View Full Version : Speakerphone
03-07-2000, 02:44 PM
Here in the heart of Dilbertville, I live in a little cubicle with lovely beige walls. I have a phone and a computer, a filing cabinet, a bookshelf, a dictionary and pictures of Mrs. Pluto and the Plutinos.
I also have an office door just across a narrow walkway. Inside the office door is an office. Inside the office is a manager (not my boss) and a speakerphone. Said manager sits at his desk, facing the door, and talks on his speakerphone ALL FRICKING DAY LONG!!! He keeps the volume up high so I can clearly hear both sides of the conversation. Sometimes the conversation is interesting, generally it's not. This morning I got to hear all about his wife's dental work. At the moment he's talking to someone about "ee-slocks", whatever they are (I suspect SLOC is short for "source lines of code"). The other guy has a mild southern accent and says "ya know wadda mean?" all the time. If I hadn't read Jim Varney's obituary I'd suspect him of playing "Ernest Estimates Software".
This has really begun to impact the quality of my life here in Dilbertville. Lately I spend almost as much time dreaming up revenge fantasies as I do posting on the SDMB. My work is beginning to suffer.
I really can't do anything. He's been told it's annoying. Closing the door is not an option -- a closed door here means "Do Not Disturb" and he wants to be accessible. Using the handset is apparently anathema to him. He even listens to his messages on speaker.
But here's the kicker. I said something about it to the group secretary and she gave me the Straight Dope. We recently relocated to this facility. There are three offices. Two of them face her desk. One of them faces my cubicle. She and her boss (my boss's boss) made sure that Mr. Speakerphone wasn't in the office facing her or her boss. They made sure he got the office facing the cubicle farm. It was just my bad luck (I think. I hope!) that I got the cubicle with the ongoing background conversation. Logically, it should be my boss's office, since all of his direct reports are just outside the door. But my boss got the office facing the secretary and the second-level boss because he's not continually, perpetually, constantly and incessantly jabbering on and on and on and on about inanities.
So I'm not merely unfortunate, I'm the victim of an organized conspiracy.
But I have a plan. I'm going to buy a little speaker. No. A big speaker. I'm going to point it at his door. Every time the speakerphone comes on I'm going to log on to hamsterdance.com. Heh heh. Ha ha. Bwaa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!
03-07-2000, 02:49 PM
See, what you need to do here, Pluto, is get a friend with a voice he hasn't heard before leave a panting, obscene, dripping-with-lust voicemail waiting for him. Male or female is your preference, but be sure to work in little personal details like how he likes his coffee or the dental work or the eSLOC stuff.
If he actually uses his handset to listen to voicemail, then you're going to have to up the ante by having the friend call in during business hours, but that's a little more dangerous.
03-07-2000, 02:59 PM
Well, whatever you decide on doing, it has to involve either maiming or at the least graphic disfigurment. Some options: hit and run with your car, setting fire to his office, anything involving aluminum baseball bats. Or you could always unplug his phone. I guess it would have to be after he got his messages. Does he make a lot of phone calls all day, or does he sit around and play Quake 3?
Plus, this all depends on how many other people are on the floor, or in the department you work for: all these people are potential scapegoats. It's all in the planning.
And, of course, there's always hired goons.
Hey, if it ain't broke, give ME a shot at it.
03-07-2000, 03:01 PM
[homer voice]Hired Goons??[/homer voice]
"My Accountz Reeceevable Posse don't call me Tha Troubleshoota for nothin'. Suckas think I be chillin', but I gots to represent at all times, 'cuz ain't nobody else reeceeve accountz right but ME." --Herbert Kornfeld
03-07-2000, 03:09 PM
Want me to call and moan into the phone for him? ;)
We are, each of us angels with only one wing,and we can only fly by embracing one another
03-07-2000, 03:25 PM
Oooo...I want to Sue.
I'll flip you for it. Heads I win, Tails you win.
03-07-2000, 04:19 PM
Speakerphones are EVIL. They are in the same category as SUVs... a way for the yuppie race to beat their chests and proclaim that their ego is more important that anyone elses.
The dilbert newsletters are filled with ways to get someone to break that little habit. Most break down to leaving embarassing messages on voicemail, or having someone call in when the offending induhvidual would be most distressed. If their wife ever comes in, you're gold.
As an aside, I don't recommend calling tech support on speakerphone. Some of us put up with it, some of us don't. In either case, it's almost always a point against you, and some of us arent very nice to people we don't like. We're bastards that way.
