We all probably have at least one of these colleagues – those who just. Don’t. Shut. Up. You want to tell them to shut it, but you’re afraid you’ll come across as the rude b**** who can’t let everyone have a bit of fun. So what can you do when you’re rushing deadlines and they won’t stop yapping? Here are a few options.
For the one who doesn't get a hint
Looking at your screen once every five seconds isn’t obvious enough a hint for these people. You just gotta be a bit blunt. But that doesn’t mean you have to be rude about it. Tell them straight-up that you’re rushing a deadline, but be apologetic about it.
For the one who constantly asks for your opinion
We get it – you want to tell them to actually do their job without asking you for validation, but it is a bit hard, especially if they’re your supervisor. Research has shown that it’s good to ask colleagues for advice, but when you do it too much, people are bound to get annoyed. Explain to her that you’re rushing a project and tell her to drop you an email or let you know what it’s about, so you’ll get back to her when you’re free. It’s a bit hard to do this when the person is your supervisor, but if she’s a good supe, she’ll know that your primary job is to do your own tasks, not just help her complete hers.
For the one who spends working hours talking about their life story
Ahh, there are those colleagues who tell you what happened to them on the weekend, what they just read online, their relationship problems – all during working hours when you’re supposed to be working. Tell them politely that you’d love to listen to their story, but perhaps during lunch hour or break time when you’re not pulling out your hair trying to churn out a report.
For the ones who think every day is a party
They love sharing the goss and don’t want work to be boring. But some of them take it a bit too far by turning the office area into a party arena by chatting loudly and laughing boisterously. Most Singaporeans would shush them by saying “Shhhh” really loudly, but you can also tell them politely to keep it down. But, of course, working in an office also requires give-and-take, so if they’re not that loud, just let it slide or put on your headphones.
For the ones who go off-tangent during a meeting
Yes, there are those colleagues who choose to discuss a totally unrelated topic during a meeting as if everyone had cleared out their whole day for a one-hour meeting. Usually, at the end of it, nothing will be decided because that person has managed to steer everyone away the initial topic. At the risk of seeming like a b****, try to remind everyone of the agenda on hand and that a decision has to be made urgently. Alternatively, tell them, “Sorry, but I have a project that’s due today. Can we get back to the topic on-hand so we can wrap this up on time?” Of course, don’t say this if what is discussed wasn’t on the agenda but just as or more important.