General discussion


Speaker phones are an evil scourge

By Montgomery Gator ·
I work in a cubicle farm with 8 other developers. We are surrounded by other IT groups, such as the network group and the server farm group. For some unknown reason, the other groups seem to be very fond of using the speaker phones, but we see no need to use them. I have mentioned this concern to my boss, and he agrees, there is no need for these people to use the speaker phones and disturb the rest of the department. He has spoken to the other supervisors, but to no avail, other than a (very) short term reduction in this annoying activity. Any suggestions? Also, can someone explain the reason why people would use speaker phones? Is it because they are oblivions? Is it because they are sociopaths? Maybe they enjoy annoying people? Are they too lazy to pick up and hold the receiver? Do they think they do not look good if they use a headset? Or are they self-important? Other than this sick behaviour, I otherwise get along quite well with these other people, and have a good working relationship. I have not talked to them directly about this, since my supervisor prefers for me to go through channels and talk to him about it instead of going to them directly.

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Etiquette and function.

by tbragsda In reply to Disagree with your disagr ...

I think the speakerphone has its place, and your complaint is with etiquette rather than functionality. If the speakerphone users were more aware of their volume, and voice level, would you be satisfied? If the call volume levels were on par with a conversation, would your complaint be they should not have conversations?

I knew I was taking a unpopular side of this discussion. The easy thing to say is "Fu*k the jerks", but seriously speakerphones add functionality in many cases. You can say use a headset, go to a conference room or any number of solutions to your problem, but what about their problems? Must they suffer the inconvience for you?

Im really not trying to be harsh, and I would bet that this group could be more sensitive to your groups complaints. In the larger discussion of the place of speakerphones in a business enviroment, we should look at all the issues. Your tital was "Speaker phones are an evil scourge", not "I have a problem with one group of speaker phone users".

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In theory, your points are valid

by Montgomery Gator In reply to Etiquette and function.

Unfortunately, the speaker phone users crank them up when they use them. If they were low level conversations like the other work-related conversations, it would be no problem. Of course, using head sets when hands must be free, and no one else needs to hear the other side would work also. Unfortunately, my workplace does have the cube city plan like most medium to large businesses nowadays, and we can hear our neighbors quite easily.

I have sent an e-mail to my supervisor about the subject, and I will see what he says. He has tried to fight this fight before, but with only limited short-term success.

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Too much noise anyway.

by tbragsda In reply to In theory, your points ar ...

I hope your request gets taken seriously. Im just providing the counter point.

I don't like a noisy enviroment any more than the next guy. For my entire career things have been beeping, ringing, running, turing, humming, etc. It will make you nutz.

Good luck.


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Agree with your disagree, disagree with his.

by Absolutely In reply to Disagree with your disagr ...

If there were a jackhammer that only the operator could hear or a way to make them half as noisy like a headset makes half as much noise, the jackhammer operator would be a rude jacka$s for using the maximum noise version right next to the peaceful bricklayer.

Also, a normal person's voice talking about topics that don't affect me is much less than half as annoying as hearing a speakerphone conversation because hearing both sides of the conversation means that I have to make a greater effort not to be distracted by a conversation when I can hear both sides, plus the sound of a voice through a crappy low quality speaker is always annoying.

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Just maybe you could

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Agree with your disagree, ...

Go to HR and make a formal complaint that you do not want to be accused of ease dropping on others peoples conversations.

I don't know if you have any Privacy Laws over there but you could always claim that you are being placed in a compromising position and possibly run the risk of being charged for failing to maintain confidentiality because by overhearing others conversations you are violation their privacy.

That just might work.

Col ]:)

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Cell phones left unattended is just as bad

by jdclyde In reply to Speaker phones are an evi ...

People come into the office and throw their nextels on their chargers and then go into a meeting or something. While they are gone they get a call, so this @#%$@#%'en thing keeps beeping until they come back. grrrr. THIS drives ME nuts.

And yes, they use the "walkie-talkie" function instead of picking up an office phone and dialing an extention.

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I hate that too

by Oz_Media In reply to Cell phones left unattend ...


I was actually onsite last winter and was in a very important meeting about implementation costs with a propspect when MY cell pohone started to ring, I forgot to forward directly to VM.
So it starts playing Safety Dance and I am looking all red in the face while apologizing for the noise. I said, "sorry it'll go to voice mail in just a second"

But then Safety Dance played on,toes started to tap and I was starting to sweat. "Wow, I don't know wht Voice Mail hasn't picked up!?" (Phone buried in my computer case of course. FINALLY I dug it out as we were not getting any reprieve here, STILL playing Safety Dance, I hit my VM key and sent the call to Voice Mail. TWO seconds later, SAFETY DANCE is playing again, by now I am getting frustrated and just pull the damn battery off the back and toss it in my bag. It turns out, my voice mail was set to page my phone and/or forward all incoming calls to my home line straight to my cellular. Being in Vancouver I couldn't get at my VM console unitl I got home!

The people we did the presentation for just smiled and the boss (must be bearing his 70's) laughed and said, "Holy 80's guy! Safety Dance, haven't heard that one in a few years!"

Don't you hate that TWO WAY radio beep and the damn speakers with Mike handsets though?!

It's a CELL phone too, you don't HAVE to yell. Most people have them cranked and have no use for two way radio instead of a cell call. What a pain!

Funny when the spouses call though, the speaker tells all, epsecially the clinking of glasses and bottles in the background. :)

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In all fairness...

by Jessie In reply to I hate that too

I have worked in several places where we were almost FORCED to use the walkie-talkie feature of the Nextel phones because it doesn't use up any of those oh-so-valuable minutes. Damn, cheap-*** companies!!!

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I understand and agree with

by jdclyde In reply to In all fairness...

the savings of that. Just teach the trained monkeys to not YELL into the cussed things, and turn down the volume.

And my wife complains that I am deaf!

After years of traveling with bands and working in shops, she believes me when I say I just didn't hear her. Listen, hear, what is the difference?

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You just turn the volume down

by Oz_Media In reply to In all fairness...

Even in TWO -WAy mode with Mikes you can turn down the volume and use it like a cell phone. Meaning you don't have to stare at it and yell. This always gets me, what are people that excited about having 2-way capability that they must flaunt it lik ethey are renta acops or something. You even get people TRYING to use radio code on the damn things. It's no different than when Pagers first came out, anyone with a pager MUST be a neurosurgeon! LOL

IT'S A PHONE OKAY!!!?!?!?!?!?

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