Whispering Is More Rude Than Loud Mouths

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctor about whispering: I DO NOT care what the topic of the conversation is (even if it’s me), just stop being RUDE! If there are 3 of us in the room and 2 are whispering, clearly, they are talking about the 3rd person, so take it somewhere else.

I feel you are soooooo far off the mark when it comes to whispering. Yes, we should be respectful of others and try and keep it down, but these whispering sessions (aka bird talking) are just as distracting as the loud mouths. They aren’t whispering for that purpose. They are whispering because of gossip and if they want to gossip, they need to do it over lunch, in the break room, in the conference room, in the bathroom for all I care.

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Can My Manager Ban Whispering At Work?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about whispering:

A coworker and myself were talking amongst ourselves when my manager asked what we were talking about. To which I replied “It’s between me and him and we are not whispering.” The manager now says that whispering is banned in the office. What advice would you give me and my coworkers? Does the manager have any right to try and do this? In my opinion this is ridiculous.

Signed, Whispering

Dear Whispering:

Yes, your manager can make a rule of this nature, especially if the whispering or under-tone conversation appeared to be negative about work or about someone at work. I think it would have been better for him to talk to each of you individually and direct you not to do that in the office in the future, but he may have reacted out of frustration and irritation.I would imagine there are other things going on in your office that present the bigger issue. Maybe you could use this situation as a way to bring those out and deal with them. If I were you I would start by talking to my manager in a courteous way to explain what I was doing and to say I’ll be aware of how it might be perceived in the future. Then, maybe you can go from there about other issues. It’s not fun to work where you’re unhappy, no matter what the cause.

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