Dear Lola,

My office workplace is made up of a room with cubicles. Due to the noise level, I’ve begun to wear earplugs while concentrating on my work. I cannot concentrate without them in and sometimes I even wear them as I eat my lunch and catch up on the news. However, my coworkers have reacted as if I screamed ‘I hate you!’ to the entire office. They have stopped dropping by my desk and will frequently leave me out of lunch invites. Previously I had a cordial relationship with most of the office and went out to lunch with them once or twice each week.

How can I make my coworkers understand that I need my earplugs to focus on the job and it is nothing personal?

Confused Coworker 

Dear Lola

Dear Confused Coworker,

You did scream ‘I hate you!’ to the entire office – you just did it using nonverbal messages. You obviously don’t understand the memo your earplugs are sending out, so let’s review them.

You people are too noisy.

Your office may not be as noisy as an amusement park, but you must surely think it’s a close comparison. Everyone has tasks at work that require intense thought and concentration, so there are valid times to block out noise. Using them all day, every day, means you find every single noise your coworkers make to be obnoxiously loud. Unless those coworkers are developing a louder bagpipe, take the earplugs out.

My work is very important.

It must be so, you need earplugs just to block out the world around you! Everyone else in the office is doing menial work in comparison, that’s why they don’t require the very important noise blockers. I bet Jody in human resources is just reading Wikipedia and giving herself a manicure while she waits for one worker to punch another in the face – thus giving her job a purpose. (I’m sorry Jody, I know you are killing yourself to resolve the recent personnel issues revolving around earplugs, I’m trying to help.)

Leave me alone.

Yep. You said it. As your coworkers began leaving you behind for lunch, you did not pull out your earplugs and ask to tag along. As they stopped initiating conversation, you also lost use of your vocal chords and couldn’t initiate one on your own. As you sat eating your lunch with your earplugs in… seriously, you may need to consider working at home in your pajamas! (My Mommybeast swears it is the best!)

Have you heard of noise cancelling headphones?

I bet those would go over a whole lot better with your coworkers. It’s hard to be mad at a person for not wanting to disturb everyone else with his favorite yodeling hits! Heck, your coworkers could even hope you were using them to listen to self-help books about fostering a better workplace environment.

Take out the earplugs and say hello to the other humans around you.

And pet any dogs you meet, they need attention also!


Send Lola your questions in the comments, or by clicking one of my social media links below!

Check out my Facebook page @ShankYouHeather and @ShankYouDesigns

I also tweet like a bird on Twitter @HeatherKeet

You can also find me on Instagram @ShankYouHeather and @ShankYouDesigns

Lola and I opened a store so we can sell our funniest blog sayings on cool stuff. Check it out at Shank You Very Much

25 replies on “Dear Lola – Confused coworker…

  1. Hello Lola,

    I love your advice to use noise canceling headphones! I just wish that they’re not that expensive. Earplugs are way cheaper.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Or you could just tell your co-workers why you’re wearing them. “Fellow co-workers, I can’t concentrate on my work with all the noise. Not your fault but I’ll be over here. With my headphones on.” Or ear plugs. Whatever. Most people will understand. an office with cubicles. I’ve been there. It is noisy haha! Great advise about the lunch part Lola. Why would you wear them if you want to eat lunch with your co-workers anyway? #GlobalBlogging

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lola I’m so greatful that I have my own office – I can close my door if the noise level gets out of hand. But I feel for those who sit in an open space – earplugs definitely. As for lunch – wearing earplugs would be unsociable #globalblogging

    Liked by 1 person

Tell me what you think...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.