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 Post subject: Re: Annoying coworker situations
PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:03 am 
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My coworker who sits 1 foot behind me in an open concept office (literally, if I back my chair up I back into him) must've bought a case of gum because all of a sudden, he's a gum chewer. From start of day to end of day. And he's a lipsmacking, popping, cracking gum chewer. I miiiiiight murder him.

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 Post subject: Re: Annoying coworker situations
PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 7:11 am 
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Do you suffer from misophonia? I do and I have a similar coworker who makes chewing, slurping, gulping and swallowing noises all the time and it's awful.


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 Post subject: Re: Annoying coworker situations
PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 10:00 am 
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Imogen wrote:

Excellent. PAULINE'S PENS!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Annoying coworker situations
PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 10:09 am 
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Oh good Lard you guys. This girl has been hired for a made-up position even though we barely have money to pay the thread bare staff we have and with a year of a college business diploma under her belt, she has somehow wooed the owner and wastes an exorbitant amount of time playing grown-up manager while the rest of us (actually, mostly just me) run around desperately trying to get all the work finished across four divisions. She's 21 and I'm sorry to sound ageist but I don't really have time for this kind of crepe in my life. There are so, so, so many examples but I am trying to be the professional one and not bisque on the internet. (semi-fail)


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 Post subject: Re: Annoying coworker situations
PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 10:18 am 
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That sounds really frustrating! Is there any way you can leverage her to get anything useful done?

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 Post subject: Re: Annoying coworker situations
PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:56 pm 
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Bun wrote:
Do you suffer from misophonia? I do and I have a similar coworker who makes chewing, slurping, gulping and swallowing noises all the time and it's awful.


I just googled that since I hadn't heard of it before and YES. I get this murderous rage panic and start bubbling with hatred from that sound. It's so disgusting and this guy is the worst. Also when he eats he just chomps with his mouth open, smacking with every chew. Who even eats like that past childhood? And he's a tea drinker and every damn time he takes a sip he goes "ahhhhh".

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Did you notice the slight feeling of panic at the words "Chicken Basin Street"? Like someone was walking over your grave? Try not to remember. We must never remember. - mumbles
Is this about devilberries and nazifruit again? - footface


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 Post subject: Re: Annoying coworker situations
PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:46 pm 
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paprikapapaya wrote:
Bun wrote:
Do you suffer from misophonia? I do and I have a similar coworker who makes chewing, slurping, gulping and swallowing noises all the time and it's awful.


I just googled that since I hadn't heard of it before and YES. I get this murderous rage panic and start bubbling with hatred from that sound. It's so disgusting and this guy is the worst. Also when he eats he just chomps with his mouth open, smacking with every chew. Who even eats like that past childhood? And he's a tea drinker and every damn time he takes a sip he goes "ahhhhh".


Did you ever hear the podcast (Radiolab? This American Life? Something... else?) about people who are turned on by sounds like this? Like, mouth sounds? And whispering? It's a whole thing! And there are tons of sites featuring people whispering and stuff, all for your personal pleasures.

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 Post subject: Re: Annoying coworker situations
PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 2:05 pm 
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FootFace wrote:
(Radiolab? This American Life? Something... else?)

Act 2. http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-a ... act=2#play
Public radio junkies, at your service.

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 Post subject: Re: Annoying coworker situations
PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 2:11 pm 
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I heard that This American Life episode and happened to mention it to a friend, and she said it happens to her and she had no idea it didn't happen to everybody! Hers is mild, though - she doesn't seek out the feeling like the people who look up youtube videos for it.


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 Post subject: Re: Annoying coworker situations
PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 2:38 pm 
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Those pen videos are so me.

I can't use any funky coloured pens. We are only allowed to use black in any paperwork because other colours aren't as photocopiable.

I got through the day with my pen remaining in my possession but then I am on my own for the week.

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 Post subject: Re: Annoying coworker situations
PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 3:10 pm 
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See and it's funny, I really like the sound of whispering and soft, soothing noises. But mouth-smacking, chewing and gulping? I used to SCREAM at my brother at the dinner table for doing that, it just makes me so ragey!

