As many of you may know, episodes of Game Of Thrones are coming every Sunday night in the USA, which means Monday really early in France.

The trouble here is that some watch the episode either during lunch break or really early in the morning and they start to talk about it.

Since I watch the episode on Monday after work, I think it's pretty annoying. These people are from a different department and I have no clue on how I could tell them not to spoil without sounding like "Don't ever talk about shows near me".

And since a lot of people talk about it, it's pretty hard to go to all of them individually and say "Don't spoil anything at work".

Is there a way to let people know I don't want them to talk about the episode in front of me at the coffee break?

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it has nothing to do with navigating the workplace. – Masked Man Jul 24 '17 at 11:28
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    @MaskedMan-仮面の男 I'd say this is on-topic here. The workplace environment gives you options that you don't have on the bus. The question of what those options are and whether it makes sense to use them seems answerable and within scope. – Lilienthal Jul 24 '17 at 11:34
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    This isn't nearly the least serious workplace matter I've seen asked about (and answered properly) on this site, so I wouldn't worry too much about that. – Erik Jul 24 '17 at 11:48
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    Sorry, can't read your question, because I am afraid of GoT spoilers. :) – problemofficer Jul 24 '17 at 12:45
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    Loudly saying "Spoilers!" Seems to be universally understood as A polite "stfu plz". – cde Jul 24 '17 at 15:10

TL;DR Talk to them or leave them (for lunch)

Is this an issue you feel comfortable discussing with your manager? What I am trying to hint at with this rhetorical question is that this topic seems rather negligible in a workplace setting. While there possibly are types of managers capable of empathizing with you about this it can easily come of as immature to raise this issue with them.

As was expressed by others in the comments, spoilers happening at the workplace are not that much different if they happen elsewhere. You are basically left with two options.

Option 1: Talk to them.

You recognized this option in your question and Joe Strazzere already gave an example in a comment:

"Please don't talk about Game of Thrones near me since I won't get to watch it until tonight."

However, you have to acknowledge even taking this route you could end up not adhering to your personal TV schedule from time to time and being confronted with spoilers again. So you are only left with option #2.

Option 2: Leave them – for lunch, that is.

You have no authority one way or another to decide what your coworkers are discussing during their break. You can decide what you do, though.

After all, it comes down to one simple question: Do you prefer discomforting yourself by not socializing with your colleagues and possibly missing out on other interessting discussions or do you really ascribe more value to not having spoilers for your favorite TV show?

Now, I painted option #2 a bit black here. You might as well have lunch break with different people altogether and maybe you even prefer that. Try it out. Do what is important to you. It's your break.


It will be impossible (as you have mentioned) to influence everyone at your workplace to guard their conversations around you. So knowing that, it now becomes your responsibility to filter the conversations that come your way.

If it means so much to you, you will likely have to sacrifice time in the break room to avoid hearing something you don't want to hear. It's your preference, not theirs, so you're the one that is responsible to take action.

If you're in a group gathering before a meeting (for example), you may not be able to avoid the conversations starting. If this happens and you see that a spoiler might be about to pop up, you can simply say,

Wait, I haven't watched it, yet. Don't spoil it for me!

You might have to leave the room for a minute if they insist on talking about it.

  • I don't think the comparison works. I don't drink alcohol with colleagues, but I have no issues with going to a happy hour gathering, because their drinks don't affect me. Maybe "joining a smoke break" is a better comparison, if those things still exist. – Erik Jul 24 '17 at 12:50

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