Crazy in the Cubicle – is this common?

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Crazy in the Cubicle – is this common? 2012-04-18T16:43:35+00:00

The Forums Forums The Workplace Strategies for Work Crazy in the Cubicle – is this common?

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  • #90696
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    wolfshades
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    Post count: 211

    Hi gang.

    Just wondering if I’m alone in this, or if it’s a problem for many or most……

    Guy in the cubicle next to me eats some sort of crunchy stuff every morning. *crunch* *crunch* *crunch* (with his mouth open) It’s all I can hear. When he’s not on the phone talking really loudly. Or sucking on his teeth.

    Then there’s the woman a few cubicles away who gets on her phone during the day and speaks in Ukranian or Russian (not sure which) to a family member. Her voice is moderate, but constant, and occasionally you can tell she’s getting angry at whoever she’s speaking with.

    Occasionally I hear the guy in the other cubicle speaking on his phone too. Not quite as obnxious-sounding as the first guy but….

    All of these things distract to me to no end. And I’m on medication at the moment too. So I don’t know if I need to change the meds, or take advantage of a work-from-home possibility. At home, I’d be alone, so there would be no uncontrollable distractions to worry about.

    The fact is, it’s stressing me out something awful. Today I was trying to attend a webinar training session and all I could hear was the obnoxious guy (henceforth to be referred to as OG) , raising his voice yet again to make a point. I could feel my blood pressure going up, and my most cherished fantasy at that point was to take the laptop and just heave it across the floor.

    At first I thought maybe I just needed to change cubicles because of OG, but with the addition of the other two people, I’m beginning to think it’s me, and that as long as I’m in this environment, I’ll continue to be highly stressed about this stuff.

    It’s possible that, before the meds, this stuff was still distracting – only I was also distracted by my own thoughts, so never noticed it as much. Not sure.

    Any input would be received with gratefulness.

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    #114037
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    Scattybird
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    Hi wolfshades – what meds are you on?

    You’re not alone. One of the offices I work in has a ‘hot desk’ so sometimes it’s occupied. One day someone came in and started working at the computer. This was someone I like but he began eating a packet of crisps – loudly – and the noise the keyboard made was SOOO annoying – and he typed fast which was also annoying. So between the crisps, the tapping keyboard and a nearby door slamming I nearly exploded. Fortunately I stopped myself ripping his head off and went and sat in my car to calm down.

    I can’t remember if I was on meds then or not. But I can’t stand hearing people eat. Actually even with meds I hate hearing people on their computers. My normal office opens out into a shared area and I HAVE to keep my door closed so the constant tap, tap doesn’t wind me up.

    So you have my understanding and sympathy. The best thing you can do is to ask if you can work at home more. Also, are you allowed to wear headphones? A white noise programme on the computer or relaxing music might help drown them out?

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    #114038
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    wolfshades
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    Thanks Scattybird. I’m on Concerta (54 mg).

    Yes, I’m allowed to wear headphones – and have used that in the past. But you can only wear them for so long, unfortunately. At any rate, I’m glad I”m not the only one who stresses over stuff like this. So thank you for your reply.

    Think I’m going to have to work from home for a while. Maybe make it a permanent thing. Don’t know.

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    #114039
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    Anonymous
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    WolfS…soft earplugs man……..comfy…..quiet…..cheap…..ahhhhhhhhhh.

    Toofat

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    #114040
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    shutterbug55
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    Hi Wolf,

    All of those habits you talk about? Oh yea. Those things drive me absolutely crazy. I have some very comfortable headphones and Earbuds so I can listen to music, and not the annoying sounds of the office.

    I find the people around me get on my nerves in direct relation to how boring the task I am working is. The more boring the task, the more people get on my nerves.

    Pandora is my friend, and I have worked on a “station” that keeps me on task and energized. I based it on Jesse Cook’s album “Frontiers”. At our office, we have a fiber optic connection to the internet, so streaming audio doesn’t even come close to maxing our bandwidth.

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    #114041
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    Scattybird
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    wolfshades – is this new or do you ‘normally’ feel like this?

    There’s a link here somewhere on Concerta and the difference between brand name and generic with the latter not being as effective for some people. I just wondered if it’s a new problem, then maybe you’ve had a drug alteration? Or maybe something is particularly stressing you more than usual?

