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UPDATE: My Chatty Cathy co-worker!


Business and Professional Relationships Networking and maintaining a positive environment in the work place is important! Surviving the 9-to-5 within.

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Old 25th April 2017, 12:09 PM   #1
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UPDATE: My Chatty Cathy co-worker!

She left last Tuesday for a 4 weeks vacation and I can't tell you how nice it is! There's 3 of us in the area without her and we talk but it's in bursts and we know when to get back to work and we certainly don't feel the need to Google anything that may be in question and then read the entire web page out loud to everyone which then always led to her looking up 10 other things that have nothing to do with work and talk about it for 20 minutes. I don't tense up at work wondering when her next talking burst will be coming, when she will talk to herself as she's working, when she will start singing a song under her breath, when she will start mimicking the sounds of someone's phone ringing or a car backing up. I can talk freely to others and not have her interrupt me mid sentence going "What? What are you talking about?" and then her always finding a way to relay any story anybody else is talking about and turn it into something about her or her husband or her friends. I mean when my husband got in a motorcycle accident and had to be airlifted to a hospital and I was out for a week, I came back and everyone was so concerned about me and him. She comes in and goes "How's your husband?" and when I replied that he was doing okay she didn't ask anymore about it and immediately said "Yeah, my husband had to go to the walk in clinic over the weekend for a bad sore throat" and went on and on about that. Everything has to focus on her.

I mean everyone is aware of it. This isn't the first time she's been gone where other coworkers go "Wow, what are we going to do without our daily pop culture tidbits from Chatty?" or the sarcastic "Wow it's really quiet in this area. I wonder why that is?" Our group is moving to a new building and we went and looked at the new space to pick out where we wanted to sit. At first I was interested in the office rather than the open space but then my manager said that both me and Chatty could sit in there. God no way do I want to be in an enclosed space with her. Then I chose an open area where I thought it would be just me and then my manager goes "We could probably fit both yours and Chatty's desks in that corner". NO! Why does she keep putting me and her together when there are 5 of us moving and everyone else is sitting alone?! I finally told my manager privately that I would like to not be placed next to her because she's really talkative and it's hard to concentrate. She looked at me and goes "Well I can talk to her about it" and I said "No I'd really just like my own space". My manager finally conceded by saying "Yeah, she is pretty chatty, isn't she?" She has no idea just how chatty she is because she doesn't sit anywhere near her!

So I will have another nearly 3 weeks of quiet and happiness at work and hopefully only another 2-3 weeks once she returns before we move to our new space. I will be in the same open area as her but far enough away that hopefully it will quiet her down!
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Old 28th April 2017, 6:50 PM   #2
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Odd how you and others are talking so much about how chatty she is. It is possible to enjoy silence without breaking the silence to comment on the silence. It may not be so much that she's chatty as that you dislike her, because your posting mentions a lot of other conversation already going on for her to interrupt or redirect.

It's OK for you to dislike her. You don't have to like everybody. If it makes you feel better to consider her a bad person or a negative influence, I suppose that's understandable. It doesn't say great things about your professionalism or ability to get along with and tolerate people around whom you're uncomfortable.
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Old 1st May 2017, 1:05 PM   #3
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We talk about how chatty she is because she IS that chatty! We mention it once and then go on with working. It's not like it's a 15 minute conversation. I mean if you have to work with someone who is constantly talking about everything (and I do mean everything) unrelated to work and makes constant noises just to be making noise (like recreating the sound of someones phone ringing when it's ringing, or making the noise of a truck backing up because it's backing up outside her window, or saying the word "blap" when she sits in her chair or "thud" when she puts down her backpack, or whistling every time she comes back and leaves her desk. Is she 8 years old?? Nothing can be done quietly. Everything needs to be said out loud.

Do any of you work with someone like that? Does it bother you or do you just happily go on with your work? Funny how it really is her though because everything is so much better when she's gone and the rest of us can work in silence except for when we have a 2 minute conversation about something and then go back to work. I dread the day she returns though because she will spend all day telling us all about the trip and then her coworker friend will call her and she will spend 20 minutes on the phone telling her about her trip instead of working and then she'll have to get up and go across the street and tell everyone in the main building about her trip and then come back and 3 hours later, when she's finally ready to do some work, act like she has no idea what she needs to do and will voice out loud every single email she got while gone and go "What? What does that mean"? I can't concentrate on a damn thing.
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Old 1st May 2017, 1:24 PM   #4
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When you are busy working and she's yapping away it's up to YOU to say her to her "Don't mean to be rude but I'm working on something and can't talk now."

Also the boss needs to step in and tell this woman to focus on work more rather than socializing and talking so much.
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Old 6th May 2017, 5:08 PM   #5
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Take the boss aside.....yes, he does need to speak to her about it! Don't let him half-ass his way out of doing that. It's his JOB to deal with conflict.

Just explain that it's very hard for you to get quality work done when she's a constant distraction with her non-stop chatter. And that you feel guilty that the company is losing out on productivity because of her (and you and others by default), and you don't want it costing the company money, and you also don't want it coming back and reflecting on him, right? *wink, wink* This SHOULD clue in any self-respecting boss that it is out of hand, and he needs to take care of business.

If it's really that bad, and the boss doesn't fix it, go higher up.

I totally do understand. I'm a boss and I've dealt with employees like this. Some just haven't had a chance to (and may never) mature, and it's up to the next level to take care of it, so that the entire place is happy and productive.

If the company doesn't address this kind of thing, then it's a good bet that they don't care much about their employees or the fallout, and you might consider moving on. Good luck!
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Old 11th May 2017, 11:44 AM   #6
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There's nothing wrong with redirecting her in a professional and tactful manner in a way that reinforces conversational etiquette.

I.e. 'since you're just googling things on the Internet to talk about then it sounds like you've got some spare time on your hands. Can you help out the rest of us by filing the xyz reports?'

And just the others in your office to do the same. Every time she goes off on a tangent she gets more work (especially if it's the crappy work no one wants to do) one of four things will happen:
1. She'll figure it out and learn to stfu
2. She won't figure it out but it's easier to do your job because she's doing all the bull**** parts.
3. She'll feel overwhelmed and quit.
4. She'll refuse to help but then you can use that as the excuse to ask her to silence herself. 'Since you didn't have time to help with the track compacting profiles, do you mind keeping it down about what Brad Pitt is doing while I knock them out? '
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