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Useless Office Chatter

I had an interesting experience the other day.

I was in the mood for another coffee so I decided to go for a walk to the coffee room. As I entered, another employee was standing there making herself a tea. I said, “Hello” and she replied, “It’s tea time” then walked out.

As I thought about this comment I realized how often we pass by people, both in the office and on the street, and the dialogue you get is basically the other person pointing out exactly what they are doing. In this case, the tea in her hand was an obvious indication that perhaps she wanted a tea. Although I wasn’t aware that there was an actual Tea Time – I am familiar with Tee Times and Miller Time - so I figured much of the information out for myself.

Friends or Colleagues?
Maybe the short talk is made because people in offices spend so much time around people that they didn’t choose to be with – the company chooses them. When you think about a normal work day (in office) you realize that people end up spending about 40 hours per week (excluding business lunches) with their colleagues. Although some people may cross the colleague line and become friends, a majority of the people in an office will never speak once they’re gone. All that useless chatter down the drain!

Do You Care?
The other reason that you have a lot of useless chatter is because most of the time people really don’t care about what the other person is saying. It’s not to say that they aren’t interesting, it’s just that their topics are not interesting to you. Personally, I like to talk about travel, business ideas, wealth generation and internet marketing. Guess what? Most people like to talk about Britney Spears, Sports (I don’t mind the odd soccer talk) and movies. All that’s left to talk about are common items such as work, weather and tea.

I guess that telling people what you are doing, rather than having a real conversation, saves you from all the hassle of trying to act interested. That being said, what it doesn’t do is help you get to know people, create a solid network and move your way up through an organization.

Just something to think about…

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