advertisement
Question
Posted by: Annoyed | 2012/06/19

Colleague''s Habits drive me crazy

Hi there

I am almost at the end of my rope with my colleague. She is a nice person and we get on well. But she has SO many annoying habits that I feel like I want to climb the walls.
She sniffs like crazy even though she keeps a box of tissues handy. Every time she eats or suck sweets she slurps and sucks her teeth or gums or whatever and it is this horrible sound like someone trying to pull their boots out of quicksand!!!! It breaks my concentration badly. Then she also hums along to the radio even though it is next to me a quite soft..
I dont know what to do - I feel I cant confront her as she is one of these people that takes the slightest criticsim as a personal attack and I dont want to make our office environment unpleasant ... I just dont know what to do.
Does anyone else have this sort of problem?

Not what you were looking for? Try searching again, or ask your own question
Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

I remember a particularly irritating colleague who used to then ask : " And at which end of the rope ARE you ? "
Curious, isn;t it, how people often seem more ready to forgive someone else for appalling criminal acts, than for the little offenses like sucking their teeth and sniffing ? THe way you folks describe the monsters in your offices reminds me, too, of how the gloomy and randy old French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre wrote that "Hell is other people".
Have you thought of trying ear-plugs ? Or getting yourself a set of noise-cancelling ear-phones to wear, even if not actually conected to anything else ?
Is there someone else in the office who, even if to a lesser degree, tends to similarly make noises, so that you could collusively, ask your friend if that other woman's innocently intended noises dotn't also annoy her, and make it hard to concentrate ? Maybe you could ask her advice on how to approach this OTHER woman about the problem ?
And as Liza suggests, one could timidly address specific annoyances from her by emphasizing that the problem is your unnatural and extreme sensitivity to such little sounds when you are trying to concentrate, rather than emphasizing her own selfishness in ignoring the impact on others.
There's a lovely song in the Gilbert & Sullivan comic opera, The Mikado, in which the guy newly elected as the local High Executioner, sings about how he's Got "a little list" of the sort of annoying people who deserve his axe, and of whom none of the would be missed. You may find it comforting to listen to. In performance, the singer is expected to update it to include modern annoyances.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

9
Our users say:
Posted by: lona | 2012/06/20

Guess most people have annoying colleagues. I have a colleague who guzzles disgusting biltong all the time and loves the fat. It''s utterly disgusting to me. And eats stinky fish paste on toast most mornings. And not to forget the ones with their ghastly tripe and pig chops for lunch. The woman who is always on the phone with haar man. Always fighting. Or the woman that sings along to music, or the one who is always digging her teeth with a toothpick.

It takes all sorts to make this world. The trick is to learn to be tolerant. Afterall, you don''t know what everyone else thinks of you and is merely putting up with your habits too.



Reply to lona
Posted by: qwerty | 2012/06/20

Oh boy can I relate... The only thing I''ve found that works to block out the sniffing / slurping / sucking / chewing / talking for hours on the phone / finger snapping / pen tapping / yelling across the office to other people / heavy breathing, etc. next to me is to wear my head phones and crank up the volume... It''s sad that I have to, but it works.

Good luck!

Reply to qwerty
Posted by: Sandra | 2012/06/19

i had this and sent the person a discreet note headed from " somene that cares not to fight with you" . she actually did stop her annoying habits and since she did not know who the note was from she could not confront anybody.
what did she do:
Moan everyday about her health when some of us come to work dog sick. I just said please be aware that some people are very ill but do not talk about it and prefer to be positive about their prognosis and keep it to themselves.

Careful how you phrase it though !!!

Reply to Sandra
Posted by: Liza | 2012/06/19

Confrontation never solves anything. It usually just makes things worse. The only way to handle this situation directly with her, is to wait until she breaks your concentration and then in a very apologetic tone of voice ask her whether she''d mind not doing whatever she''s doing - pretty please? Then thank her profusely when she stops annoying you. Thanking her is crucial - the positive reaction is more likely to prevent her from doing the same annoying thing in future.

The only other option I can think of - have you thought of wearing earphones and listening to music while you work? That would hopefully block out the unpleasant noises coming from her.

