Q: My coworker with whom I share a cubicle wall talks to herself. Alllllll day long. And she talks at just the right volume so you're left wondering whether or not she is indeed talking to you. When she's not talking to herself, she's either yawning audibly, making noises by sucking on her teeth or sharpening 34 pencils consecutively. How do I tell her she's bothering me without creating an office war?
From: M. M. in Michigan
A: Well hello. Your initials seem vaguely familiar. But I'm not sure why. Well, the bad news is you have a coworker. The good news is there are several possibilities for what you might do. The bad news is that you'll probably not do any of them.
Option 1: Turn them even more crazy than they already are. You could buy this lovely device, the MIND MOLESTER
! "It produces a one-second electronic chirp about once every 3 minutes. Due to the chirp's duration, frequency, and sound characteristics, it's a very difficult, time-consuming, frustrating and maddening task to locate the unit. And even if they find it, they'll have no idea what it is."
Option 2: Talk to management. That's what they're there for. To make sure that all their employees have a pleasant and productive work environment. (Damn it, there's no sarcasm font!?!)
Option 3: Get a fan or white noise machine. Drown out the sounds of "Babbling Brooke" with the gentle sounds of a babbling brook.
Option 4: Tell her to suck it.
Option 5: Tell her to suck it in a very passive aggressive way. Like this gentleman
, who works with a woman who... well he says it best. "Every day you bust out the stick o' butter, cut it into pats and then pop them one by fucking one into your filthy mouth like they were big, fatty bonbons. Trust me people once you've witnessed this image you can never, ever get it out of your head. It's worse than seeing your parents fucking."
Option 6: Challenge your coworker to a dance off. Tell her to "Bring it on!"
Option 7: Poison. The band. Play it loudly. With the speakers facing away from your desk.
Option 8: Poison. The not band.
Well, M. M. from Michigan, I hope that helps you out. If not, remember that you're not working with butter lady.