What Do You Do About Someone In Your Office Constantly Coughing and Clearing Throat?

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What Do You Do About Someone In Your Office Constantly Coughing and Clearing Throat?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:38 pm

What is the best course of action in this scenario? Wear ear plugs, headphones, go tell them to knock it off, or file a complaint with HR?

There is a person in the office who is constantly coughing. Not during cold season or when they are feeling ill, but constantly. It is typically very loud throat clearing followed by two or more loud coughs. They do not cover their mouth or make any attempt to keep the noise to a reasonable level. It is a full on HACK. You can hear it from the hallway, any nearby offices, or cubicles. It is an everyday occurrence and goes on for several hours.

To paint a picture, here is when it is the worse:

Imagine someone having to clear their throat, repeatedly and that sends them into a constant coughing fit. Probably coughing nearly every twenty seconds for approximately ten minutes. After you think it has stopped, it becomes suddenly louder and more violent. I have gone over and noticed that when it is at its loudest they are always doing the same thing. Sitting at a computer, one hand on their mouse the other hand in a Cheezit's box, shoveling Cheezits into their with their headphones on and no water or any liquids to drink. This person will usually eat a Cheezit's box a day. Imagine having a coughing fit and following it up by slamming Cheezits with no drink. How do you think your coughs would sound at that point, especially if you had headphones on?

Any suggestions?

RaceJudicata
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Re: What Do You Do About Someone In Your Office Constantly Coughing and Clearing Throat?

Postby RaceJudicata » Tue Feb 28, 2017 4:03 pm

Yeah, buck up and ignore it. Do you also complain when your neighbors are having sex?

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mjb447
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Re: What Do You Do About Someone In Your Office Constantly Coughing and Clearing Throat?

Postby mjb447 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 4:10 pm

Encourage this person to make the Cheezits into a smoothie with a liquid base. Sell them on the idea by noting that they'll be able to eat Cheezits quicker if they've been pulverized and emulsified first.

Failing that, lateral.

BobBoblaw
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Re: What Do You Do About Someone In Your Office Constantly Coughing and Clearing Throat?

Postby BobBoblaw » Tue Feb 28, 2017 4:20 pm

I will just never understand how some people manage to overcome the seemingly insurmountable obstacles that life puts in their way. My hat's off to you, sir/madam. You are a testament to human perseverance and dynamism.

it'sjustme
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Re: What Do You Do About Someone In Your Office Constantly Coughing and Clearing Throat?

Postby it'sjustme » Tue Feb 28, 2017 4:47 pm

I've done two things in the past that solved this particular problem:

1. Act/look overly concerned about the fact that they're coughing, even though you know it's probably from the Cheez-Its. In my experience, the person becomes more self-aware and drastically reduces the behavior.

2. Drop a throat losenge/cough drop on their desk when they're not there.

Find some way to make the person aware that their behavior/habit is being noticed.

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Re: What Do You Do About Someone In Your Office Constantly Coughing and Clearing Throat?

Postby favabeansoup » Tue Feb 28, 2017 5:02 pm

mjb447 wrote:Encourage this person to make the Cheezits into a smoothie with a liquid base. Sell them on the idea by noting that they'll be able to eat Cheezits quicker if they've been pulverized and emulsified first.


I support the try to get him to eat more Cheezits train. Surely statistically he will end up being unable to clear the cheesy clog if his intake increases, and he will end up actually choking on it. Then you can make your case to HR that Cheezits pose a danger to the health and safety of the workplace and get them banned.

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Re: What Do You Do About Someone In Your Office Constantly Coughing and Clearing Throat?

Postby Abbie Doobie » Tue Feb 28, 2017 5:39 pm

this place can be so aspie at times

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Re: What Do You Do About Someone In Your Office Constantly Coughing and Clearing Throat?

Postby smallfirmassociate » Tue Feb 28, 2017 5:49 pm

That coughing pattern / clearing throat behavior sounds like GERD, and eating crackers is common tactic to ease discomfort from stomach acid. The above advice given in jest to mix the crackers with a liquid (e.g. milk) is actually a common home remedy.

Put a prilosec on the person's desk.

