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Thursday, June 20, 2024
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EMPLOYEE TALKS TO HIMSELF NON-STOP, BOSS CANNOT TAHAN TELLS OTHER STAFF TO INTERVENE

New person at work talks to themselves and it’s driving my boss crazy.

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Boss wants me to talk to them about it, but I’m not sure how to bring it up.

Earlier this year we hired a new employee at my job, and things have been going well so far. They’re smart, a good worker, and get along pretty well with the rest of the team. Except there’s one issue that has recently come up and I’m not sure how to handle it.

Lately they’ve started talking to themselves on and off during the workday. To give you an idea, it’s like they’re narrating everything they’re doing, things like: “Okay, so now I’m going to…” “Wow, what? Let’s go ahead and fix that.” Earlier I heard, “Gonna run to the restroom real quick” before seeing them duck out and head down the hall.

Now don’t get me wrong, I talk to myself on occasion as well, even at work. But this is happening at a frequency and volume that is becoming quite distracting. We’re talking normal conversation level loud. My desk is far enough away that I can manage to ignore it for the most part, but my boss’s office is pretty close to where the new person sits, and apparently new person’s habit has started to bother them.

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For some context, I’ve been at this job for several years now and recently have begun working with my boss on some projects that make it clear I’m being prepared for a more senior, supervisory role. There have been talks about putting me in charge of an entire division of this organization at some point in the future, and obviously one of the responsibilities that comes with that is personnel management. My boss will give me little tasks or ask for my input on certain items that are outside my current job description, with the implication that I’m being prepared for expanded responsibilities.

So, here’s my issue: One morning my boss sends me a private chat that basically said, “I might need you to tell [new person], behind the scenes, to tone it down. I’m one bad morning away from flipping out over all the noises.”

My boss is not the type to shy away from tough conversations, so I know they wouldn’t delegate this to me to avoid dealing with it themselves. I’ve personally seen them deal with similar employee issues several times over the years, so I also don’t think this is something the boss feels they’re above having to mess with. I get the feeling this is a “Let’s see how they handle this” situation.

My problem is that, by nature, I’m a very shy, introverted, and conflict-avoidant person. I’ve obviously worked on this and gotten better at it over the years, but I still get that sick feeling in my stomach when it comes time for those tough conversations.

Do I just need to toughen up and be like, “Hey all the talking is bothering people and you need to cut it out”? Is there a more delicate way to address this? Has anyone dealt with a similar situation, and how did you handle it?

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