Dear Snarky – The Cubicle Eavesdropper

cubiclesDear Snarky,

I work for a large engineering firm and most of the employees don’t have offices instead we have cubicles. My problem is the woman who sits one cubicle over is the WORST eavesdropper. She’s not even ashamed about it. Any private phone conversation I have she let’s me know she heard the whole thing. Doctors appointments, talking to my husband, she’s listening in.

What can I do about this besides getting a new job?

Signed, Agitated

Dear Agitated,

The way I see you have three choices besides the obvious one of having fake conversations on the phone pretending you’ve murdered someone and are trying to cover it up. That will get the eavesdropper an earful she soon won’t forget. But, in terms of less fun solutions here they are:

1) Accept that you work in a cubicle environment and while there should be an expectation of good manners there is zero expectation of privacy. This means make your doctors appointments at lunch while you’re sitting in your car and as far as talking to your husband texting is the only way to go while you are at work.

2) Speak to your supervisor about changing cubicles. I’d make up some excuse that you’re right by an air vent or you think you would be more productive at the end of the row. Whatever, just get it out there that you need a cube change sooner than later.

3) You can confront the eavesdropper but beware I’m almost certain she won’t change her behavior and it will make working next to her very awkward. Ask yourself if you really want to face that 40 hours a week. Also, and I know this from personal experience, the person you confront this week maybe your new boss the next (sigh).

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