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waldorf
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Re: What Do You Do About Someone In Your Office Constantly Coughing and Clearing Throat?

Postby waldorf » Tue Feb 28, 2017 6:05 pm

This is so extra.

Wear earplugs and get over it.

RaceJudicata
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Re: What Do You Do About Someone In Your Office Constantly Coughing and Clearing Throat?

Postby RaceJudicata » Tue Feb 28, 2017 6:08 pm

screw it.. upon a really horrible outburst, call 911 (honestly, police or ambulance should do the trick).

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Re: What Do You Do About Someone In Your Office Constantly Coughing and Clearing Throat?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:58 pm

not op

I've had similar situation with a secretary at a firm I worked at... She would constantly made a ''sssss'' sound for some reason but loud enough to hear it. I'd be working and then hear it and it would never stop. Super frustrating and it made me hate her.

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Re: What Do You Do About Someone In Your Office Constantly Coughing and Clearing Throat?

Postby SFSpartan » Wed Mar 01, 2017 1:01 pm

If you have an office, close your door. If you don't have an office, get earplugs. Problem solved.

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Re: What Do You Do About Someone In Your Office Constantly Coughing and Clearing Throat?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 01, 2017 1:09 pm

it'sjustme wrote:I've done two things in the past that solved this particular problem:

1. Act/look overly concerned about the fact that they're coughing, even though you know it's probably from the Cheez-Its. In my experience, the person becomes more self-aware and drastically reduces the behavior.

2. Drop a throat losenge/cough drop on their desk when they're not there.

Find some way to make the person aware that their behavior/habit is being noticed.


Can't think of a better way to disrupt a good working environment than by pulling crap like the above. Every day you'll work with people who are different than you and will do stuff differently than how you would. However, you gotta pick your battles because working with friendly people is way better than working with jerks. So pick your battles. If this person has allergies, they might not be able to control their coughing/throat clearing. I'm certain they're not doing it to annoy you.

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Re: What Do You Do About Someone In Your Office Constantly Coughing and Clearing Throat?

Postby ughbugchugplug » Wed Mar 01, 2017 1:11 pm

This is transparently some kind of power move on their part to show dominance over you.

Walk over to their desk, slam your hand down on it loudly, look them in the eye and say "I know why you're coughing, and I don't like it." Then walk away.

tyroneslothrop1
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Re: What Do You Do About Someone In Your Office Constantly Coughing and Clearing Throat?

Postby tyroneslothrop1 » Wed Mar 01, 2017 1:57 pm

While people are giving you shit I can understand why this would be annoying. The above advice to ask them if they are OK, maybe while you happen to be walking by, seems like something you might try.

it'sjustme
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Re: What Do You Do About Someone In Your Office Constantly Coughing and Clearing Throat?

Postby it'sjustme » Wed Mar 01, 2017 2:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
it'sjustme wrote:I've done two things in the past that solved this particular problem:

1. Act/look overly concerned about the fact that they're coughing, even though you know it's probably from the Cheez-Its. In my experience, the person becomes more self-aware and drastically reduces the behavior.

2. Drop a throat losenge/cough drop on their desk when they're not there.

Find some way to make the person aware that their behavior/habit is being noticed.


Can't think of a better way to disrupt a good working environment than by pulling crap like the above. Every day you'll work with people who are different than you and will do stuff differently than how you would. However, you gotta pick your battles because working with friendly people is way better than working with jerks. So pick your battles. If this person has allergies, they might not be able to control their coughing/throat clearing. I'm certain they're not doing it to annoy you.


First, why is this Anonymous? Feel free to respond under your actual username.

Second, OP asked for suggesions for this particular situation. I offered two that I've done that have worked. He/she can try or ignore them. Also, where does OP say it's a "good working environment" to begin with? If it's annoying OP to the point where it disrupts work, then it's a problem.

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zot1
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Re: What Do You Do About Someone In Your Office Constantly Coughing and Clearing Throat?

Postby zot1 » Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:15 pm

it'sjustme wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
it'sjustme wrote:I've done two things in the past that solved this particular problem:

1. Act/look overly concerned about the fact that they're coughing, even though you know it's probably from the Cheez-Its. In my experience, the person becomes more self-aware and drastically reduces the behavior.

