Good day Dr Saltzman,
My question relates to a work problem. A colleague, who sits at the desk next to mine, has his radio playing during the entire work day. I find it discomforting to listen to the music continuously for 8 hours at a time. I can concentrate far more effectively in a quieter work environment - which I have mentioned to this colleague. However, he seemed very far from empathising with me and essentially waved off the matter. In fact, he seemed to think that I was being rather strange regarding this situation. How is the best way I can approach this matter so that perhaps we can work out a compromise? I don't want my other work colleagues to think I am being selfish because none of them are bothered with the relentless barrage of music from the radio. I often get insincere looks from many of them when I ask them if they find the radio to be a distraction. Do you think it is strange for a person to not like listening to the radio whilst at work?
Name: Peter (30yo)
Occupation: Graphic Designer
Location: South Africa
Good Day, Peter--
No I do not think it strange that you would prefer not to have to listen to someone else's radio while working. Personally, I would hate it. I do some graphic work myself, and like quiet while I am working.
I suggest that you speak with this fellow again, asking him to use headphones to listen to the radio. Explain to him that this you all must work in a shared environment, which means that everyone must do his or her best to make things tolerable for all involved.
If he still wants to be selfish and inconsiderate, I think you have little alternative but to speak with management about this. I imagine that a conversation with your boss about how the noise--for that it what it is if you don't enjoy it--is hurting your productivity and ability fully to concentrate on projects might get you the peace and quiet you would prefer.