Dealing with a Speaker Head/Grump In the world of dealing with problem co-workers, I have seen my share of each of the examples given by the author, Alison Green, in her article “How to Deal with Annoying Co- Workers”.

Dealing with a Speaker Head/Grump

In the world of dealing with problem co-workers, I have seen my share of each of the

examples given by the author, Alison Green, in her article “How to Deal with Annoying Co-

Workers”. Unfortunately, I have a combination of a grump and speaker phone user that I

live with day in and day out. I know she says to be glad they do not live with me, however

sometimes we do live with them even when we wish we did not.

When it comes to my husband and me working together it tends to be Family Readiness

Group (FRG) orientated. There are times when I need to call him to confirm times or relay

information to him since, he very often forgets or does not actively listen to what is being said by

his command group. I completely understand the reasoning behind the use of the speaker on his

cell-phone and how there are times when I can be hard to hear due to background noise of the

trainees coming and going pass his office door, but his being a grump and on the speaker can be

extremely annoying. Mostly, because there are times I call and just the tone of his voice lets me

know that he is upset and just wants to be left alone or one wrong word is going to set him off

into his gloomy, Eeyore state. Often, there are times when I just do not want to deal with him

because of this combination. His use of the speaker is understandable, but there are times when I

just wish that we could have a “private” talk without everyone hearing what is going on and how

I need his help to finish or solve a problem at home or even at the children’s school. While,

Alison mentions that I should consider my own husband as “The Company Eeyore.”, there are

times where I just leave him alone to wallow in his own misery. Yes, this sounds cruel; however

after reading an article by Ken-ichi Ohbuchi and Markio Suzuki “people generally view conflict

as harmful to organizations because conflict breeds hostility and mistrust among members,

Speaker Head
Running Header

interferes with organizational functioning, and in extreme cases, causes a breakdown of the

organization.” So, while treating my own husband like the company Eeyore maybe a good

thing, it can also be a source of inner office conflict with his command and other members of the

FRG that might need to ask if, we can use supplies from his inventory. When it comes to

dealing with his use of the speakerphone, the solution suggested by Alison Green was to be

straightforward and ask that the person (my husband) to please take me off the speaker so, that it

does not annoy anyone else. I however, have found that by being as brief as possible or even

just sending a text message seems to save me from having to deal with background noise, or

interruption of someone coming and hearing what is being discussed. When neither of those

solutions works, I just take a step back and look for other solutions to his grumpiness and

speakerphone use.

In Ohbuchi and Suzuki’s article they mention that there are positive and negative effects of

conflict in addition to Alison Green’s I would conclude that Alison’s solutions to the conflict

were more of a “temporary band aide” to cover up the conflict that we each suffer when dealing

with that one or combination of annoying co-workers on a daily basis and “personal factors, like;

beliefs, values, or preferences seems a matter of degree depending on which elements of task or

relational issues are dominant.”

By taking a step back and looking at each type of co-worker perhaps in some way each

of us can find a reason as to why they are annoying and avoid conflict with them by being

straightforward and looking for alternative solutions to each of type should the suggested

solutions by Alison Green not work in aiding us from their annoyance.

Leave a Reply