distracting coworker

Episode 37: How many times can YOU clear your throat?


A cough echoes in the hallway by the bathroom. A coworker on the phone is talking about “turn on and off our agent.” Freddy just sat down with a sigh and started clicking away with his mouse. More mouse clicking in the other surrounding cubes. My own typing is the loudest as my fingers race across the keys topping speeds of 90 words a minute. One of our PC support guys walks by and his key chain, which he keeps clipped to his hip, shakes, rattles, but doesn’t roll. The bathroom door opens and I can hear a toilet flush. Freddy yells “skinny!” and I get up to go talk to him. Back at my desk now, I hear the automatic door open as an employee enters the IT department. He clears his throat as he walks up the aisle next to me, then sits down in a nearby cubicle, clears his throat again and again and again.

I’ve resorted to listening to music ALL THE TIME lately, not just when somebody is having a loud conversation on the phone or people are “meeting” in the corner by the bathroom*. Otherwise, I spend all my time listening to Throat Clearer. He coughs, clears his throat. I hear a ding, that he just received an email and he clears his throat. His phone rings, he picks it up and clears his throat. He gets up to walk over to another’s cube, clearing his throat the whole way. He sits in the back and to the left of me in a meeting, clearing his throat.

This makes me think about all of the possible annoyances of having a husband. I would much rather put up with dirty socks on the floor than excessive throat clearing.

It’s a good thing there are ample amounts of music and audiobooks on our network here as well as on my own PC. It helps me keep my sanity. But could somebody please tell me why I am so sensitive now to the sounds of the Throat Clearer? I could pick him out of a crowd of hundreds, blindfolded.

And on a totally unrelated note: there’s an application up for a position in my Cabinet o’ Smart People—thanks to Clancy’s suggestion in this past blog. The link is in the right column and it’s your chance to have a coveted position that works with me! Wow, I am so nice to offer that. (If you’re “too cool” to actually visit my blog and click on the link—meaning, you never venture outside of your RSS reader—then fine, be that way, and click on this here link to access the application.)


*There are amazing echo abilities in this corner, which is only 10 yards away from my desk.