2. Drop a throat losenge/cough drop on their desk when they're not there.

Find some way to make the person aware that their behavior/habit is being noticed.


Can't think of a better way to disrupt a good working environment than by pulling crap like the above. Every day you'll work with people who are different than you and will do stuff differently than how you would. However, you gotta pick your battles because working with friendly people is way better than working with jerks. So pick your battles. If this person has allergies, they might not be able to control their coughing/throat clearing. I'm certain they're not doing it to annoy you.


First, why is this Anonymous? Feel free to respond under your actual username.

Second, OP asked for suggesions for this particular situation. I offered two that I've done that have worked. He/she can try or ignore them. Also, where does OP say it's a "good working environment" to begin with? If it's annoying OP to the point where it disrupts work, then it's a problem.


Accidental anon. My bad.

I made the assumption because people are more likely to mention when the environment isn't good.

Anyway, I wasn't actually responding to you. I was highlighting for OP that he should think twice before following your recommendations. As a labor counselor who tends to deal with people fighting over shit like "someone doesn't say hi to me in the mornings," I would hate to see him get in a worse situation because of something so ridiculous.

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Re: What Do You Do About Someone In Your Office Constantly Coughing and Clearing Throat?

Postby lavarman84 » Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:50 pm

it'sjustme wrote:I've done two things in the past that solved this particular problem:

1. Act/look overly concerned about the fact that they're coughing, even though you know it's probably from the Cheez-Its. In my experience, the person becomes more self-aware and drastically reduces the behavior.

2. Drop a throat losenge/cough drop on their desk when they're not there.

Find some way to make the person aware that their behavior/habit is being noticed.


This is both spineless and passive aggressive. You are a lawyer.

RaceJudicata wrote:Yeah, buck up and ignore it. Do you also complain when your neighbors are having sex?


Well, it pisses me off when my neighbors have sex when I'm trying to sleep.

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Re: What Do You Do About Someone In Your Office Constantly Coughing and Clearing Throat?

Postby zhenders » Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:57 pm

Have you considered trying to out-cough him?

it'sjustme
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Re: What Do You Do About Someone In Your Office Constantly Coughing and Clearing Throat?

Postby it'sjustme » Wed Mar 01, 2017 11:18 pm

zot1 wrote:
it'sjustme wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
it'sjustme wrote:I've done two things in the past that solved this particular problem:

1. Act/look overly concerned about the fact that they're coughing, even though you know it's probably from the Cheez-Its. In my experience, the person becomes more self-aware and drastically reduces the behavior.

2. Drop a throat losenge/cough drop on their desk when they're not there.

Find some way to make the person aware that their behavior/habit is being noticed.


Can't think of a better way to disrupt a good working environment than by pulling crap like the above. Every day you'll work with people who are different than you and will do stuff differently than how you would. However, you gotta pick your battles because working with friendly people is way better than working with jerks. So pick your battles. If this person has allergies, they might not be able to control their coughing/throat clearing. I'm certain they're not doing it to annoy you.


First, why is this Anonymous? Feel free to respond under your actual username.

Second, OP asked for suggesions for this particular situation. I offered two that I've done that have worked. He/she can try or ignore them. Also, where does OP say it's a "good working environment" to begin with? If it's annoying OP to the point where it disrupts work, then it's a problem.


Accidental anon. My bad.

I made the assumption because people are more likely to mention when the environment isn't good.

Anyway, I wasn't actually responding to you. I was highlighting for OP that he should think twice before following your recommendations. As a labor counselor who tends to deal with people fighting over shit like "someone doesn't say hi to me in the mornings," I would hate to see him get in a worse situation because of something so ridiculous.


I did both and achieved the desired result. Drastically lessened/no behavior. Again, if it's to the point that the OP's production is inhibited by the coughing, it's a problem. I don't think I need to tell you that production, especially in this industry, is pretty important.

I can't think of a worse idea than taking a less effective measure but still having to deal with the noise merely to appease others' sensibilities in the workplace. That is ridiculous. I also made pretty clear in my post that those two examples are, by no measure, an exhaustive list. Just what I've done.

