Social Etiquette and Good Manners/Singing In Office - what to do next?


There is a temp in our office that sings. After asking my co-workers if the singing bothers them and getting the reply of Yes, I took it upon myself to ask the singer to stop singing.
Her response confused me greatly - she said "Ok, sorry I don't know I'm doing it", but as I walked away, she started singing again. I asked her again later that week to stop singing. Her reply - "Well, they are always talking...? #they being two women who talk all day long#.
I took this as "well if that doesn't bother you, why does my singing?", but again she said she'd try to stop. YET again as I walked away - she started singing!!!!
So I went to the supervisor and let her know that I was speaking for all the co-workers. The supervisor said she say something to the singer. But a week later, she's still singing. So I asked the supervisor again #maybe she forgot#, but she was surprised that the singing was still happening.
It has now been two months and I know the supervisor has told the singer 4 TIMES now to stop, but the singing has not.
To me, it has gone far past being rude and annoying - it's become disrespectful - to us and the authority of the supervisor.

What do I do next!! Do I keep asking the supervisor to say something to the singer, because I REALLY don't want to be seen as the office nag or complainer. Do I go to the supervisor's super? Human Resources?  Yell at the singer STOP SINGING? Or have I done all that I can do and it's now in the supervisor's hands?

Dear Heather:

I would try one more time to ask the Singer to stop.  Explain that it is disturbing and annoying and doesn't allow the other workers or you to do your work properly.  If she still sings, it is time to file a complaint with your supervisor's supervisor. If that person can't stop it, then you need to file a petition with Human Resources along with the other workers in your office (not just your complaint) about the disturbance.  After that, there is nothing more you can do except find another job if it bothers you so much.

I wish I could I could be more positive.

Social Etiquette and Good Manners

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Cynthia W. Lett


Proper manners with friends,family,colleagues,neighbors and everyone else you know.


I have been an etiquette expert teaching and consulting on the subject worldwide since 1983. I started and serve as the Executive Director of the International Society of Protocol & Etiquette Professionals and am considered a leader in the field of etiquette and protocol training and execution. I edited "Etiquette for Dummies" and have recently written "Lett's Talk - Everyday Etiquette Dilemmas and What to Do about Them". My book, "That's So Annoying:An Etiquette Expert on the World's Most Irritating Habits And What To Do About Them" was published in 2009 and is available wherever books are sold. I taught the Business Protocol class to Master's level students at the George Washington University, Washington, DC for seven years I served as Chief of Protocol for MCI Telecommunications for three years.

International Society of Protocol & Etiquette Professionals, ASTD, PCMA, National Speakers Association

I have been quoted over 700 times in the past 5 years worldwide. Publications include Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Washington Times, NY Times, Washington Business Journal, USA Today, Associated Press, London Times, Newsweek Japan edition, Newsweek US edition and many many more.

I am a Certified Etiquette Professional (CEP) and Certified Protocol Professional (CPP) earned by examination through ISPEP. I have a Master's degree in hospitality law and undergrad degrees in Restaurant & Hotel Management and Public Relations/Interpersonal Communications from Purdue University.

Awards and Honors
Who's Who Worldwide,Who's Who of American Women, Distinguished Darden Professor (Purdue University).

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