Work issue driving me insane!

squidsin

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Feb 16, 2013
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OK so I've started working full-time again and like the job and it's all fine BUT there are only four of us in a very quiet office and one of the guys has a habit of endlessly clearing his throat. He sits there going 'hmmpphh hmmpph' all day long and it's SO ANNOYING. It's clearly not a throat infection, just a habit. WWYD - should I say something?! He's very introverted and shy and I don't want to hurt his feelings but I need to do something, or buy noise equalisers to wear at work. There's no other sound but that in the office!
 

Trewsers

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He might not be able to help it. OH has asthma which is under control with long term meds, but, part of his condition means he always clears his throat quite a bit. It gets worse when he is stressed / pressured. I know how annoying it is tho to have to listen to given that we share an "office". Your colleague might settle down, maybe he feels a bit out of sorts with you joining the team just recently?
 

Jessey

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Haha I used to work with someone that did that, I think I tried dropping hints, like 'do you need some water?' and 'are you ok? you keep coughing.....' I took to playing music at my desk in the end I think. Another that was even worse was snorting/sniffing all day long, that one made me want to gag constantly :confused: I think I ended up being plain blunt to him, telling him at his age he really ought learn to blow his nose! o_O
 
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squidsin

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I don't want to leave it then end up snapping at him as he strikes me as a sensitive soul! Can I mention it though? Is he likely to know he does it?! Or will it be like waking up a sleep walker and he'll have a massive panic?!

I've mentioned it to one of my colleagues and apparently he does it all the time, and it's not just me who struggles with it!
 

Trewsers

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If it is something to do with a medical condition then he really can't help it and it will only get worse. I know you probably find it hard to believe but having lived with someone who does this I speak from experience. Long term steroid use can provoke it and that is part of the problem for OH. Not saying this bloke is the same - just that in the spirit of tolerance maybe consider there is a genuine issue. Some people smell or fart at work lol could be worse:p
 

Ale

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I think I would try and suggest that he sees a doctor even though that would be incredibly awkward!. My dad used to do this and it was habit, but after a while you cause damage to your throat so that you actually do have to clear it all the time. It's a vicious cycle, my dad was given exercises to do as well as a throat spray and he's much better now. It can also be provoked by acid reflux again something he should discuss with a doctor. Perhaps it's a matter for HR to deal with if he's being disruptive.
 
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Star the Fell

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There's always something to annoy you when you share an office.
The lady I share with constantly sniffs - drives me mad. She also has the radio on all day which I don't like as I find it too distracting. I tend to try to zone out.
My director told our sales rep off for constantly clearing his throat as it drove him crackers. Sales rep still does it!
 
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Trewsers

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Hahaha you lot are making me glad I work from home:p:pI sniff, cough, clear my throat - crack my knuckles, hum, snort, all on a regular basis! And don't get me started on my stomach rumbles......:p
 

squidsin

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Hahaha you lot are making me glad I work from home:p:pI sniff, cough, clear my throat - crack my knuckles, hum, snort, all on a regular basis! And don't get me started on my stomach rumbles......:p

Ha ha! I am sooooo irritable, this is why I worked from home for years too! That said, I do enjoy having people to chat to and the camaraderie of a team. This office is a bit quiet but I should get to recruit soon so I'll try and attract some young 'uns (and scrutinise them for potential annoying habits during their interview!)
 
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Mary Poppins

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The thing is, even if you do mention it to him he is unlikely to be able to do anything about it. So all you would have done is make the office environment uncomfortable for all of you. No-one 'wants' to constantly clear their throat, there is bound to be a medical reason behind it and highlighting it would just be uncomfortable and make you out to be a horrible person. That is the joy of working in an office - you get to put up with annoying people all day!
 
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