Some reasons that the person may hang around your doorway or cubicle while you are on the phone:

  • She might not think you see her so she stays in view.
  • She might have something on her mind that she feels is urgent.
  • She might be oblivious to proper etiquette and not know that she should walk away and come back.

How to handle: First of all, acknowledge the person.  If you don’t she will try even harder to get your attention.  If you will be off the phone in 5 minutes, look at the person, smile, raise your hand up to indicate five minutes and then point to her cubicle.  If she doesn’t leave, wave good-bye.  Then when your conversation is over, go right to her cubicle.  At that time say, “Sorry to keep you waiting but I had to finish that conversation.  In the future, just peek in and if I am in the middle of a conversation and can’t be interrupted, I will signal you and then when I am free, I’ll come right over to your office.   If I’ll be right off, I’ll motion you in.  If it’s really urgent, jot me a note and hand it to me.  So, what can I do for you?”


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