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I second Edgar's suggestion on listening to music.
If you're not actually allowed to listen to music, you can always put on
headphones that aren't plugged in. If anyone asks, tell them truthfully
that it's to drown out the ambient noise because it distracts you from
I often wear headphones at work, sometimes listening to music, sometimes
not. They can serve as a deterrent for casual "chatty" interruptions,
especially if you're on a deadline. People usually only interrupt if
they *really* need something.
Good luck on this situation, and I agree with the others - don't try to
discuss the issues with her. You won't get anywhere.
One thing however -- the comments she's made about non-native English
speakers, if she's done it in the workplace, are inappropriate and
should be reported to HR.
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