Here is one habit I know that many, many people have encountered. And this is a tough one because your co worker probably has no idea that they’re doing this. And if they do, it’s likely beyond their control. I’ll explain why in a second but suffice it to say you’re going to have to learn to exercise extreme patience in these circumstances.
Let’s first examine what this annoying habit probably looks like. Say you have an office mate, we’ll call him “Joe”. Joe has been sitting in the cube behind you for the past few years. Every few minutes or so you hear Joe clear his throat. The first time you heard it you assumed Joe had a cold. You figured it would go away. After a week you are beginning to realize Joe clearly doesn’t have a cold. There are no telltale signs that he is ill. No runny nose. No constant complaining of an ailment. No sneezing. Joe hasn’t missed any work. He’s not sniffing loudly or displaying any other affect that would indicate Joe may actually be ill.
You begin to wonder if your new cube neighbor knows he is constantly clearing his throat.
The answer here folks is that whether Joe knows he’s doing this or not, there’s really nothing he can do about it. Do you remember up top when I said this is going to be a time when no matter how annoyed you get you’re going to have to learn to be patient? Well I said that because more than likely, your co worker has what’s called a tic.
Now admittedly I’m no doctor but having been faced with this situation in the past I took it upon myself to do a little research. It turns out there’s this thing called a tic disorder that causes someone to do something involuntarily. That means they have no control over it. Here’s some info about what a tic is.
Read this because I promise you it will make you sympathetic to your co worker instead of constantly considering offering them a cough drop or wanting to slap them on the back to help them expel whatever you think it is that may be stuck in their throat.
So usually I try to offer some solution that could help you stop the annoying offender but in this case the solutions I’m offering are ones that will help you learn to come to terms with what’s happening to your co worker. Here you go:
- Learn to ignore it
- Wear noise cancelling headphones and play music
- Start talking to yourself (this will cause other problems but hey it could help you)
- Ask your boss to switch cubes
- Invest in ear plugs
I’m interested to hear what you have done when faced with a similar situation so let me know how you would handle this!