Snoopy co-workers and other busybodies

Frustrated with her snooping co-workers, one anonymous administrative assistant wrote on the Admin Pro Forum: “I work with a group of people who always want to know what I’m working on, what I’m doing, what I’m looking at, who I’m talking to, who that e-mail is from, etc. Frankly, I would just like to do my work without having to answer to multiple people on what my every move is. How do I handle inquisitive co-workers?”

What other admins advise:

Keep the response curt, and they’ll get the message. “I would say, ‘I’m not at liberty to discuss the details.’ Then I would proceed to ask ‘Why, do you need my help with something? If not, I really need to get back to this.’”

Invest in a screen filter to shield your computer screen from co-workers’ curious glances. “I have a screen filter. It’s pricey, but so worth it.”

Control-Alt-Delete. “When someone walks up to speak with me, I use ‘Control-Alt-Delete’ to hide the screen. Hit ‘Escape’ and your screen comes back.”

Deflect them with humor. “Say, ‘If I told you I’d have to kill you!’ It usually gets a chuckle, and you’re off the hook.”