Question: I work at a very large corporation. Our small department is at an off-site location, so as the administrative assistant, I also work at the front reception desk.
We have a somewhat laid-back atmosphere, and I like that. But when I'm on the phone, I can barely hear the caller.
The source of my problem is twofold:
First, it's noisy in the room. Often, many loud conversations are carried out right by my desk. Also, the guys just have loud voices that carry across the room. Some people hold conversations across the room. Very often, impromptu meetings are held with vendors as they come in.
To deal with this, I’ve tried to talk on the phone near the corner wall of my desk. (We have 5-foot-high sheet-rocked walls around our desk areas.) I’ve tried to let my co-workers know when I'm on the phone with a friendly wave to my co-workers or by asking the caller to hold and then asking my co-workers to keep it down. That's been a temporary solution. My supervisor is aware the problem and tries to remember to not hold meetings at my desk.
The second problem is the phone system: Everyone here has a hard time hearing callers. To cope with this, I often have to apologize to callers and ask them to speak up or to repeat what they've said. Because I'm at the front reception desk, I can't go to another location to speak on the phone.
I researched this problem with our telecom department. I've tried using a handset with a volume control, but it doesn't work on my phone, nor does a headset.
For several years, I've talked to my supervisor about getting a better phone system. A new system would actually pay for itself within two years. Our department manager is aware of the problem, yet a new phone system is never put in the budget.Since I'm not getting any support from my supervisor or my manager, does anyone have any other ideas to survive the room noise and poor telephone system? -- Anonymous