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Did you notice the slight feeling of panic at the words "Chicken Basin Street"? Like someone was walking over your grave? Try not to remember. We must never remember. - mumbles
Is this about devilberries and nazifruit again? - footface


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 Post subject: Re: Annoying coworker situations
PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 3:11 pm 
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Oh my word. My boss made appts. for today (in office with new clients) and did not put them in the calender that I can see. So I look really stupid. He and I will have a chat.

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 Post subject: Re: Annoying coworker situations
PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 3:25 pm 
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paprikapapaya wrote:
And he's a tea drinker and every damn time he takes a sip he goes "ahhhhh".

Ooooh that is the WORST!


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 Post subject: Re: Annoying coworker situations
PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 3:33 pm 
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I hate loud breathers at work. It seems to irritate me more when the person is lazy. Luckily I haven't encountered any of them lately but the loud eaters just reminded me of that pet peeve.

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 Post subject: Re: Annoying coworker situations
PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 3:48 pm 
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Ohhh, if someone at work is whistling on the other side of the floor (it's a large building) it cuts right through me and I can't concentrate on anything.


One of my colleagues is a buffoon. He would be very well placed in a pinstripe suit with huge shoulders back in the 1980s, dancing badly in a wine bar and forking up the stock market. He's loud, obnoxious, smarmy and a member of staff is actually leaving because he can't stand him. He refers to his partner as his 'missus', talks about meat, his car and the bets he's made at the bookies all the time and is VERY loud. He's boasted about going to salsa classes to pick up older women. The thought of it makes my skin crawl.


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 Post subject: Re: Annoying coworker situations
PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 2:37 pm 
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I'm on the phone clearly conducting business and having a serious conversation and this person comes up and just stands there, hovering. Finally I ask the caller to hold on for a second and look at her expectantly. "Yes?"

"Oh, it can wait." QUIT SWEATIN ME THEN

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 Post subject: Re: Annoying coworker situations
PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 3:31 pm 
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paprikapapaya wrote:
Bun wrote:
Do you suffer from misophonia? I do and I have a similar coworker who makes chewing, slurping, gulping and swallowing noises all the time and it's awful.


I just googled that since I hadn't heard of it before and YES. I get this murderous rage panic and start bubbling with hatred from that sound. It's so disgusting and this guy is the worst. Also when he eats he just chomps with his mouth open, smacking with every chew. Who even eats like that past childhood? And he's a tea drinker and every damn time he takes a sip he goes "ahhhhh".



I have this and it can be really debilitating at times, causing me to fill up with so much anger and angst that I can't concentrate on anything else and therefore can't really be productive. I was in these all day meetings for 6 weeks with the LOUDEST most OBNOXIOUS gum chewer ever (who chewed gum ALL DAY) - sounded like a horse hooves clacking because I think he also has a click in his jaw. UGH. I finally gave in, sent him an e-mail while in the meeting and explained to him that I have misophonia and that his gum chewing was distracting me. Fortunately we work closely together and are friendly with each other, so it wasn't a big deal and we both apologized to each other.

So - I need advice!!! My office neighbor is an administrative assistant and to be quite honest, she really doesn't have a lot of work to do. Maybe about an hour's worth of work ALL day. No exaggerations. Well, because of this, she is on the phone ALL day with her girl friends, with her ex-husband, with her kids ALL ON SPEAKERPHONE. I know all about this woman's life, all about her kid's lives, all about her friends lives, in fact I know more about her life at this point than some of my closest friends. If she isn't on the phone, she is blasting music and the unnerving part is the bass sounds kind of vibrate through the office walls and dang, is it annoying. What's exasperating the problem is the fact that our desks (and computer speakers and phones) are along the same wall, so there isn't much space separating us. It's gone on so long that I don't feel comfortable confronting her, in fact I don't feel comfortable confronting her at all. The problem is, everyday my anger worsens and it's really affecting my productivity. What should I do? Should I just muster up the courage and ask her to be more cognizant of the fact that only a thin wall separates our work spaces and to be more quiet? Should I ask my boss if I have any options to move my office somewhere else? Should I bring it up to my office neighbor's boss? I want to be diplomatic about it, and I know the best option is confronting her, but again, I'm so non-confrontational and way too nice so it would be uncomfortable to me. Ugh. It's causes me so much daily angst, I've been MAKING UP illnesses/issues with my home just so I have an excuse to work from home for the day. Help PPK!!


