There’s this girl who works down the hall from me who was an old school mate of mine. When I first found out she was working for my agency, I was moderately happy because from what I could remember about her, she seemed cool and interesting. I expected that we would become good friends.
Now I’m not so sure.
First off, the reason why I’m starting this thread is because I’m not a people-person. I’m flexible and adaptable, but some personality types I can only tolerate in low, short doses. Talkative people who seem to have a biological mandate to vocalize all the time and who usually spend most of their time talking either directly or indirectly about themselves make the top of my intolerance list. Not everyone shares my aversion to this trait, though, and I understand that it very well might be just my own personal pet peeve. I can’t imagine not feeling the way I do, but I can accept that self-absorbed talkers have their admirers.
Which brings us to my friend-but-not-quite-because-I-want-to-strangle-her-all-the-time. It doesn’t matter how busy I am, how many things I got going on, she invites herself into my office everyday to regale me with the latest goings-on in her life. So she tells me about how the handy man came to replace her moldy kitchen cabinets. And she tells about her how she and her fuck buddy are having problems. And she tells me about how she has to go to so many meetings. And she tells me about all the things she’s going to do so that she can be a senior executive. Blah blah blah into infinity.
And all the while I’m trying to work! One day I was having a semi-serious meeting with my supervisor and another co-worker, but did that stop the Clueless Blunder from walking right into my office and grabbing a chair so that she can sit amidst a discussion that had nothing to do with her or her job? No. Did she even think to ask if it would be all right to do that? No. She didn’t even seem to consider that we might have been discussing confidental and/or sensitive issues that she shouldn’t be privy to. No, because that would have meant considering the possibility that the world does not revolve around her.
But that infraction is not what has prompted this thread. Today, the camel’s back almost broke. For the past two days my life has been in overdrive. Firstly, I was the only one working in my department because my two colleagues were out on vacation, which tripled my normal workload. Secondly, this is a new job so there are some things I’m still learning, and my boss was not around to give much guidance, so that was a big stress to me. But all of that is 2% low fat milk compared with my other stress: closing on a condo. The last two days have completely drained my adrenal glands, the stress has been so high. And I’m pretty sure its obvious to anyone who has seen me and knows what I look like normally.
But this doesn’t deter Ms. Talker McTalkerson from assailing me with her drivel. Here I am, working my little black ass off, firing off emails, calling people, faxing stuff, typing up documents, calling more people, and guess who comes to visit but my friend-but-not-quite-because-I-want-to-strangle-her-all-the-time. And she wants to talk about her insomnia last night and how an old boyfriend sent her an IM, and blah blah blah. I started tuning her out at that point so I don’t know what else she said.
To me, its blatant that I’m not interested in any of this blather. I’m not returning the dialogue, I’m directing all my attention to the computer screen, I occasional go “uh huh” but I don’t ask her any questions. So why in the HELL is she TALKING to ME? And why don’t I have the balls to ask her to shut up and go away? whimper
Do any of you guys have any experience in telling someone to shut up or go away tactfully, without bruising any egos and making any enemies? I need advice seriously. Like some step-by-step instructions on how to handle this.