. I’m always so busy. You know how it is. Sorry.”

Shannay_89's avatar

Just this morning I was annoying this kid because I kept looking at him, he just looked AT me and put his head down. Do that. Always works, I was pissed all day. Until after, when he talked to me again. F you Josh, F you. Haha jk.

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