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Re: What Do You Do About Someone In Your Office Constantly Coughing and Clearing Throat?

Postby jchiles » Wed Mar 01, 2017 11:34 pm

if they are legit eating an entire box of cheez its a day why not put a bag of goldfish on their desk? Tastes better and is healthier too because they are baked.

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zot1
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Re: What Do You Do About Someone In Your Office Constantly Coughing and Clearing Throat?

Postby zot1 » Wed Mar 01, 2017 11:35 pm

it'sjustme wrote:
zot1 wrote:
it'sjustme wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
it'sjustme wrote:I've done two things in the past that solved this particular problem:

1. Act/look overly concerned about the fact that they're coughing, even though you know it's probably from the Cheez-Its. In my experience, the person becomes more self-aware and drastically reduces the behavior.

2. Drop a throat losenge/cough drop on their desk when they're not there.

Find some way to make the person aware that their behavior/habit is being noticed.


Can't think of a better way to disrupt a good working environment than by pulling crap like the above. Every day you'll work with people who are different than you and will do stuff differently than how you would. However, you gotta pick your battles because working with friendly people is way better than working with jerks. So pick your battles. If this person has allergies, they might not be able to control their coughing/throat clearing. I'm certain they're not doing it to annoy you.


First, why is this Anonymous? Feel free to respond under your actual username.

Second, OP asked for suggesions for this particular situation. I offered two that I've done that have worked. He/she can try or ignore them. Also, where does OP say it's a "good working environment" to begin with? If it's annoying OP to the point where it disrupts work, then it's a problem.


Accidental anon. My bad.

I made the assumption because people are more likely to mention when the environment isn't good.

Anyway, I wasn't actually responding to you. I was highlighting for OP that he should think twice before following your recommendations. As a labor counselor who tends to deal with people fighting over shit like "someone doesn't say hi to me in the mornings," I would hate to see him get in a worse situation because of something so ridiculous.


I did both and achieved the desired result. Drastically lessened/no behavior. Again, if it's to the point that the OP's production is inhibited by the coughing, it's a problem. I don't think I need to tell you that production, especially in this industry, is pretty important.

I can't think of a worse idea than taking a less effective measure but still having to deal with the noise merely to appease others' sensibilities in the workplace. That is ridiculous. I also made pretty clear in my post that those two examples are, by no measure, an exhaustive list. Just what I've done.


I'm sure I don't need to tell you that people react differently to similar situations.

Also, you seem nice. Not passive aggressive at all.

it'sjustme
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Re: What Do You Do About Someone In Your Office Constantly Coughing and Clearing Throat?

Postby it'sjustme » Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:54 am

zot1 wrote:
it'sjustme wrote:
zot1 wrote:
it'sjustme wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
it'sjustme wrote:I've done two things in the past that solved this particular problem:

1. Act/look overly concerned about the fact that they're coughing, even though you know it's probably from the Cheez-Its. In my experience, the person becomes more self-aware and drastically reduces the behavior.

2. Drop a throat losenge/cough drop on their desk when they're not there.

Find some way to make the person aware that their behavior/habit is being noticed.


Can't think of a better way to disrupt a good working environment than by pulling crap like the above. Every day you'll work with people who are different than you and will do stuff differently than how you would. However, you gotta pick your battles because working with friendly people is way better than working with jerks. So pick your battles. If this person has allergies, they might not be able to control their coughing/throat clearing. I'm certain they're not doing it to annoy you.


First, why is this Anonymous? Feel free to respond under your actual username.

Second, OP asked for suggesions for this particular situation. I offered two that I've done that have worked. He/she can try or ignore them. Also, where does OP say it's a "good working environment" to begin with? If it's annoying OP to the point where it disrupts work, then it's a problem.


Accidental anon. My bad.

I made the assumption because people are more likely to mention when the environment isn't good.

Anyway, I wasn't actually responding to you. I was highlighting for OP that he should think twice before following your recommendations. As a labor counselor who tends to deal with people fighting over shit like "someone doesn't say hi to me in the mornings," I would hate to see him get in a worse situation because of something so ridiculous.


