Need Advice for Telling People to Leave Me Alone!

Discussion in 'Growing and Managing a Business' started by shandycat, Feb 6, 2014.

  1. shandycat

    shandycat
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    My cube is in a hallway between the main office and the amenities/executive suites. The traffic is HORRENDOUS. Every time someone needs to use the restroom, grab a cup of coffee, microwave lunch, attend a meeting in the conference room, or see an executive, they must walk past me. I'm interrupted a thousand times a day with greetings, flippant comments, and questions about how my weekend was, do I know where Bob is, what am I doing, etc. I am constantly asked if I can please make a fresh pot of coffee or to tell one of the execs to call them whey they get back from lunch, etc.

    The work that I do requires intense concentration. These disruptions cause me to lose my place and waste time as I try to figure out what I was doing. I usually spend eight hours at the office making mistakes and nights and weekends fixing them.

    So far I have asked the worst offenders if they would please respect my privacy (hasn't worked at all), ignoring them (but some will literally put their hand between my face and the computer screen or slam their fists on my desk if I don't acknowledge them-WTF?), reminding folks that I'm not an assistant and making coffee is not my job (which makes me not a "team player"), and putting up "Do Not Disturb: Project in Progress" signs (but that only leads to MORE disruptions as they ask me about the project). Last week I approached HR and was told that there was nowhere else in the building to put me so make the best of it. I'm the only manager in the company who doesn't have an office, yet we have two "hoteling" offices that are vacant 355 days out of the year. When I talked to my direct supervisor about the possibility of working from home a day or two per week I was told it wasn't an option because then EVERYONE would want to work from home. His "solution" was for me to learn better multi-tasking skills so the interruptions would no longer phase me.

    The final straw came yesterday when I was informed of a $6,000 mistake that I made when I approved an incorrect proof (while being distracted). I haven't been told yet, but I'm guessing I'll see deductions from my paycheck until it's paid off.

    I apologize for being so long-winded; I really needed to vent! So my question is, what do I do? Has anyone else out there had success with a particular method or behavior for telling people to leave you alone so you can work? What about learning those multi-tasking skills? I've tried a few things on my own but at 44 I think this dog is too old to learn that trick. I'm really not yet prepared to quit because, for once in my life, I actually like the job and this is my only complaint. Help!
     
  2. amwarner

    amwarner
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    Honestly, this sounds like hell. I don't really know what advice I could give you to try to help you in this situation, because you went to all necessary channels. You went to HR who won't even compromise and get you a better seating place (since you are a manager) ... putting up the signs don't work because they'll keep on interrupting anyway, but the part that's really messed up if that you said your company has TWO other offices that are vacant for most of the year and they won't even offer for you to work at home to finish those important projects.

    I understand that you say you love this job, but there's no compromise on their part and if this keeps on going on, look what will happen. More mistakes in the future based on distractions and money coming out of your pocket and paycheck.

    Honestly, I really don't know what to tell you about this.

    "When I talked to my direct supervisor about the possibility of working from home a day or two per week I was told it wasn't an option because then EVERYONE would want to work from home. "

    But everyone else is not a manager who has important and crucial things to work on. When I was in the working force, my managers and supervisors left work early, was able to work at home, and the whole 9 yards without THEIR bosses complaining. Because those bosses knew that what they were working on was important so if they needed to go home and work on it, then they would allow it.
     
  3. fearonh

    fearonh
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    I'm sure you've ruled this out already as unsuitable or against regulations, but would it be possible for you to use earphones to listen to music? It should gradually reduce the distractions, as people soon learn your not as easily accessible to them.

    Basic I know, but thought I'd suggest it.
     
  4. marriott

    marriott
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    I want to suggest you to do meditation on regular basis it would surely helped you a lot.
     
  5. shandycat

    shandycat
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    Funny you mentioned that. I have tried it (dropped $250 on an iPod just for this purpose), but when I try to use it as an excuse to "ignore" people, that's usually when they slam the desk or wave their hand at me and I have to be receptive because I never know when someone may have a work-related need. The real problem is that I'm in a HALLWAY. When they come over to talk to a C-Level or get a cup of joe, their mind is in break mode so they're stretching, walking, chatting, etc. and I'm right in the line of fire.

    I might also mention that I've been there less than a year so I don't want to rock the boat too badly or come across as a PITA so soon, and the money is pretty good. I just keep telling myself my job is to be driven insane and I'm getting paid well for it. It's helped so far, but I'm losing my resolve.
     
  6. amal

    amal
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    I like what your supervisor said.
    Do me a favor.
    Listen to your supervisor. Because multi tasking always helps you in so many things. Because there are going to be so many times when you would have to do multitasking. so learn to do multi tasking, Practice doing multitasking and do what others tell you and do your work at the same time.
    But i think the best thing would be to do is that you should just wear headphones, so that at least some people would respect your private time with your music and your work.
     
  7. aronmatt3

    aronmatt3
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    This is a very frustrating thing when you want to leave alone, but people from surrounding will try to ask something irrelevant and will irritate you even more. I think this situation very bad and something tell rudely or sometime try to be calm and ask them to excuse me for some time.
     
  8. RoseAb

    RoseAb
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    Learning to multitask will do you no good at all. That is different than not being able to concentrate.
    I had similar situation when I was computer programming and I ended up quitting that job.
    Here is the thing: your boss should know that where your desk is placed is not workable and he should insist on a different place for you.
    Meanwhile, could you drape a sheet over your cube opening and try to fix it tight so they cannot get in. You will still have noise to deal with.
    Try to find a different job, is the only thing you can do, unless your boss fixes the problem for you.
     
  9. shandycat

    shandycat
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    I have tried the multitasking thing, I truly have. I can do it well to a point (maybe 5 things going on at one time), but eventually I just can't do any more. There are so many days when I go to close my laptop before going home and I see in my task bar that I had 10 or 12 applications/projects going on, and NONE of them got finished. This is multitasking, but how is it effective or efficient? Not everyone is cut out to do everything, and multitasking is clearly not my forte. I would rather work on three or four projects and COMPLETE them before moving on to the next thing, but everyone wants constant status reports on their projects and "I haven't started it yet" is NOT an option!

    Thanks to everyone for their advice (and sympathy!). It helps to know I'm not alone, and that I'm not being unreasonable in thinking this is a bad situation. I'm going to start putting the feelers out for other opportunities, and in the meantime I'll just keep asking for a productive change to my situation. Who knows? Maybe my boss will move on and the new guy/gal will actually see the problem.

    Thanks again!
     

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