Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Variation on a Theme: Loud Mouth I

Today I realized that there is a common phenomenon that is going to occur everywhere I will be employed—unless I somehow manage to score an awesome office somewhere. I would like to dub this phenomenon the "Loud Mouth."

Introduction to the Loud Mouth

If you have ever worked in a cubicle farm, Murphy's Law requires that you are going to have an important task to complete, and to assist you in this process you are given an individual somewhere near you who talks too loud. They might not be right next to you, but they are close enough for you to hear their every conversation. And it seems like most of their conversations are not business-related. They make no effort to be considerate to their peers and just keep talking, ignoring any subtle (or not so subtle) hints.

I'll dedicate some of my next posts to some of the Loud Mouths I have known over the years. If you have any to add please feel free to post them in the comments!


When I worked at BSU as a student, I worked for the Student Union Building in the Operations Office. I spent my workdays in an office taking reservations for the Student Union Building meeting facilities while trying to keep on top of the phones and avoid gossip. Down the hall was the Student Union Director's office. Farther down the hall and through a closed door was another department. Their director was the Loud Mouth.

The Director of the other department would hold impromptu events in her space in the Student Union. There were a few offices in her space, but there were also common areas for students to sit and discuss upcoming events and ways that student organizations were interfacing with this department. Neighboring Director was generally very nice to your face, but she really liked to have a good time. Good time in her book was the same as loud. If you didn't get her everything (that she didn't reserve, but swore up and down that she did) for her impromptu party, she became Ursula the Sea Witch when she had hold of King Triton's trident.

*Not to scale
Image from
On a weekly basis (yet never at the same time or day), Ursula would hold impromptu karaoke contests. Because she thought that everyone wanted to hear her staff create new inharmonious melodies to semi-popular songs from a few years ago, she would open the door between our offices and her own. The Operations Director's secretary would quickly get up and close the door, but it was amazing how much sound carried underneath the door, down a hallway, and around the corner into our office. There were times when I had to struggle to keep my eye from twitching while I was talking to a customer when hearing the mixture of bat shrieks and cat fights.

Just as depicted in the Disney's The Little Mermaid, the seas would froth and the storms would brew when she had an issue. This seemed to happen quite frequently. When the SUB Director would pull her into the office to diffuse the issue. It usually took a bit, but I could hear between through two other offices or down the hallway when the thunder was still rolling from these conversations. And generally, the thunder only came from one storm cloud, not both.

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