Take your wife off of speakerphone. Better yet, find somewhere private to fight.

So there’s a guy who sits near me, a total pretentuous asshole, but I digress…

He has a current wife and an ex-wife, and children with both.

We work in a village of cubicles and there is little to no privacy for phone conversations, with drives me totally fucking nuts, but I digress…

I can barely endure having to listen to his conversations with co-workers, as the slimeball residue of his “professional style” threatens to flood over into my cube and drown me in a horrid and painfull death. But…since they’re work-related conversations, I just grit my teeth and carry on.

Every time one of his wives call about something, he always puts them on speaker phone, and he usually “handles” conversations with them in even more of a corporate slimeball way than he does his work-related conversations. He’ll seriously sit there and have a whole “you-are-the-embodiement-of-all-that-is-wrong-with-the-concept-of-marriage-you-misogynistic-selfish-controlling-bastard” conversation with one of the wives…on speakerphone…and follow it with a “you-are-the-embodiement-of-all-that-is-wrong-with-corporate-america” conversation about work…off the speakerphone.

His priorities and logic boggles the mind, as does his lack of manners when it comes to fighting with current and former spouses about how many times the kids are flying back and forth across the country for joint custody visits this summer.

If the guy is willing to air his disfunctional personal life out for the entire office to hear, but doesn’t want anyone to hear more than half of work-related conversations, it just makes me really not want to trust him, assuming I had any inclination to do so in the first place, which I don’t.

Put a note on his chair when he’s gone.

“We all know what you say. We all know what you do. Shut it.”

There was a recently divorced guy at the last place I worked who was making it his life’s mission to date (i.e. fuck) every single woman on match.com within 50 miles. He was quite successful by the way. His conversations with his potential conquests were the stuff of legends. The man was so smoooooth. I personally enjoyed it most of the time but most others disagreed. He was asked to keep it down by HR after numerous complaints.


I’m so sorry. We have no speakerphones on our desks for a reason. That’s the reason.

Someone should have a quiet word with him - ‘I’m not sure if you realize, but all the people in the cubes around you can hear your speaker phone when you’re on with your wife. You might want to take those calls more privately.’ If he continues after that, he’s deliberately being an obtuse ass.

Do you mean his voice?

Hehe. I was sitting with a client this week, doing his application for health insurance. His wife wasn’t there, and from some of the things he said I got the idea that she wouldn’t be his wife for very much longer, but I digress. He had to call her to get the name of her doctor and the last time she had visited him. He phoned her on his Blackberry, using the speakerphone, and she answered “Fuck you! Do what you want, you fuck!” and hung up. He looked at me and chuckled, then called her back and opened the conversation telling her she was on speakerphone with the insurance man, and got the information I needed. She didn’t even seem embarrassed by the earlier call. The capper though is that after the call, he looked thoughtfully at me and then asked how much less the insurance would be for just him and the kid. I told him and he decided to not include her in the coverage. I guess sometimes being a rude bitch has unintended consequences!

IMO, speaker phones should be outlawed. If I call someone, and detect that they are on a speaker, I ask them to pickup.

If they refuse, I tell them that I can’t hear them through all the background noise. And give them the choice to either call me back when they can use the handset of the phone, or end the call.

If you need to be hands free, get a headset. I’d extend that to cellphones as well. If you need to use it while you’re driving, get a headset.

Is there a name for people who want everyone to overhear their confrontational conversations?

“I don’t take shit from anybody, and here’s proof!”

It’s not just on speakerphone, or cell phones, or phones. We hear them everywhere. “Look at me! I’m sticking it to [whomever]! Hey! Come listen! This is gonna be really good!”

It wouldn’t be so bad, but I never hear them say anything I can use myself, later. Very unoriginal.

Just yell at him to shut up and quit making personal calls on company time.

That is usually much more effective than the mild-mannered approach with a clod like that.

Wait for a particularly vitrolic moment on her (whichever her) part and chime in with “She’s right you know!”

If he gets upset deny everything. After all you couldn’t possibly hear his conversations from waaaay over at your cubicle. And he couldn’t possibly be sure of what you said from waaay over at yours…

If he is on speakerphone yelling at his wife, and he gets another incoming call, does he take the other call on speakerphone, too? If so, you could walk down to the corner market / gas station / whatever and call him from the pay phone, and when he picks up, yell, “take it off speakerphone, you stupid fucker!” so everyone in the office can hear.

^ lol, I like that one! I might give someone $5 dollars to do it for me though, someone might recognize me.

I was told that I could listen to the radio at a reasonable volume.

Oh c’mon, you people have no imagination!

This situtation is crying out for a loud, embarrassing shout in the background during the phone call. Something like “Hey! Is that your ex or current wife? Which is the one you’re still in love with again?” Or “Are you not going to tell her about the call from the clinic either?” Or “Yeah, his other wife said that too!”

If he’s determined to share your conversations then you have an obligation to contribute to them.

We have someone who likes to use the speakerphone because in her tiny donut-fueled pig brain it makes her look and sound Very Important.

Whenever I get a call from this person, I put my hand over my mouth and say something along the lines of “Mawr mawr rahr rahr argle bargle”. It forces her to pick up the receiver.

I’ve heard radio hosts do this a lot, and once the caller responded that he was disabled and couldn’t hold the phone. The host sounded like he was dying of embarrassment.

Anyway, don’t be passive. Tell the guy’s boss, or talk to HR. I have a coworker who doesn’t talk on speakerphone, but he’s SO FUCKING LOUD on the phone (and his job entails calling people all day) that there have been a number of complaints. He used to sit on the opposite side of my cube wall and he was pretty annoying, but since he was shrieking in Spanish most of the time, I could fortunately tune him out better than if he’d been speaking English.

My boss, who will take any and every opportunity to show just how important and in control he is, used to try to use the speakerphone at the office when on the phone with me and there were other people in the office. You know how kids can suddenly develop the most sarcastic and defiant attitude when their friends are over? Amateurs compared to this guy. I would simply tell him every time that if he didn’t take me off speakerphone, I would not continue the conversation. Since typically he was screwing something up (but couldn’t admit it, so he would try to make it sound like my fault) and needed me to fix it, he did outgrow the behavior. This is the same guy who, at a school picnic with our kids, was standing in the hot dog line, talking on his cell phone about his STOCK PORTFOLIO, well after business hours. Knowing him, the phone probably wasn’t even on. :rolleyes:

I like the clever contributions to the convo bit–but I would throw in a third woman…hey, Joe! Is that that hot new chick you scored with at the last conference?

I am reserving my seat in hell as we speak.

My peeve with speakerphones is people who let the dial tone go on and on and on… You know the type - they pick up a line, let the dial tone come on nice and loud, then start rooting around for the number they want to call.

Oh, and chiming in to his conversations sounds like the way to go. You want private conversations, keep 'em private.

Oooh, I like this. Hell, say “Hey, cheesedick, the rest of your co-workers are trying to work, so hang up the god damn speakerphone already!”