Clerks - Just because they serve you doesn't mean they like you.
03-07-2000, 04:32 PM
Oh god, does this hit home with me. In December we hired a new Executive Director for our firm. The first thing he did was to take my office for himself. Then he took the only other vacant office, which is right next door, and turned it into his own conference room (even though we have two or three fully equipped conference rooms within 50 feet of his office). So I get moved to the cubicle where my assistant used to sit, which is right outside his new/my old office. And what does he do? He talks on the speakerphone all damn day long! He checks his messages with the speakerphone. He calls other offices with his speakerphone. He calls his dry cleaners with the speakerphone. He even pages is secretary WHO IS TEN FEET FROM HIS OFFICE with the speakerphone. It drives me absolutely crazy! But what can I do? The guy is the most powerful non-attorney in the firm, and is not someone that listens to low-lifes like me. I'm sure as hell not going to go in and ask him to use the handset. I mean, how important do you think you are? Do you really think the whole world is interested in you stupid conversations? I swear, the higher up the corporate ladder you climb, the more common sense and courtesy you have to leave behind. And don't even get me started about the ad hoc meetings that have right out in front of his door, sometimes spilling into my cubicle, so I have to actually say "excuse me" just so I can leave my little box. Man, I really need another job. Anyone looking for a financial analyst in the Bay Area?
Look, it's people like you what cause unrest.
03-07-2000, 04:57 PM
I haven't had to deal with this at work, but I used to have a friend who would put me on speakerphone all the damn time when I called her. It is no small coincidence that I no longer associate with this cretin.
You have my sympathies, Pluto.
Gamera is really neat, he is full of turtle meat, we've been eating Gam-er-aaaa...
03-07-2000, 05:29 PM
I recomend sabotage.
1. Wait 'til he leaves for the day.
2. Disassemble phone, snip speaker wires, and reassemble phone.
3. Enjoy blessed silence, and his discomfiture at not be able to broadcast.
Some people say that cats are sneaky, evil, and cruel. True, and they have many other fine qualities as well.
03-07-2000, 05:48 PM
Obtain 10,000 volt stun gun -current eBay bid $2.00.Obtain vox and hook it up to his chair.
03-07-2000, 05:51 PM
I am honored at the legion of volunteers willing to leave obscene messages for this guy. (If I'm not mistaken there are employment opportunities in this field. And who better than denizens of the SMDB? The conversation would be simultaneously erudite and erotic!)
Unfortunately, the company I work for (a large commercial aircraft manufacturer in Seattle) would actually take the time to chase down and prosecute anyone leaving naughty messages on their company voicemail. I wouldn't want that to happen to any of my SD friends. Especially since you would all squeal like stuck pigs when the man showed up to take you away. However, I am confident that other dopers would be happy to give you opportunities to hone your skills.
Actually, I like Vestal's suggestion best so far. Simple and practical. I wonder if I can pull it off?
And, in this crazy mixed-up world we live in, anytime I can find somebody worse off than me it makes me feel better. Thanks, DD!
For the record, his conversation regarding eeslocks with Ernest lasted two hours. His wife phoned again shortly afterward and told him she didn't want to talk to him on the speakerphone! He whined and moaned about it but finally gave in when she threatened to hang up! (Really!) She told him to use the "gadget" he has, which turns out to be one of those lightweight microphone headsets, like receptionists use. So this guy doesn't have to use the headset if he doesn't want to -- he's got a gadget! But there's obviously something about his speakerphone that appeals to his machismo or something.
And so it goes.
"We don't get much call for that around here, Sir."
03-07-2000, 06:20 PM
This isn't your problem. This is your boss's problem. It's disrupting your productivity and pissing you off, during a period when good software engineers are very difficult to find. And it's not an insoluble problem, or even a very hard one. They either give you a better office or get this guy to shut up. Time to start pounding on desks.
Unfortunately, the company I work for (a large commercial aircraft manufacturer in Seattle) would actually take the time to chase down and prosecute anyone leaving naughty messages on their company voicemail. I wouldn't want that to happen to any of my SD friends.
So have 'em call from payphones (collect if possible) from someplace outside their hometown. And it wouldn't even have to be naughty messages. Just very very embarrassing ones.
03-08-2000, 02:37 AM
For disabling his phone, instead of cutting wires, take a piece of scotch tape and put it
over the plug, then plug it back into the phone. I was going to suggest that you go to the receptionist and get him a headset, but he has one. So I'd go with the suggestion to
start bitching at your management. Good luck.
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