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tinyfaery's avatar

Is this behavior I have at work weird or annoying or both?

Asked by tinyfaery (44173points) September 23rd, 2016

Well, it’s not just at work. I have a habit of talking to myself. I work in a mostly quiet office. The firm is in an old warehouse that was made into a foofy law firm and noise travels.

During my work day I make all kinds of comments to myself, but out loud: I say damn, shit, stupid piece of shit, why are you so slow, to my computer, a lot; I answer questions out loud that I ask to myself in my mind; I say ouch when I hurt myself, etc. Basically, my otherwise quiet workplace is disturbed every so often by my outbursts that seem to come out of nowhere. I cuss, even the really bad words, out loud, what seems like every day. I even sing.

No one, not my bosses or my coworkers, has ever said anything to me about it. I asked my only friend at work (who is no longer here) if my outbursts annoyed him and he said he was used to it and it’s funny sometimes. I asked another person (not a friend just a coworker) and she says it is annoying, but she is generally self-involved and is always complaining about stuff.

What do you think? Would it be annoying to you? Would you get used to it after awhile? Would you think I’m crazy?

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27 Answers

Pachy's avatar

Yes, If I were the manager of an employee who had displayed such a habit, complaints from others or not, I’d seek advice from HR about how to best handle it. If so advised, I would discuss the issue with the employee—in private, or course—and perhaps suggest he/she talk with a licensed counselor (there might be one at the firm). The workplace is a risky place to display an unusual personal trait, harmless though it might be.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I would think that you are mad as an old prospector alone for years, but I do the same.

tinyfaery's avatar

@Pachy Hahaha. We have no HR dept. We have one managing attorney. This is not a regular law firm. They drink alcohol here, we have ping pong tournaments, skateboarding in the office, the lawyers are never in suits. We are very casual and laid back here.

Plus Talking to oneself might mean you are smarter than average.

Pachy's avatar

@tinyfaery, I worded my comment to express how I would feel and what I would do as a manager, not what you should do as an employee. I based my answer on many years of experience as a company manager to give you insight, not to offend you or make you laugh. Good luck.

Brian1946's avatar

I think it’s totally understandable to verbally express anger with office equipment and pain when you hurt yourself.

The only issue for me might be how intrusive your volume is. If it’s audible but doesn’t interfere with my job functions, then it wouldn’t bother me.

However, if I heard someone (certainly not you) constantly making bigoted comments, I’d object to management.

One time I was in a processor training class, and some jerk behind me was going on & on about how repugnant it was for Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas, to greet by giving each other a peck on the cheek.

ragingloli's avatar

It is perfectly normal.

Brian1946's avatar


“They drink alcohol here, we have ping pong tournaments, skateboarding in the office….”

Are those occasions ^ when your office is less quiet?

LuckyGuy's avatar

We are expected to be in control. In control of the situation, in control of the technology, in control of our emotions. I would be leery of an employee who could not control their outbursts. I certainly would not trust them with the high risk, stressful stuff.

As with all things, your mileage may vary.

dappled_leaves's avatar

I do the same. If we were coworkers, I’d probably enjoy the company.

Seek's avatar

You sound like me.

Since I’m assuming you’ve never cursed at a customer, and no one has complained, I wouldn’t worry about it.

tinyfaery's avatar

@LuckyGuy If my work place tried to control me to the extent that I give up my self, I would never work their and I would advocate against it always. No one has control here.

@Brian1946 It’s usually quiet, but people have fun here on a regular basis.

imrainmaker's avatar

I do that sometimes without cursing part but in a fairly low voice so no one has noticed that so far I guess as we have cubicles separating us at my workplace..but yeah you should be in control of emotions at the workplace no matter what..)

LuckyGuy's avatar

Please stay away from all things that go bang. Please. :-)

chyna's avatar

I do the same thing. I don’t consider it weird.

BellaB's avatar

I’m an occasional self-talker but it mostly happens when I’m doing things with debit/credit/loyalty cards and my house keys. I talk about what I’m moving around – so I can replay it in my head if I misplace one of them. It’s a survival technique.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I doubt it would bother me. I talk to myself too. Apparently when I’m typing posts in Fluther, to my students etc. I have a very expressive face – so I might grin or pull some other face. I don’t even know I do it. My kids told me I do. I also laugh out loud if I read something funny.

If I was working in a shared office and someone talked to themselves often and it bugged me, I’d put headphones on or ask them to ‘pipe down’ nicely when they became too raucous. I can’t see it bothering me though.

I’m an extrovert. I used to sit next to another extrovert in a shared office. We would sometimes chat while we worked, but we had an introvert working near us. She found us both ‘flighty and annoying’ apparently. So she moved. She also told us not to say hello and ask how she was when she came in. Someone had an issue. Could have been us, or maybe she was just grumpy. Meh. Life is just too short.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Naw, not in my books I talk to myself ,like that was dumb, or cuss if I hurt myself, I don’t carry on full blown conversations and I don’t say it very loudly , also things like why won’t you start? or what’s wrong with you now?
I think it is quite normal.

