How do you get them to shut the #%$@ up?

Susan Kline
Sat, 20 Sep 2003 12:09:02 -0700

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>Or rather the only way that occurs to me once the noise has begun wouldn t 
>lend itself to much in the way of repeat business. No matter how 
>diplomatic I try and be in requesting that they keep it down, I m afraid 
>that I can t hide the fact that I m already annoyed.

Hi, Mark

You have pointed out the problem yourself: the irritation you feel. If you 
start from a feeling of adequate power over the situation, you will 
probably find yourself putting up with minor noise, almost without noticing 
it. Then when it is simply too bothersome, you put down your hammer, walk 
to the source, and ask them to be quieter. It's completely up to you when 
to do this, so you don't have to suffer long enough to get really angry. I 
think that the anger comes from a sense of helplessness, which is a 
decision on our part.

I tell the kids that they don't have to turn the sound on the TV _off_, but 
it needs to be a lot less, etc. I ask the parents if they can put off the 
hammering, vacuuming, etc. If you feel confident that they will comply and 
not be annoyed, they almost always will, and they'll usually apologize as 
well. Then you can say you understand, a lot of people forget that the 
vacuum cleaner is too noisy, etc. (slight discursion on the interference 
from "white noise" ...)

If it's a garbage disposal, or running water in the sink, I just wait it 
out. Not worth the bother, and it ends in due course. If it is an employee 
doing work with a time limit themselves, such as someone vacuuming in a 
church, I groan, tune through it, take a break, etc. Some days are just 
like that. The 15 chiming clocks I use as a chance to stand up and take a 
stretch. Sometimes with the power mower or leaf blower one can close a door 
or window.

Bob and Marcia Davis had a good quote in their shop: "There's only one 
power mower in the world, and it follows us from job to job."


P.S. If one has hearing loss, then of course one _needs_ more quiet 
conditions. Just how to ask for complete quiet without making them think 
they've hired a deaf tuner -- well, I hope I never have to deal with that 
myself, but I sympathize.

P.P.S. When I saw the subject line, I thought that you were complaining 
about endlessly chatty customers. I'm bad about dealing with that, because 
I enjoy chatting myself, and it can take a lot of time.

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