Magazine article Management Today

What's Your Problem?

Magazine article Management Today

What's Your Problem?

Article excerpt

Q: Someone who sits near me (who I don't work with directly) has the most annoying habits. She is forever grunting, snorting and huffing and puffing, not to mention wheezing and coughing. To cap it off, she has started picking her nose quite explicitly. I keep shooting annoyed looks at her but she has yet to pick up the hints. I'm the only one with a direct view. Should I just ask to move elsewhere on the floor?

A: It's possible, but extremely unlikely, that all this grunting, snorting and nose-picking is done knowingly and specifically with the intention of irritating you. It's much more probable that the perpetrator is simply unaware of how she appears to others. This could be an extreme case of insensitivity or even a mildish form of autism, perhaps Asperger syndrome. Either way, you need to accept that shooting her annoyed looks isn't going to achieve anything. She's unlikely even to register them, let alone modify her behaviour. …

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