Jeruba's avatar

Since you asked, yes, it would drive me nuts. I would probably spend some portion of each day thinking murderous thoughts.

A minor outburst now and then, no problem at all, but I would hate sharing office space with someone who did that all the time. It would disrupt my concentration and make me feel as if my right to an environment that supported my job performance were not being respected. It would be just like working with someone who dumped their trash on my desk. There’s no way I could make my silence more audible than your noise.

For a while, my editorial group was situated in the middle of a graphics department. We were trying to do brain work with words. They were jabbering all the time and didn’t care how much noise they made. I once tried to explain that having people talking on all side of me while I was trying to absorb and analyze text would be like if I started flashing colored lights on their screens while they were trying to create images. But they didn’t get it.

JLeslie's avatar

I’d probably think it was funny. If you did it a lot during the day it might get bothersome. If you were very loud when you did it I wouldn’t like it. I wouldn’t want to be startled. If it’s just normal voice or softer, then no big deal.

LornaLove's avatar

I’d find it made me anxious on bad days. I’m quite highly strung. I think what makes it worse is that the office is so quiet. I used to work in a very large office, filled with people doing all sorts of things and it wouldn’t have mattered one bit. You would have faded into the background.

When I say anxious, I mean I’d either get a jolt or wonder when you were going to have another ‘outburst’.

I’d also be concerned about visitors or clients hearing you (since you swear) but that would be if I were your manager. If I were your friend, I’d probably just laugh since I am more at ease and forgiving of friends!

dxs's avatar

I wouldn’t care. I do it, too.

johnpowell's avatar

I used to do it all the time at work at the theater. And my anger word is cunt. And the way the theater was built there was half that you couldn’t hear me screaming “You, cunt, cunt, cunt, and then I would throw something.” The other half of the theater was like a megaphone that opened up into the lobby.

I went on the cunt rampages where a manger would have to run up and remind me hundreds of people were hearing me scream cunt and throwing shit around when fixing projectors 5 through 8.

For some perspective I was tasked with doing A chain alignments in 20 minutes before shows if something went horrible wrong. It was fairly common that the lateral guide would drift and I would have to eyeball it between shows when I should have used a oscilloscope to do it right. But 300 people want to watch that shitbag Titanic movie. So eyeball it.

Oh, to answer the question. I scream a lot when shit goes down. And even when it doesn’t. I throw stuff too.

Buttonstc's avatar

I talk to myself a lot out loud. Not so much cussing at stuff but a lot of conversations with myself or others. Some of it is kind of like a rehearsal of future conversations to which there is some anxiety attached.

In my younger years it was kind of like my deep dark secret until I finally decided to check in with a shrink about it. He just chuckled and said it was quite normal.

Regarding your cussing episodes, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of your co-workers haven’t said much because they might be assuming you have Tourrettes or something :)

jca's avatar

If you got loud or inappropriate, I would find it disturbing and would probably be wondering how best to deal with this (discussing it with you, discussing it with the boss, etc.). I work with someone who will sometimes curse if she’s trying to fix the printer or something like that, and since it’s very rare and also situational, I don’t mind. However, if you sat at your desk talking to yourself all day, cursing and singing I wouldn’t find it appropriate office behavior.

Law firms I’ve stepped foot into usually have either a small staff who seem to go about their business or fancy firms with impeccably dressed staff who act very “corporate” and hushed (and busy) where they would probably not be allowed to sing and have outbursts. If I were a client, I’d have a certain expectation from a law firm that they’d be somewhat formal (as the law is) and subdued, at least in front of clients. I used to work at several when I was in college and what the attorneys and staff did on their own or when it was the end of the day was one thing but during the work day, it was business as usual.

But if you do it and nobody complains and it’s that kind of a place, that’s great if it works for you.

Stinley's avatar

I used to work for a boss who had outbursts like that. We found it very disturbing because sometimes it was nothing but other times she would storm out of her office and give someone a dressing down in front of everyone.

I don’t think you say you are in a position of authority like this boss so it probably isn’t that bad to work beside you. I would find it disturbing as I am sensitive to noise and disturbance.

SmashTheState's avatar

Employment is granted to the people who are able to do a specific task or group of tasks in the least imaginative way possible. The reason employers do interviews is to ascertain whether a person is capable of acting in an utterly predictable and unrisky way. Employers are not looking for brilliance, they’re looking for absolutely median performance which can be absolutely depended upon.

Therefore displaying any kind of unusual trait or quirk of personality is going to set off all kinds of alarm bells for employers. To be successfully and gainfully employed means never doing or saying or thinking anything which falls outside of an expected bell curve of common behaviours.

“The achievements which society rewards are won at the cost of diminution of personality.”Carl Jung

tinyfaery's avatar

Well, I’ve decided, with all your responses, that I am not weird, but possibly annoying. If someone is annoyed by it but says nothing then I’m not concerned. I find many things my coworkers do annoying. Tit for tat I guess.

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