    On saying that when I started taking Ritalin, I became more aware of how annoying I must have been to my colleagues because I was always popping in to see them. Now I hate it if they do that to me, but before I literally willed them to do so. Now I want to concentrate. Maybe your meds have just heightened your awareness or need to get stuff done, hence OG is being a pain.

    But if OG is new then he’s clearly the problem. Pop a dead prawn or shrimp into the back of his computer – that’ll shift him in a few days. Just bring in a nose peg. Oh dear….did I really say that? Probably not good advice!

    Seriously though, I work at home when I have something that needs doing. It’s better than being stressed. Could you ask to move your cubicle?

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    #114042
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    wolfshades
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    I honestly can’t tell for sure, Scattybird. I think it may have bothered me before, but my own scattered thoughts were plaguing me too, so I’m guessing it wasn’t as much of an issue, pre-meds.

    Thought about (and asked) to be moved, but then realized, after being distracted from others, that the problem would likely not cease, no matter where I ended up.

    And as for OG: believe me, I’ve thought about doing things. Like plugging his workstation into “The Clapper” and then clapping twice, whenever he was in the middle of something. Or copying a pre-engineered .JPG file to his desktop as a background with just the words:


    FOR THE LOVE OF GOD – BE QUIET!! SHH!

    And try eating with your mouth closed. You’ll get less crumbs in your keyboard.


    Still not sure he’d get it. ; ) (It would be fun to try, though)

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    #114043
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    Geoduck
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    Hmm…maybe it’s normal to be bothered by stuff like that. My husband, who in now way is ADHD or OCD, or well, he’s just average dude, I guess, had an OG next to him, in an office one time, and would come home ready to about throttle the OG. What was the offense? OG was clipping his nails once a week or so.

    Since I’ve been on medication, I notice my daughters when they chew with their mouths open. It is so gross. I can hear the food sticking and unsticking to the roof of their mouths and gums. UGH!!! What’s worse is my husband is just as bad. So someone clipping their nails is gross, but “see food” isn’t??? His priorities are messed up, imho. LOL!

    Never cared before. Maybe it is that the thoughts are so quiet we’re noticing more. I also notice that when my adderall is about to wear off for the night, I really get extremely sensitive to annoying noises.

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    #114044
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    kc5jck
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    I can totally relate to your situation. Even if you work at home, the distractions will probably be even greater. More interesting and productive personally, but distractions from work nevertheless.

    However, you might ask the Ukraine if she has noticed how obnoxious OG is with his gross food smacking and crunching. Give it a few days or a week to let it sink in with her and grate on her nerves. Then write a note to the Ukraine complaining about her phone ediquette, translate it to Russian with google translate, and stain it really good with some of OG’s crunchy stuff before leaving it anonymously on her desk while she it out to lunch.

    Let us know what happens.

    Or…perhaps you could send OG a video of a frog or lizard eating flies. Find one where the creature is really smacking with it’s mouth open. Send it as an ad for Crunchy Stuff Snacks.

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    #114045
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    WolfS, there are some noises that drive me totally nuts to the point of extreme distress. The worst is if I can hear 2 pieces of music playing at the same time.

    Repetetive noises that are sporadic. Eg – the neighbours kids bouncing their ball on the wall of my house. Luckily they stopped when I told them to.

    It’s not just noises either. On the plane a few weeks ago the guy behind me kept digging his knees into the back of my seat. And he didn’t have long legs. I almost whipped around and grabbed him by the throat and shook him. Granted I’d been with people in class for 2 1/2 weeks almost non-stop. I’m really glad I didn’t though because they have those rules on planes now about being nice to everyone and I probably wouldn’t get to graduate and be a minister.

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    #114046
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    Scattybird
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    Bellamom – a plane ‘incident’ was the tipping point for me getting my diagnosis. When you ‘graduate’ as a Minister will you be the kind that wears a ‘dog collar’ – as in the Church of England code of dress? If so, you might want to travel with a scarf so when you have plane rage and road rage you can disguise that you’re a lady who ‘turns the other cheek’ and who forgives! Haha.

    Kc – I like your style. That is a brilliant plan!!

