My office gets insanely loud and noone except me cares

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Sanctus
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16 May 2019, 12:47 pm

I have the problem that my office is often mind-numbingly loud (in my opinion), but nobody except me really seems to care, to the point that I feel like I must be the crazy one, and I'm not even THAT noise sensitive for an aspie. Some days are ok, but on many other days, there’s basically nonstop loud talking, laughing, or random annoying babbling for hours without pause. This is mainly caused by one specific coworker who is generally very loud and also tells inappropriate life stories sometimes (I really don’t need to know about who his best friend is having unprotected sex with, or stories about his wife and her underwear etc.) I dislike him immensely but I could deal with it if he just shut up occasionally.


So sometimes I’m expected to work on complex issues while people are essentially yelling for 4+ hours at a time, because the worst of it usually starts after lunch break. It would even be bearable if those conversations were work related and necessary, but the one guy in particular often does kind of a ‚stream of consciousness‘ thing where he mumbles to himself, hums, sighs, groans, coughs or yells out random things almost non stop, and at a volume like he’s trying to talk to people in a pub over music. Imagine something like ‚so then you gotta do x and write y - haha! f**k yeah! Chakka! And then - uh I get an error. f**k. f*****g error. What’s the problem. Haha!‘ for 4-5 f*****g hours. I know he can choose to stop this because he doesn’t do it during meetings. I also know our boss doesn’t care because he often stands there and laughs about it.


I don’t mind people talking at a normal volume or the occasional phone call, friendly banter etc. I do however mind grown adults shouting at each other from two table rows further, making childish noises and just causing an incredible distraction. On the flip side, most other coworkers are really quiet and barely talk all day, and when the one guy isn’t here it gets very quiet, but they don’t seem hugely bothered by days with constant noise either.


I know this because I brought this up two times, and nicely asked for people to keep their conversations at a reasonable volume, but basically no-one agreed. There are occasionally comments being made which show that everyone is well aware that it is loud, and even that one or two people are the main causes, but nobody seems to see this as something that should be avoided. I was told I cannot sit in another (empty) office and basically nothing will be done. The ‚solution‘ offered was that I can tell people to quiet down directly in the moment, which I have tried and which goes largely ignored. We can wear headphones and listen to music, but that doesn’t help much considering the guy can be heard from multiple rooms away. At this point the only thing that might help is wearing earplugs, but I think it’s ridiculous I have to resort to that.


I’m at a point where I find it hard to get work done at all and get increasingly aggressive and irritated when I am flooded with noise for hours. I should add that I also have ADHD which makes it very hard (actually impossible) for me to focus on anything when there is constant loud noise happening. I am not hugely crazy about this job in general so I feel like I need to just find something else. I’m just a bit scared because this is my first job and I wonder if this is just what I have to expect from open offices (which are the standard in my industry).


What the f**k is happening? I honestly feel like I'm in a sitcom when 20 people are quietly sitting and working and one guy shouts nonstop like he's f*****g deaf and nobody bats an eye.


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BTDT
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16 May 2019, 1:05 pm

You may want to consider using active noise cancelling headphones, since they let you listen to music.

I would loop something on Youtube. It only downloads once and repeats, so the impact on your computer is minimal compared to an active download. But, not everyone can listen to the same thing over and over again all day long.



Sanctus
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16 May 2019, 1:09 pm

Oh yeah I do use noise cancelling headphones when it gets too bad. It helps a little bit but the guy is so shouty i can usually still understand what he's saying.


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MrLucky
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17 May 2019, 6:02 pm

Sanctus wrote:
I have the problem that my office is often mind-numbingly loud (in my opinion), but nobody except me really seems to care, to the point that I feel like I must be the crazy one, and I'm not even THAT noise sensitive for an aspie. Some days are ok, but on many other days, there’s basically nonstop loud talking, laughing, or random annoying babbling for hours without pause. This is mainly caused by one specific coworker who is generally very loud and also tells inappropriate life stories sometimes (I really don’t need to know about who his best friend is having unprotected sex with, or stories about his wife and her underwear etc.) I dislike him immensely but I could deal with it if he just shut up occasionally.


So sometimes I’m expected to work on complex issues while people are essentially yelling for 4+ hours at a time, because the worst of it usually starts after lunch break. It would even be bearable if those conversations were work related and necessary, but the one guy in particular often does kind of a ‚stream of consciousness‘ thing where he mumbles to himself, hums, sighs, groans, coughs or yells out random things almost non stop, and at a volume like he’s trying to talk to people in a pub over music. Imagine something like ‚so then you gotta do x and write y - haha! f**k yeah! Chakka! And then - uh I get an error. f**k. f*****g error. What’s the problem. Haha!‘ for 4-5 f*****g hours. I know he can choose to stop this because he doesn’t do it during meetings. I also know our boss doesn’t care because he often stands there and laughs about it.


I don’t mind people talking at a normal volume or the occasional phone call, friendly banter etc. I do however mind grown adults shouting at each other from two table rows further, making childish noises and just causing an incredible distraction. On the flip side, most other coworkers are really quiet and barely talk all day, and when the one guy isn’t here it gets very quiet, but they don’t seem hugely bothered by days with constant noise either.


I know this because I brought this up two times, and nicely asked for people to keep their conversations at a reasonable volume, but basically no-one agreed. There are occasionally comments being made which show that everyone is well aware that it is loud, and even that one or two people are the main causes, but nobody seems to see this as something that should be avoided. I was told I cannot sit in another (empty) office and basically nothing will be done. The ‚solution‘ offered was that I can tell people to quiet down directly in the moment, which I have tried and which goes largely ignored. We can wear headphones and listen to music, but that doesn’t help much considering the guy can be heard from multiple rooms away. At this point the only thing that might help is wearing earplugs, but I think it’s ridiculous I have to resort to that.


I’m at a point where I find it hard to get work done at all and get increasingly aggressive and irritated when I am flooded with noise for hours. I should add that I also have ADHD which makes it very hard (actually impossible) for me to focus on anything when there is constant loud noise happening. I am not hugely crazy about this job in general so I feel like I need to just find something else. I’m just a bit scared because this is my first job and I wonder if this is just what I have to expect from open offices (which are the standard in my industry).


What the f**k is happening? I honestly feel like I'm in a sitcom when 20 people are quietly sitting and working and one guy shouts nonstop like he's f*****g deaf and nobody bats an eye.


Been there and done that. I worked in a call center and it can get loud at times but I usually was able to deal with it until they started laying music with a bluetooth speaker and that was the last straw. They cranked it up so damn high I had trouble hearing the customer as well as concentrating. I complained about it but the bosses didn't care and wanted the music. It was so loud even the customers heard it over the phone and I got questions from them like "do you work in a sheltered workshop" (a workplace for people with disabilities) as well as customers saying that it sounds unprofessional, which I agreed with them. I got so angry that being like Charles Bronson or Clint Eastwood, taking the law int my own hands, I pulled the plug on the speaker which got some pf the other workers upset and even the boss yelled at me. I just said, "I cannot concentrate and help the customers with that blasting in the background" but the bosses did not listen. I tried to sit as far away from the speakers, some other coworkers agreed with me.

I guess I would talk to the bosses and go from there.