Good Luck
Liza

Reply to Liza
Posted by: Irritated | 2012/06/19

@ Romany LOL - u seem to have a very interesting work place! Hell with flourescent lights!!!! @ Annoyed - we have some of those in our office too! My " neighbour"  on the other side is a real bossy type who pretends to work so hard, but sometimes she forgets to minimise her games and leaves the office and when we go into her office to leave documents on her desk, her game is there on her screen for all to see, but she loves giving the entire company (especially our directors) the impression that she is overworked! She also likes to be in charge of any arrangements regarding socials after hours since she has been working there the longest blah blah blah and so she carries on .... arrghhhh it irritates me so much!!

Reply to Irritated
Posted by: Annoyed | 2012/06/19

@Romany... OMG! You have an office from hell!
I sympathise.
@Irritated... my colleague sits and plays computer games all day because the screen faces the wall not the office entrance. Then she sits and sighs so loudly as if emphasising that she has something FAR important to do and that she is doing us all an honour by being there.

Reply to Annoyed
Posted by: Romany | 2012/06/19

In my office we have a woman that sneezes so loud (without putting her hand in front of her mouth) That they hear her at the security gate !!
One that talks 8 hours a day about how " young" she looks for her age. This one also eats curry and rice with her hands all the time, juice running down her arm, dripping from her elbow. Eeeeuuuuwww
A Huge fat woman that eats non stop and everything she can find, (especially chocolates) but is always telling everyone about how healty and how little she eats.(And she hates chocolates)
A woman that turns everything into a " race" issue" . An old deaf man that treats everyone like retards. A gay guy that fafs around like a poofter, giggles and flirts with all the other men.... Two married people having an affair and they think no-one knows about it. And so I can go on and on and on and on. One woman that sleeps over her keyboard ALL DAY (??)
Do you want to swop jobs?

Reply to Romany
Posted by: Irritated | 2012/06/19

Sounds like you sit in the same office as I do! Yes I have a very annoying colleague who sits in the office next to time! She eats the entire day ..... the constant rustling of sweet and chip papers and then she complains to all who want to listen that she cannot understand why she cannot lose weight. She also has the annoying habit of banging drawers and throwing keys on her desk especially when her boss has moaned at her about something (which happens on a daily basis as she does not follow his orders!!) This woman also makes a mountain out of a molehill and that is why I have not confronted her! Furthermore, everything in life is one huge joke to her, whenever someone walks into her office and asks for something as simple as a pen, she will have a giggling fit and run off to the stationery room, fetch the pen and giggle all the way back to her office. One day we did ask her what she finds so amusing about fetching stationery and her answer was that she is a happy person and she likes to laugh ... there is a difference between being happy and giggling like a tweenie about everything!! I think we need to just accept the fact that there are people with strange and annoying habits around us!

Reply to Irritated
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/06/19

I remember a particularly irritating colleague who used to then ask : " And at which end of the rope ARE you ? "
Curious, isn;t it, how people often seem more ready to forgive someone else for appalling criminal acts, than for the little offenses like sucking their teeth and sniffing ? THe way you folks describe the monsters in your offices reminds me, too, of how the gloomy and randy old French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre wrote that "Hell is other people".
Have you thought of trying ear-plugs ? Or getting yourself a set of noise-cancelling ear-phones to wear, even if not actually conected to anything else ?
Is there someone else in the office who, even if to a lesser degree, tends to similarly make noises, so that you could collusively, ask your friend if that other woman's innocently intended noises dotn't also annoy her, and make it hard to concentrate ? Maybe you could ask her advice on how to approach this OTHER woman about the problem ?
And as Liza suggests, one could timidly address specific annoyances from her by emphasizing that the problem is your unnatural and extreme sensitivity to such little sounds when you are trying to concentrate, rather than emphasizing her own selfishness in ignoring the impact on others.
There's a lovely song in the Gilbert & Sullivan comic opera, The Mikado, in which the guy newly elected as the local High Executioner, sings about how he's Got "a little list" of the sort of annoying people who deserve his axe, and of whom none of the would be missed. You may find it comforting to listen to. In performance, the singer is expected to update it to include modern annoyances.

Reply to cybershrink

Have your say

Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
advertisement