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    #114047
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    Robbo
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    Ouch! it pains me to read about your grief wolfshades. I almost never leave home without my earplugs. I wish I could take nose plugs with me too!, maybe I’m vulcan… but smells really get on my nerves quick too. Ever tried to eat with earplugs on? the sound of Me eating somehow gets amplified in my head and it’s freaky awful. I have to take the plugs out or risk making my self nuts.

    We are not weird!. I was gonna write “we’re such freaks” or something like that. But we’re not. Jus different.

    I almost always have music going and earphones/plugs in. Classical music in particular is best for concentrating on writing, paperwork, or desk-work. 15 years ago I began trying jobs at desks. It’s torture to me. Sitting down all the time almost did me in. DGMS

    I didn’t read past about half this thread. It just gives me the creeps thinking about working in any kind of office ever. Period.

    I’m sorry if that offends anyone. I do truly feel for you if you’re experiencing working in an office like I have experienced it.

    I would try to find a way to get permission to set up my desk out in the middle of a redwood forest, with beautiful rays of sun streaming down. The morning mist and fog rolling in from the coast in thick dense banks… A spotted little bambi walks up n looks at me innocently. Not a hunter in miles and miles. Just me, a few wild animals, classical music on my headphones and the quiet clickey clack of my keyboard making “bambi” turn her head curiously…

    Hmm. I feel better now. Thinking of me trapped in an office makes me grateful to be paralyzed.

    I’ll settle for pain that’s not all that bad, my little apartment. And smatterings of volunteer work here and there for now.

    There’s a new career waiting for me out there. For now I’m still a carpenter, cook, sues chef, and an artist. I’ve tried to keep up with technology for years, maybe with some recovery from a life with ADHD I’ll end up in a dreaded cubicle. My mind is open. I’m still young enough to find/build yet another new career.

    My job is to just survive for now.

    I really admire folks with ADHD problems like mine who show up for work more than 40 hours a week on time. A part of me had a huge sigh of relief when I finally accepted being paralyzed 15 years ago. This is a web site about ADHD, not SCI. But dealing with my disability is still part of my ADHD struggle. A minor one. I hope you guys don’t mind me letting out a little bit of my own personal crud out. I have a best friend right next door who has MS. We talk and sometimes cry about our struggles. So I don’t need support with that from here. I just can’t pretend it’s not part of my reality.

    I hope you find a nice comfortable pair of noise canceling headphones, maybe just set up the desk facing the opening of your cubicle, if people want to talk with you, the movement into your space will interrupt you enough to just uncover one ear. That’s the very least of a reasonable accommodation to your work environment, that’s not even an ADHD accommodation, it’s a human being one.

    I hope ya work out some kind of cool compromise. Any redwood groves nearby?

    PS, I managed to read the rest of the thread after posting. Great ideas!, funny!. ***chuckling…..***

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    #114048
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    kc5jck
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    Post count: 846

    P.S. – Send the frog video a few days after the letter and add Russian subtitles.

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    #114049
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    Robbo, I’m really sensitive to smells too. DH doesn’t seem to notice, or if he does, it doesn’t drive him nuts. But it goes the other way with nice smells too – like right now, the smell of spring.

    And my skin is ultra-sensitive to fabrics, tags in clothing etc. I don’t know if that’s ADD or just one of my little quirks.

    Scattybird, Considering how crammed in we are on planes, it’s not surprising that things can get heated. Recently every flight I’ve been on has been packed. I’d gotten used to having no one next to me, except maybe DH if we were on vacation. No, I won’t need to wear one of those collars, which is good cuz I hate having things up around my neck. I think that “turning the other cheek” is seriously overrated.

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    #114050
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    Anonymous
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    @ Wolf

    I have combined type ADHD and Autism that sit sit by side in the merry old world of my brain. The UK’s number one research centre on ADHD and such like are currently using me and my data to help with research ( cool side is i get to see scans of my brain ) and training etc etc

    There are many traits that they both share but one that may be of interest is the sensitivity to noise in my autism.

    It is very common for Autistic people to have a dislike of noise or an X-tream sensitivity to it.With me its scooters/washing machines/ people eating etc etc…

    There are many sites that you can look at to research a little more. I am not claiming you do have Autisum but it might be worth you looking into it a little bit deeper ( it may have been overlooked )….

    WOFH

    Pete xx

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