A reader writes:
We have a new person who just joined our Employee Relations team and she seems like a nice person, though I don’t know her too well yet. She’s on her third week with us. The way our cubes are set up is we’re in a line of cubes with someone who sits across the aisle from us and they’re on the other side as well all the way across the floor. Because we are all in one giant space, everyone keeps their phones on silent. Three days into her first week, I went nuts hearing her phone’s notifications going off numerous times throughout the day. I actually even snuck over once and put it on silent when she was training with one of my coworkers (I couldn’t help myself) and now today I kept hearing the sounds again. Do I need to just suck it up and say,” hey, by the way, do you mind keeping your phone on silent?” I’d like her to know somehow without me having to be the one to say something :)
Yes, you need to just say it. This is really not a big deal: “Hey, Jane, would you mind putting your phone on silent? Thanks.” The end.
If it continues after that, then you ask her again.
Don’t agonize over this! Just say it and be done with it, just like you’d want someone to do if the roles were reversed.
(Also, note to anyone who keeps your cell phone ring on while you’re in an office with other people: That needs to stop, today.)