Don’t Lose Your Head(phones) Over It

| Working | February 28, 2015

(I am a programmer, but I work on the floor with finance people. Since there’s a lot of noise in the office I work with my headphones on to drown out the noise since I don’t do anything connected with them. We’re currently in a staff meeting.)

Boss: “So, that takes care of it. Does anyone have any suggestions or complaints?”

New Coworker: “YES! I wish [My Name] to stop wearing headphones!”

Boss: “Why? He asked to use them so he can concentrate better on what he does.”

New Coworker: “It’s anti-social and I can’t communicate with him if I need him for something! It’s ruining the workflow!”

Me: “Well, if you have anything to ask you could, you know, walk up to me and tap me on the shoulder? And even then, it can’t be work related since we don’t work on anything together.”

New Coworker: “Well, I can hear his music and it’s bothering me!”

Coworker #1: “No, you can’t. I’m sitting next to him and I can’t hear anything.”

Boss: “Unless it’s bothering the whole office, I don’t intend to force the only programmer in the company to listen to all of you yelling to each other. If that’s it, we’re done.”

(Next day when I came to work I realise I forgot my thumb drive on which I keep my music. I still keep my headphones on, since they provide some noise isolation, but I’m not listening to music. Boss is passing by New Coworker’s desk when the latter practically jumps at him.)

New Coworker: “LISTEN! Can’t you hear that music of his! I can’t even concentrate on job I’m doing!”

Me: “You might want to visit a shrink, Miss [New Coworker].”

New Coworker: “NOW HE’S EVEN INSULTING ME!”

Me: “I’m not.” *I unplug the headphones from speakers on my table* “I’m not listening to music, because I forgot the drive with my music at home. If you think you’re hearing music, I would really recommend you to visit a professional.”

Boss: “[New Coworker], stop being disruptive and leave [My Name] alone. He’s not bothering you.”

New Coworker: “IF HE DOESN’T HAVE HIS DRIVE HE IS JUST LISTENING TO MUSIC ONLINE!”

Boss: “[New Coworker] -”

New Coworker: “YES! HE’S EVEN WASTING COMPANY INTERNET AND KEEPING ME FROM WORKING! YOU MUST STOP HIM!”

Coworker #1: “He’s not listening to music online, you idiot!”

New Coworker: “OH, REALLY?!”

Boss: “Yes, really, because the Internet has been down for two hours. Which also means he can’t be disrupting you since all of your work is done online. Now, why don’t you step into my office for a nice conversation about the way we should act in a workplace, okay?”

(New Coworker never bothered me about listening to music after that.)

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