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working with users

By selinathe1 ·
this is totally not related to tech issue but i want to know how everyone else deal with it.
i'm working for an IT company who offers various services to its clients. and i'm positioned at one of its clietns. so i work there as if i'm an employee of this client.
so basically, i sit in the office with full of users who may be in customer service dept., sales dept., accounting depts., etc. sitting in the same office sapce as those in other depts exposes me to various noises. and a lot of times, i need quiet space to work. most of the times, i can't get job done (especially when i'm troubleshooting some new problems or persisting ones) until they leave at 5pm. most of my work done after that. but this leads me to work overtime. i live 1 1/2hr away from this office and i don't enjoy this very much.
for those of you who sits with users in different depts. how do you deal with the noise like this?

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Not an easy situation

by j.lupo In reply to working with users

Ok, first I have been in your situation regardless of who the others around you are. That is the nature of being a consultant/contractor on site. I once had to sit on a kitchen floor until a space could be made ready in the cube maze that was the office work spaces.

In answer to your question, there are several things:
1. Learn to tune it all out. I am pretty good now that I don't even know when someone comes up to my spot to ask a question. Its called "heads down focus".
2. If you are allowed, bring an ipod or some sort of music that you can use a headset for. This allows you to politly tune out what is around you. But check first to make sure you are allowed. I have worked in some places where it was allowed and others where it is not allowed.
3. Ask your client manager if there is a work area you may use that is quieter. Be prepared to give specific examples of how your work is less efficient due to your seating situation. Yes I had this situation too and the manager happen to understand and rearranged where everyone was sitting to improve communication in the office.

Now here is another thing that you might want to be aware of. Your sitting in a very strategic location. You get to know what the business is doing, where they may need help, etc. You may even be able to make tech suggestions to reduce their workloads or improve efficiency in the office. I have found that sitting with the users I understand what they need from the IT group much better and therefore I can deliver better solutions.

Good Luck and please let us know how it goes.

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good to know that i'm not the only one...

by selinathe1 In reply to Not an easy situation

thanks for your suggestions. i'll try my best to do the solution #1.
i'm not comfortable with #2 and #3, only because there was another person before me at the exact the same spot. i don't know her personally (and how much work she got done) but i know she delt with it. there is also a programmer who sits close to me. he learned to tune it down like you said. so i'll try that one, too. after all, it'll be good for me to be able to do it in the future.

might come here to vent out every now and then until i get better at tuning out.

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Earplugs

by GSG In reply to good to know that i'm not ...

You can get small foam earplugs at the drugstore that will fit down into the ear canal. If you have to use the phone a lot, then use a headset, and put an earplug in the other ear.

When I was in a similar situation, I used headphones. Sometimes, I didn't even have them plugged in. I just used them to filter the sound.

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Use headsets

by onbliss In reply to working with users

Even if you do not want to listen to radio, ipod or internet radio :-), just buy a good headset and start using it.

I know many programmers who just use the headset when the noise level increases around them.

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Great suggestion Onbliss

by j.lupo In reply to Use headsets

I forgot I sometimes use my hands free to do that. Since I am on teleconferences a lot they attached a hands fee headset to my phone. I have started leaving them on when it gets too annoying and I can't concentrate.

I have a person who must be tone deaf that likes to sing in the office. Loud enough for all of us to hear. sigh.

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Speaker phone

by onbliss In reply to Use headsets

There was this person, sitting just one cube away, who used speakerphone for his phone conversations. He was in a lead role, and I guess he just thought too much of himself. Sometimes when he was kind, he just used the speakerphone to dial and used the handset for the actual conversation. But I could hear the phone on the other end ringing and would just get infuriated.

Later found out that not many liked him for his other "skills" (or lack of skills).

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volume out of control

by selinathe1 In reply to Speaker phone

just a headset? nice idea. thanks!
the woman who sits in the next cube from me has no control on her voice. she herself told me that she has problem with controlling it. if she knows that problem herself, i wish she stopps yapping on the phone whole day....

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I appreciate your pain ... it sounds like

by j.lupo In reply to volume out of control

you sit near me. I have a volume control problem, but I try real hard to control it, especially at work. My problem is I get excited about what I am doing. I am using conference rooms as much as possible.

In fact, a business user walked up to my desk to discuss something and I sit in the cube farm. So, I asked him if we could go back to his office. This way my volume control issues didn't bother others.

You know sometimes it can't be helped. Some of us are passionate about what we are doing and that is how it comes out. It isn't deliberate and I at least don't mind when I get reminded. In fact I encourage people to signal me if I slip. It helps re-enforce when I am doing it.

Good Luck

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It is life

by onbliss In reply to volume out of control

I do get annoyed when people just talk loudly. Some realize it, some don't. Nothing can be done about it, I guess we have to put up with them, after all life is little bit of adjustments.

But it is nice to whine about it, now and then. There are folks who sit three or four cubes down, and I can hear them talking.

Some people do not even keep their personal phone conversations low. It makes me wonder if they treat the rest of the people as merely as "inobjects" or are they so oblivious to others?

I understand some people's voices are little louder. Can live with it. But if they do not make any attempt in simple public courtesies, can't help from forming opinions.

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ooooo sorry for that

by j.lupo In reply to Speaker phone

I feel your pain which is why I always picked up the handset before I got the handsfree headset. I still do that before putting on speaker so that I don't bug anyone.

See when you end up in these Lead roles, all of a sudden you have to attend every meeting, conference, etc and not get any real work done. The headset lets me work and mute the phone so they don't realize I am working while they are "talking".

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