I think that I’m a relatively mild mannered individual, but there are certain things that get under my skin and into my head. When I work in an open plan office one of the things that puts tension straight into my shoulders is the speakerphone.
There are certain people who will, quite regularly, phone someone else on either their mobile phone, or the resident desk phone, and they will use the speaker to undertake that conversation.
Does anyone else find this annoying? Is it me?
Why? This is my dilemma, I have no rational reason for my ire. Why is someone on a speakerphone more annoying than two people having a conversation? One person talking to another person via a speaker is not significantly different, is it? Yet somehow it is, it is very different.
There are some differences:
- People talking on a speakerphone always seem to be a little louder than two people conversing face-to-face. There’s something about a physical dialogue that causes us to calibrate our volume down to the level required. The reverse seems to be true for speakerphone conversations, we calibrate the volume upwards.
- There’s something needless about it. I talk on calls all day utilising a headset so people are only hearing one side of the dialogue. I do this so that other people aren’t overly disturbed, so why can’t they? If you really need to use a speaker there are plenty of places in the building where that wouldn’t disturb anyone.
- The sound from a speaker is, to me at least, harsher than a real voice. Even when the volume is turned down I can still tell when someone is on a speaker, and that harshness enhances the annoyance.
But are these enough to justify my grumpiness? That is my dilemma.
Header image: These snowdrops were getting ready for breaking out into bloom in Levens Park