I did both and achieved the desired result. Drastically lessened/no behavior. Again, if it's to the point that the OP's production is inhibited by the coughing, it's a problem. I don't think I need to tell you that production, especially in this industry, is pretty important.

I can't think of a worse idea than taking a less effective measure but still having to deal with the noise merely to appease others' sensibilities in the workplace. That is ridiculous. I also made pretty clear in my post that those two examples are, by no measure, an exhaustive list. Just what I've done.


I'm sure I don't need to tell you that people react differently to similar situations.

Also, you seem nice. Not passive aggressive at all.


No, you don't. And I didn't need to tell OP that in my post, because he/she doesn't need to be told. Again, I never recommended that OP actually do both or either of my suggestions. They are examples of what I've done, and worked.

You seem nice, too. Definitely not a person that would bottle up negative emotions to appease others and disregard solutions that might possibly hurt their feelings.

Are you about done being offended at the audacity of my suggestions?

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zot1
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Re: What Do You Do About Someone In Your Office Constantly Coughing and Clearing Throat?

Postby zot1 » Thu Mar 02, 2017 1:03 am

it'sjustme wrote:
zot1 wrote:
it'sjustme wrote:
zot1 wrote:
it'sjustme wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
it'sjustme wrote:I've done two things in the past that solved this particular problem:

1. Act/look overly concerned about the fact that they're coughing, even though you know it's probably from the Cheez-Its. In my experience, the person becomes more self-aware and drastically reduces the behavior.

2. Drop a throat losenge/cough drop on their desk when they're not there.

Find some way to make the person aware that their behavior/habit is being noticed.


Can't think of a better way to disrupt a good working environment than by pulling crap like the above. Every day you'll work with people who are different than you and will do stuff differently than how you would. However, you gotta pick your battles because working with friendly people is way better than working with jerks. So pick your battles. If this person has allergies, they might not be able to control their coughing/throat clearing. I'm certain they're not doing it to annoy you.


First, why is this Anonymous? Feel free to respond under your actual username.

Second, OP asked for suggesions for this particular situation. I offered two that I've done that have worked. He/she can try or ignore them. Also, where does OP say it's a "good working environment" to begin with? If it's annoying OP to the point where it disrupts work, then it's a problem.


Accidental anon. My bad.

I made the assumption because people are more likely to mention when the environment isn't good.

Anyway, I wasn't actually responding to you. I was highlighting for OP that he should think twice before following your recommendations. As a labor counselor who tends to deal with people fighting over shit like "someone doesn't say hi to me in the mornings," I would hate to see him get in a worse situation because of something so ridiculous.


I did both and achieved the desired result. Drastically lessened/no behavior. Again, if it's to the point that the OP's production is inhibited by the coughing, it's a problem. I don't think I need to tell you that production, especially in this industry, is pretty important.

I can't think of a worse idea than taking a less effective measure but still having to deal with the noise merely to appease others' sensibilities in the workplace. That is ridiculous. I also made pretty clear in my post that those two examples are, by no measure, an exhaustive list. Just what I've done.


I'm sure I don't need to tell you that people react differently to similar situations.

Also, you seem nice. Not passive aggressive at all.


No, you don't. And I didn't need to tell OP that in my post, because he/she doesn't need to be told. Again, I never recommended that OP actually do both or either of my suggestions. They are examples of what I've done, and worked.

You seem nice, too. Definitely not a person that would bottle up negative emotions to appease others and disregard solutions that might possibly hurt their feelings.

Are you about done being offended at the audacity of my suggestions?


Lol. Ok.

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Nagster5
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Re: What Do You Do About Someone In Your Office Constantly Coughing and Clearing Throat?

Postby Nagster5 » Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:26 am

jchiles wrote:if they are legit eating an entire box of cheez its a day why not put a bag of goldfish on their desk? Tastes better and is healthier too because they are baked.


This is ridiculously bad advice for the following reasons:
1. Cheezits are also baked
2. Being baked does not make something healthier than non-baked items (For example, broccoli is healthier than baked fiberglass)
3. Cheezits taste way better than goldfish.
4. You are encouraging this person's behavior by rewarding them with more snack foods, which they obviously value

To OP, the only reasonable solution here is to go to his boss and offer an ultimatum, you or the cougher.




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