Help – 8 hour a day gum chewer

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  • #1008826 Reply
    Vicky

    I have a relatively new colleague – a nice enough guy but who I now seriously hate, sharing my desk. He chews gum WITH HIS MOUTH OPEN from the minute he arrives in the morning to the minute he leaves in the evening. I’m giving his lip smacking gob evil death stares as I type this and yet somehow he remains completely oblivious, with his wretched jaw masticating away.

    I bought some flare audio earplugs (UK) which have been pretty good but really hurt my ears after a while, plus the tips are really expensive and I’m getting through multipacks of them each month. I have switched to a white noise app through earbuds but I can only really “block my ears” when my boss is away. I’m an executive assistant and have to be “on guard” for her at all times. it is also a very collaborative environment where we call across the room to each other with questions and a lot of my organisational knowledge comes this way, and is going out the window.

    It is seriously affecting my quality of life. I’m completely shut off from all my colleagues, both socially and in a work sense. I absolutely dread coming to work each day and frankly my ears hurt from shoving things in them.

    I sent a confidential email to his line manager last week explaining the situation and they said they would have a think about what they could do. I think it was proposed that he move desks (and floors!) which delighted me, but he refused (can you refuse to do something your boss asks, I heard him say “no, I’m happy sitting where I am”?!- you might be now but when I leap over the desk and stove your face in with my telephone received you may be less content).

    I have the advantage as I work for the CEO and we’ve worked together for 6 years and they will I think do whatever it takes to protect me. I have my performance review meeting in a few weeks and have let rip in the documentation about the condition, the issue and how miserable i am. I’m confident she will step in for me, but to do what? What am I asking of her? To move him, to move us, to tell him to stop because I’m too much of a coward, to smash his face in for me ?? any advice on what I should ask for? I don’t want to be the person who has to have the whole building reconfigured just to get away from him!

    It has seriously affected my life. Misophonia always has of course, but not to this extent, I’m a nervous wreck and am developing new triggers each day since he set up his full -time chewing shop in my life 🙁

    #1008912 Reply
    CJ

    Copy what he does, but more so, do it as a joke (through gritted teeth), make it appear like an accident. Let’s know how you get on.

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