2

This isn't a big deal, but I work a graveyard shift with about 5 other people, two of whom come in at 3am (I come in at 9pm).

My colleague and I both like to have jazz on in the kitchen. There's a person who's coming in (someone I don't know well at all, not a longtime colleague) who's been turning it off. Since there aren't many people here it was easy to figure out who is doing it.

No one hangs out in the kitchen, people just go in to refill their coffee (that seems important). No one actually takes breaks in there.

This morning, after this happened, I turned the radio back on. I put it on a classical station as not everyone likes jazz. I also turned it down a few notches. And, then, she turned it off again.

This just feels weird to me. For now I have decided that, while I'm still here, I'm just going to turn the thing back on again.

It's just really helpful to have some sound in the office. During the day, there are people talking, but at night it is really quiet. I am having a really hard time figuring out why jazz or classical music at low volume should be such a problem for someone (anyone) spending 60 to 90 seconds in a room getting coffee. It feels like this person is kind of messing with me, or us. Anyway I just want the music on and I'm having trouble finding an adult, productive way to address this.

How can I let my coworker know I would like the music on without a direct confrontation?

  • 4
    Perhaps this is a candidate for migration to the Interpersonal Skills stack exchange? – dwizum Jun 5 '18 at 13:10
  • 7
    So what is your question exactly? Have tried asking the person why they are turning off the radio? – David K Jun 5 '18 at 13:14
  • 6
    I don't particularly like hearing music while I work. She may not either... – Mister Positive Jun 5 '18 at 13:50
  • 6
    Is it possible they where just environmentally conscious? Having the radio play for an essentially empty kitchen the whole night might seem like a waste to them. – Daniel Jun 5 '18 at 14:04
  • 6
    Can you hear the music from your desk, or are you only hearing it during the 60 to 90 seconds when you get coffee? If having it on for you during that time is so valuable, then you should be able to understand why having it off for someone else during that time would also be valuable. Is there something preventing listening to music at your desk with headphones or small speakers? – Todd Wilcox Jun 5 '18 at 14:32
24

It's just really helpful to have some sound in the office. During the day, there are people talking, but at night it is really quiet. Dead in here. I am having a really hard time figuring out why jazz or classical music at low volume should be such a problem for someone (anyone) spending 60 to 90 seconds in a room getting coffee.

I can think of multiple reasons why they might be turning it off:

  1. They prefer quiet, fair enough you prefer the noise but they could very easily be of the opposite opinion

  2. They don't see the point in leaving a radio on consuming power in a room that people are in for only 60-90 seconds at time while they make coffee. Heck, they might even be viewing that as doing people a favor!

  3. They hate the music. Not everyone likes Jazz or Classical.

  4. They are in fact messing with you - this one is possible but I'd say it's a big leap at this point.

But to be honest it's pretty pointless speculating without any other info.

Anyway I just want the music on and I'm having trouble finding an adult, productive way to address this.

Talk to them - it doesn't have to be a confrontation, and nor should it. Just have a perfectly reasonable conversation with them and ask why they are doing it and see if you can work out a compromise

  • 19
    +1 If I'm leaving an empty room I will turn off radio and lights – jean Jun 5 '18 at 13:53
  • yes, could be just saving power, get a better resolution 'talking' to the person than online. – Kilisi Jun 5 '18 at 14:10
22

My colleague and I both like to have jazz on in the kitchen.

Great. But this is just the two of you. It doesn't mean that everyone else likes it. If I left heavy metal on every time I was in there because myself and another colleague of mine enjoyed it, would that be acceptable too?

I am having a really hard time figuring out why jazz or classical music at low volume should be such a problem for someone (anyone) spending 60 to 90 seconds in a room getting coffee.

You can easily flip this on its head and say "I'm having a really hard time figuring out why this guy turns the radio on for the 60 seconds he's in the kitchen, then doesn't bother to turn it off again when he leaves."

There's all sorts of legitimate reasons. Perhaps a couple of others came in, wanted to have a conversation and didn't want the music on. Perhaps someone came in and thought, since no-one else was in there, it was a waste of electricity. Perhaps they're trying to concentrate or think of something, and it's a distraction. Perhaps they don't mind the music, but don't like the "chatter" that often goes in between tracks played on a radio station. Perhaps someone really hates both jazz and classical music.

I could go on, but suffice to say the chances are they're not just out to get you by turning off the radio.

There's a few easy things you could do to try to address the situation:

  • Just talk to the guy in a non-confrontational manner, ask if he minds the radio being on, and if there's any other kind of music he'd prefer.
  • Just keep the radio on when you and your colleague are in the kitchen. Turn it off when you leave.
  • Bring some headphones to work and listen to some music in private (if that's an option.)
  • 11
    Yeah, I cannot see a radio as being a good idea in a break room. Music taste vary as much as people themselves. – Mister Positive Jun 5 '18 at 13:47
4

How can I let my coworker know I would like the music on without a direct confrontation?

You cannot really complain if someone turns off a radio playing in a room where nobody is listening to it. That seems an obvious thing to do. It looks like someone from the day-shift just forgot it.

So if you don't want to explain to people that you want a radio playing in an empty room for no audience, you could take ownership of the radio. Take the radio and put it on your desk. Problem solved, the person now has to come to you to turn it off.

2

You could try to put a note to the radio not to turn it off during the day as continuous switching on and off is bad for the device. This is a reason to convince them.

I don't see a chance to enforce your view over the others' view because no one is more right than the other. The good news about this is it's not a personal confrontation or attack. It is simply different people living together. One leaves the radio on because he comes back, the other turns it off when leaving the room.

No one hangs out in the kitchen ... No one actually takes breaks in there.

This is one more reason to turn the radio off when leaving.

  • "Okay, I won't switch it off, I'll just turn the volume down to zero then." – Geoffrey Brent Jun 10 '18 at 2:57
  • This could be a valid answer of course :-) Honestly is it such a big problem to not hear music if you are in the kitchen for some seconds to get coffee? (you described it that way) – puck Jun 10 '18 at 9:12
-1

Compromise. No music. Talk radio is too opinionated. Since I think you are in the US, baseball radio is your solution. In the off session, Mark Twain audio books.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy