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We all have experienced them: the people whose boorish behavior shows a callous disregard for everyone around them. They surround us everywhere.
I like to think that rather than being malicious, they are just clueless that their actions are affecting other people.
Can’t Change Them
I want to point out that even though the behavior infringes on me, there is nothing I can do to make them stop. So I choose to adapt my behavior to make my life flow a little bit easier.
It seems that different situations call for different actions. Here are five different types of clueless people and how I deal with them.
A desk lurker is a person who hangs around….or on….your desk. They generally have no sense of personal space. They may play with things on your desk while visiting, or (my personal pet peeve) reach over me to grab my mouse or keyboard.
I have a few ways to deal with this lurker. For the one who routinely lays her top half across my desktop, I make sure my files are out on my desk at the start of any meeting I have with her. For the one who makes a grab for my keyboard and mouse, I point out it is a left-handed mouse and a non-standard keyboard layout and it would be much faster if they let me drive my own computer.
The Walker is the person, who in an attempt to prolong a conversation, will accompany you when you leave a meeting or the break room.
My strategy is to lead them to a place where they do not want to go. If the person is a man, I head for the ladies room. If the person is a lady, I will head toward the front offices (where the bosses are), or out the back door. This is usually enough to break off the conversation and allow me a break when I can get back to work.
The noise generator is the person who has decided for whatever reason that they do not want to use headphones or put their phone on vibrate. I know we all forget from time to time, but these are the habitual offenders.
The best way to deal with a noise generator is to block the noise. I use my Skullcandy headphones with an ambient noise track to get through the worst of these.
One family who takes lessons from my daughter’s piano teacher has an extremely disruptive four year old. He will talk, and make noise through recitals, as if he was the only person in the room. This completely destroyed the videos I was trying to make for my daughter’s grandparents.
Since direct appeals to the child’s mother were not effective, I took a two-fold approach. I informed the piano teacher of my concerns, letting her know that perhaps the mother could be encouraged to leave the youngster with a sitter (or at least not feed him candy right before the recital); I also switched recital times so that we are not at the same time as the other family. It turns out this works better for us
Those of you who have older children of a pre-cellphone age know what this is like. The phone is tied up for hours at a time, and sometimes it disappears for days.
After joking to my husband that I miss the phones where the cord tied them to the wall, we replaced the main phone in the house with a corded version. Now we always know where the phone is, and it has the added benefit that I can remind my daughter to get off the phone after a reasonable amount of time.
What sort of clueless people have you encountered? And what did you do? Share below.
Photo byAlex E. Proimos