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 Post subject: Re: Annoying coworker situations
PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 3:48 pm 
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xstartxtodayx wrote:
What should I do? Should I just muster up the courage and ask her to be more cognizant of the fact that only a thin wall separates our work spaces and to be more quiet? Should I ask my boss if I have any options to move my office somewhere else? Should I bring it up to my office neighbor's boss?

I think you have to confront her before you start talking to any bosses. There's no reason to start escalating things that might go away if they just know about the problem.


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 Post subject: Re: Annoying coworker situations
PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 6:10 pm 
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xstartxtodayx wrote:
I want to be diplomatic about it, and I know the best option is confronting her, but again, I'm so non-confrontational and way too nice so it would be uncomfortable to me.


Sorry, but it sounds like you already know the answer. Buck up, buddy. There are very few people who relish confrontation, but the decent and proper thing to do is talk to her first. If she is confronted about or reprimanded for her behavior by a supervisor because her officemate talked to the boss first, she's bound to feel a lot more upset with you than if you just say something casually over the cubicle wall.

It doesn't have to be a Whole Thing- just say "hey, [Name], I've got an important project I'm working on and I'm having a hard time keeping my concentration. Would you mind please taking your phone off speaker and using a headset to listen to music?"

That is more than a reasonable request, especially in a professional environment. If she gets snippy or offended, then you have every reason to go to your supervisor.

ETA: Alternately, you can start chiming in with personal observations/contributions to her phone conversations and singing along poorly to her music. That'll nip it right in the bud.

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 Post subject: Re: Annoying coworker situations
PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 6:34 pm 
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Yeah, I'd think that telling her you know all the intimate details of her life because of speakerphone use would nip that in the bud.

Who does that? I hate speakerphone and only use it when I'm on hold.

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 Post subject: Re: Annoying coworker situations
PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 4:14 pm 
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xstartxtodayx,

i agree with everyone else. if you haven't dealt with it already, i don't know if it would help to think of it not as "confronting her" which makes it seem like it will be, well, a confrontation, but just talking to her about it.

which is just rephrasing Erika's suggestion to approach it like it's not a big deal, basically. the other thing i suggest is approaching it like she doesn't realize it's disruptive to you and that she doesn't want to disturb your work and would stop if she knew.

i know it seems so obvious that it would be disruptive, but i have lots of friends (and coworkers) who genuinely can't tell how loud they are being and are just way more comfortable with tons of noise than i am. (or anyone else on earth, i'm pretty sure.)

one thing that i've run into with loud people before is that when they don't hear me, they assume that it's because the sound proofing is better than it is, when really i'm just being quiet. also, if she has poor hearing she might not be able to hear how loud everything is to the rest of the office.

i've had some luck with approaching things this way, because even if the person DID know what they were doing, this framing lets them agree to change the behavior without losing face. they're now using a headset because they are the kind and considerate coworker and not because they were a nuisance.

(of course this is for smaller, annoying things. some things need to be addressed head on. no: "i know you didn't mean to embezzle from the pension fund.")


good luck. i hope she responds well.


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 Post subject: Re: Annoying coworker situations
PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:08 am 
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I was put in a really awkward situation last week where I had to sit there biting my tongue until it bled as my coworker and boss discussed how they don't believe in global warming and they think it's being blown out of proportion, because humans have only been around for a short time, so how do we know that the ice caps melting at its current rate isn't normal? Along with going into how amazing they think the oil sands are and that the only reason people are against is because it's the "in" thing to hate it right now.

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 Post subject: Re: Annoying coworker situations
PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:53 am 
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Oil sands are like, soooo hot right now.

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 Post subject: Re: Annoying coworker situations
PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 12:33 pm 
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i tell you, most of the time i am reading this thread and sighing in relief since i work mostly by myself. but last week i met another freelance translator, and shiitake, we are weird forking folks. my sighs were full of shame, not relief.

(who meets a competitor and in the first hour mentions how much they make a month [a preposterous amount, by the way] and then follows that up with a confession that they essentially cheat [they use google translate, which for a professional translator is basically the equivalent of the Milli Vanilli lip synching confession. you young'uns, i have no idea of a contemporary parallel, so sorry]?? why would you do this unless either you're an amazing compulsive liar or a complete and total crasshole? I literally was open-mouthed.)

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 Post subject: Re: Annoying coworker situations
PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:54 pm 
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Wow. That sounds like someone who isn't going to be in business much longer!

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