The Loudest Silence Ever!


Friday, February 20 was my second day in my communications volunteer position. I’m new as a volunteer and new to an office environment.

As I sat at my desk, with a window and a pretty nice view, I notice how quiet it is.

I notice this because the tapping of my feet sounded so loud compared to the mouse clicking I had just recently realized was coming from the other side of the cubicle. I thought I was alone.

It was at this moment that I realized I was being noisy. If I could hear this guy’s mouse clicking, I’m sure he heard my foot drumming the beat to the song that was stuck in my head.

Assimilating into a new environment means adapting and conforming to their communication style. That also includes knowing when to be silent.

Maddening silent.

In addition to my communications volunteer position, I work in the health care field as a nursing assistant on the weekends while I finish school.

Working in the healthcare field, my job is far from quiet. You have nurses and patients talking, call lights beeping, TV’s blaring, and so on.

Coming to an office environment showed me how quiet people could be. I always said that I value silence, but now I am not sure I do. I value being able to control the volume and amount of noise that I’m hearing. For example, leaving a room full of noisy people and going in another room with quiet people or no people so that I can read a book is the control I like. Being in an office with very quiet co-workers and not being able to hum or tap my foot without feeling like I’m blowing a bullhorn is an example of me being powerless over the volume in the room.

Connect with your co-workers and work environment and be very aware of the way that you behave, especially when you are new. Get a feel for the workplace vibe and see if it is something that you can adapt to and would like to be a part of.

Also, be very aware of how close your co-workers are sitting next to you. I had no idea that this guy was there.

My foot tapping was the prequel to me playing music, at a low setting.

If I heard his mouse clicking, which I did, I’m sure he would have heard Kimberly Jones’ Hardcore album playing from my cubicle.

He may be a fan. I’ll have to ask.

Thanks for reading.


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