General Question

renee's avatar

How can I keep my co-worker's coughing from driving me insane?

Asked by renee (148points) March 14th, 2008

I have a co-worker who coughs so loud it can be heard halfway down the hall, and I am in the office next door. It is not a coughing fit associated with some type of illness, but more of a one-cough clearing-the-throat type of thing. At first I thought it was associated with an illness, but it has been going on for well over a year now, so that’s not it. I am resisting the urge to track the frequency and conditions (i.e., worse in the morning or afternoon) of the coughing because that would mean that I really have gone insane, but I can safely say that the frequency is several times per hour. Have I exceeded the statute of limitations on dealing with this? Is it too much to ask that he at least cover his mouth? I don’t want to shut my door all the time either.

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10 Answers

blunckhouse's avatar

This is going to sound like a smartass answer, but it’s not intended as such: Buy some headphones. You can’t do much to change people. Seems like it’s already driving you crazy.

scamp's avatar

Maybe you could discreetly start leaving cough drops on his desk.

hollywoodduck's avatar

If you’re having an issue with this, then maybe other workers are too. Perhaps you could talk to your Human Resources department about it and see what they suggest.

squirbel's avatar

If it had gone on that long I would have automatically attributed it to an illness. Get a bag of Ricola for her/him!

lozza's avatar

I’ve got a friend that coughs like that. I constantly tell him to shut up bit he swears its a diagnosed symptom of asthma or something. It isnt though, he’s just inconsiderate.

You should confront the person and let them know how annoying it is.

delirium's avatar

It happens to people with allergies. Tell them to get zyrtec, or get headphones/earplugs.

gailcalled's avatar

People w. post-nasal-drip (all too common these days due to air-quality and_as D says, allergies) can’t help clearing their throats alot. As Delirium says also, Zyrtec may help him or a former RX, now OTC nasal spray called Nasalcrom.

Or a mild warm water and salt solution that you squirt, carefully, into each nasal passage.

These are suggestions that will help if this guy will listen to you instead of getting mad or defensive.

sinister's avatar

tell him to pass that shiznit

BigPedro's avatar

It’s freaking bs is what it is. I deal the same damn shit everyday. One coworker clears his throat every 4 mins. I confronted him about it and he said it will have for another week. I think it’s fabricated to get on peoples nerves. Be thankful you have an office with a door. Try dealing what that shit with the guy right next to your cube.

b_bill's avatar

That can be seriously annoying… believe me, I know first hand.
The guy that sit’s in the cubicle behind me coughs/snorkels/clears his through constantly, like literaly 100+ times a day.

I tried noise cancelling head phones, doubled up with foam inserts and I could still here it, because he never covers his mouth. grrrrrrrrr…...

Lately I have been trying foam ear plugs with shooting range ear muffs….it’s a bit better, but I can still hear him.

Seriously aggravated at this point.

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