While some friendly banter with colleagues and getting updated on grapevine news can only be a good thing, we have at some workplaces, what I like to call, the “non-stop talking demon”, a species that holds forth on the phone with family and friends all day. Colleagues are invited to hear details of said person’s personal life in excruciating detail – multiple times, lest they forget. Isn’t that what we call too much of a good thing! I approached one such demon therefore, to provide some nuggets of wisdom, which form the contents of this post, Non-stop talking for office dummies, i.e. all you dumb worker souls who cannot match the garrulousness of this species. This is hence, a sort of guest post. Ok, here we begin:
1. Make sure you work in a distant location. Insist that you will work out of an office where your boss doesn’t work, and rarely visits. Lack of real-time boss presence greatly aids conversation.
2. Do your parents live in the same city as you? Make them relocate. If needed, wrangle a job for your dad/mom in Timbuktoo. This is essential to have long heart to heart talks with them, where you update them on your in-laws’ latest visit, your spouse’s perpetual forgetfulness and the antics of the goldfish they gifted you last year.
3. For every one hour of talk, ensure that you get down at your desk for half hour. This way, atleast 30 percent of the time, people will notice you working.
4. Make sure you also talk to your colleagues and ensure they know how mean your spouse is, how terribly your back hurts, and how badly you wanted to go to that Shakira concert but couldn’t afford it. This way they will know how sad your life really is, and not grudge you that 70 percent of time that you spend talking. Besides, its free entertainment for them, they should be grateful.
5. If you have colleagues who complain that the noise disturbs them, refer point four, and remind them that they need to be a) sorry for you b) thankful for the free entertainment.
6. Buy chips. Or chocolates. Or mints. Or anything else you like to munch on. Perpetually. Just talking can be bad for your throat. Throw in some refreshments to keep you going strong.
7. In between stories of your personal life, inform your friends and family of how bad your workload is, and why you can never hope to finish it. This gives you more reasons as to why you should continue talking and not look at work you can never finish anyways.
8. If your friends insist that they need to get off the phone, and back to work, make them feel guilty. You can’t fix them with a look over the phone, but remind them subtly of how they forgot your last birthday.
9. When your boss reminds you that work is undone, tell them you are getting to it. Throw in a few stories of how hard this location is, where people barge in and take up your time, all the time.
10. Make sure you ask your colleagues for a few juicy details of their lives. This way, they won’t feel left out. And you now have more stories to recycle, isn’t that a bonus!
Hah, talking is tough work, I tell you!