DEAR ABBY: I work in a large office where people are clustered into numerous "pods." These groupings are separated only by partitions. We use speaker phones that allow us to converse without lifting the handset.
Some of the people never pick up their handsets. Instead, they yell into the speaker so the caller can hear them. They turn the volume up as loud as it will go so they can hear their party anywhere in the office. This is very disturbing to those who are trying to concentrate on their work.
Many of these same people use the speakers to retrieve long personal messages from their voice mail.
I am offended when my co-workers are too lazy to pick up their phones. Certainly, hands-free has its benefits, but where do you draw the line? Abby, what is the proper etiquette in this situation? -- FRAZZLED IN FLORIDA
DEAR FRAZZLED: No one should use the telephone in a manner that disturbs those nearby. Talk to your supervisor about the disruption and ask that a company policy be formulated and given to employees. Offer to help write the policy and to hold a training session on telephone etiquette should management deem this a good idea.