Minerva's Breakdown 

Advice for those on the verge

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Dear Minerva,

My manager drives me nuts. We are the only two in a small office, two to three days a week. She talks almost non-stop: to me, to herself, to the universe. I have mentioned it to her, but it hasn't solved the problem. I've tried ignoring her and blocking the noise, but nothing is working. Any advice would be appreciated.

—Silence is Golden

Dear Silence,

One of the sad things about the world today is having to spend eight-plus hours a day in close, inescapable quarters with those we work with. It troubles me on a regular basis, and I think quality suffers. Unfortunately, it's a reality that we don't have much choice but to accept. She is your manager and love her or hate her, she calls most of the shots. Maybe encourage her to take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test, and then make it a team-building exercise to understand a bit more about each other's styles. Perhaps since you are a small office, she would see the importance of designating office space for each of you. Don't feel too bad. I happen to have a close personal friend who works with a person who can't stop clipping their fingernails and flossing right in the middle of the office—at least you aren't being bombarded with nail clippings and dental debris. Best of luck.

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