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Noisy neighbor

  1. Mar 17, 2005 #1

    Math Is Hard

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    The wall behind me in my office is about 10 feet across and about 12 feet high. The top part of it consists of a window panel that is about 10 feet across x 4 feet high. There doesn't seem to be any insulation in the wall and it doesn't block the sound very well (well, almost not at all) coming from the other side. The construction of the wall appears to be drywall over some kind of aluminum or light metal beams. I can't gauge the thickness, but my side wall is about three inches thick.

    Anyway, the problem is that the guy who sits in the office on the other side is extremely noisy! He whistles constantly. I've asked him repeatedly (very nicely) to please keep it down but he's basically told me that his whistling is involuntary - so in other words - buzz off!

    My question is - is there anything that can be done accoustically to remedy this situation? I was thinking about tacking up some of that egg-crate foam material like the stuff used in recording studios. Maybe that would help?

    Thanks!
    mih :smile:
     
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  3. Mar 17, 2005 #2

    Ivan Seeking

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  4. Mar 17, 2005 #3

    Math Is Hard

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    I might have to try ear plugs - thanks, Ivan. I wonder if those noise cancelling headphones would do me any good? I have regular headphones right now and I turn my music up as loud as it will go and I can still hear him! I think maybe he doesn't hear well and doesn't know how loud he gets.
     
  5. Mar 17, 2005 #4

    Moonbear

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    LOL! I think I have the same kind of wall in my office, except it seems someone forgot to fully frame all the windows, so sound comes right around the unframed edges (there are 3 windows, and each one has 3 out of 4 sides framed...makes you wonder what the guys installing them were drinking). My neighbor isn't noisy, but there is ZERO privacy, which is sometimes problematic when someone comes in and needs to talk about a private matter.

    Actually, it was rather funny last week when my neighbor was out of town and two others were in her office to access some files, etc. (they were supposed to be there). Apparently they didn't realize the lack of soundproofing, so I got a good earful of gossip they thought they were sharing with each other in privacy.

    Since I never hear anything from the office on the other side of me that has no windows, just walls, I think the windows are the culprit. Then again, our entire building seems to echo sound. From the third floor, I can hear every whisper of conversation going on in the first floor lobby. I guess we're not supposed to keep secrets.
     
  6. Mar 17, 2005 #5

    Ivan Seeking

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    From what I'm told, the Bose brand noise cancellation headphones should work extremely well. Also, it is common to see business travelers [presumably frequent flyers] wearing these while flying.
     
  7. Mar 17, 2005 #6

    Evo

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    Do you have a human resources department? I would go to them and complain about this person's apparent unwillingness to stop an annoying habit that interferes with the performance of your job. Or talk to that guy's boss, and let him know that you have already spoken to him about it and he doesn't care, or have your boss talk to his boss. Someone in our office that whistled would soon find himself whistling in the unemployment line. There are most likely rules against people making excessive or disruptive noise where you work and I don't see whistling listed under the American's with Disabilities act.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2005
  8. Mar 17, 2005 #7

    SOS2008

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    I'd listen to Evo--a moderator through and through! Or...

    1. I like the sound-proof material you mentioned--it could look cool. And then maybe you could get Karaoke equipment and make extra money on breaks doing recordings for the other idiots in the office who think they can sing (oh they're out there).

    2. You could give the guy a bag of Mega War Heads candy (laced with something to make his lips blister--I'm sure someone in the chemistry area can help with this).

    3. Hardly ever go into your office--that's what I do.

    I'm glad I could help. Anything for a friend! :biggrin:
     
  9. Mar 17, 2005 #8

    Danger

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    Hi there;
    I'm sure that this isn't what you meant by "acoustically", but have you considered facing a couple of honkin' huge speakers against the wall and running a subsonic tone through them (maybe 3 or 4 Hz) at full volume? I'm not sure what it would do to the windows, but there's a reasonable chance that your neighbour would request a new office and not even know why. I'm no engineer, sound of otherwise, but I've been told that it's extremely uncomfortable. Just be sure to insulate your side of them.
     
