Thursday, January 17, 2008

Etiquette question

So I am at work today and I need to ask a coworker about some hours she reported on a job I thought was complete. I walk down to her end of the hall and I see she is in the office next door speaking to another coworker. They both look at me and continue their conversation. I stand there a few moments waiting to be acknowledged so I can ask her to stop by my office when she has a chance. Instead of acknowledging me they continue to go about their conversation. After waiting another minute I see they are not going to stop talking to see what I want and at this point I feel foolish for just standing there so I walk back to my office. I find this happens quite frequently not just at this job but at previous jobs as well.

Now I understand finishing what you are saying and then acknowledging the person who just walked up but to just ignore them completely is very frustrating. I don't walk down there very often and never to just chit chat so they know I was there on business. I suppose I could have interrupted the conversation but I was waiting politely to be acknowledged. I don't like interrupting other people's conversations but if someone is in my office talking and another person comes by to see me I at least acknowledge them and tell them I will get with them as soon as I am done.

This used to happen to me a lot with my old boss. What was even more frustrating with her is that I would have a client on hold and she would have a 15 minute long conversation with her husband on the phone while I waited. Am I the one who has the bad etiquette? Should I not expect to be acknowledged until they have finished their original conversation? Especially if it is not work related?


She Likes Purple said...

That's just rude. I'm sorry, but they should have acknowledged you. I would have e-mailed them when I got back and said something along the lines of, "I have a work-related question. When I stopped in, you were obviously too busy to talk, so please stop in my office at your next available moment."

newduck said...

This pisses me off in the worst way! Even though I come off as a beeyotch in my blog, in real life I'm actually an extremely polite person. I'm also very petite, and I have a "sweet" little face. This causes people to think they can run all over me, and I've experienced the acknowledge-and-ignore tactic more times than I can say. If someone does it to me once, I walk away. But if they do it more than once, I get rude along the lines of loudly saying, "Excuse me, I'm sorry to interrupt, but..." All the while sporting an extremely insincere smile and letting them know that a) I'm not in the least bit sorry to interrupt, and b) it is not acceptable to ignore me.

Anyway, let me climb off my high horse for a minute and say, thanks for the tip on the baby swing. I'm acquiring almost no baby furniture because she and I may have to move to Thailand when she's only three months old, BUT the one "non-essential" I bought was a baby swing. Oh, I can't wait to see her in it!

stacey said...

thank you so much for my special birthday wish! it is nice to "meet" another texas blogger. i look forward to getting to know you better! i will be back!

Don Mills Diva said...

That just sounds rude to me. I am kinda a big mouth so I would have finally just interupted (oh-so-politely of course).

Constance said...

OMG, this EXACT THING used to happen with my old boss! And I worked as an infant caregiver, so if I left my classroom it was SERIOUS. And she would just continue yick-yacking.

I think what you finally have to do is the same thing we tell kids to do when they need to interrupt the grown-ups: say "Excuse me." When they stop talking, say, "I'm sorry to interrupt--could you come talk to me when you're done?" Then a little wave, and outta there.