  10. Mar 17, 2005 #9

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    Thanks for the feedback, everyone. I am trying very hard to keep from escalating this to an HR issue. There are university politics involved. I have been there 2 years. He has been there about 20 and is very well respected. I went to my supervisor about this before I even made my first request to him, and she said I should just email him and ask him to keep it down. It's gotten a little better after 5 or so of my requests. Initially it was loud music, poetry reciting (I know, odd - but it's something he likes to do), and whistling, but now it's only the whistling that's a problem. He's been reasonably agreeable about keeping his music down and keeps his poetry reciting to a lower volume. oh - he also seems to have some gastro-intestinal ailments and the noises from that frequently pervade my walls, but those aren't so bad - just gross :yuck: - and sometimes funny. :biggrin:
    My dept. director also noticed the noise recently, and he and I both thought we might be able to do something to insulate the wall. I would kinda like to give the egg-crate foam thing a try. He and I both love projects like this so maybe it's an option.
     
  11. Mar 17, 2005 #10

    Ivan Seeking

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    How about just smacking him upside the head? :biggrin:
     
  12. Mar 17, 2005 #11

    Mk

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    Of course you'd need a >500 Watt stereo to go along with it.
     
  13. Mar 17, 2005 #12

    Moonbear

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    You could always just shout back every time he makes noise, "Shut the f*** up!"
    Or, even better, embarrass him about the noises he doesn't intend for you to hear, like every time he makes one of those bodily noises, shout, "Excuse you!" :rofl:

    When he recites poetry or whistles, you could start reciting math problems or singing along.

    He sounds like such a pleasant person. :rolleyes: :yuck:

    Someone really just needs to move him to a more isolated office.
     
  14. Mar 17, 2005 #13

    SOS2008

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    Wow, this is a little weirder than originally posted (though glad the noises are the only thing coming through the wall). Seriously, it is a reminder for me to be grateful I don't have these problems in my work environment--And I'm impressed with your good attitude!
     
  15. Mar 17, 2005 #14

    Evo

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    Ok, so he's a bonifide whacko. :rofl: Sorry, you've got a real problem. :frown:

    I also like danger's idea. Bombard him with low frequency noise. :approve:
     
  16. Mar 17, 2005 #15

    Ivan Seeking

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    Record him and then play it back; endlessly.
     
  17. Mar 17, 2005 #16

    Danger

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    Thanks, EVO; you have no idea how good that makes me feel. Just about everyone I know thinks that I'm positively psychotic and not too bright when I come up with stuff like that. Danger is actually what I'm called around town, not just here, and that's why.
     
  18. Mar 17, 2005 #17

    Math Is Hard

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    heh. Maybe I need to hire Danger to do my dirty work. What's your going rate? :rofl:
     
  19. Mar 17, 2005 #18

    Danger

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    Hi, Math;
    Pardon the familiarity of address; I'm lazy. If it's a good cause, I work at cost. If it isn't, I don't do it. Sort of like the A-Team, but without TV's scruples against hurting the bad guys. I prefer non-lethal approaches, but...
     
  20. Mar 17, 2005 #19
    I do not think the egg-crate foam will work for something like this. It works in sound studios to prevent the echo from the hard concrete wall, but in your case with this thin wall, which I guess is not very massive (and with this ridiculous size, 3.6 meters high!!!), I think you would do best by making the wall more massive and less rigid... (something like rubber would probably be best)
     
  21. Mar 17, 2005 #20

    SOS2008

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    Gerben is right. Check this site on ways to insulate for sound: http://www.owenscorning.com/around/insulation/project/soundcontrol.asp (And if you're wondering why I would know about this...it's a good question.) And I don't know about you, but I have to hear and be able to talk on the phone etc., so never wear headsets--I could have a radio, but would need to keep the volume low.
     
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