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markypooch

This coworker I know...

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So I work with this guy. Good guy, and all. Knows his stuff, and what not. But, rather periodically, several times a day, he'll pivot at a 45 degree angle, and let one rip, a biiiiig sneeze. Like, comically big. "Aaaaachoooo!" Like, you'd think he was trying out for Broadway, or something. Like, tone it down buddy.

 

I mean, common courtesy dictates that you at least make a mild effort not to spritz your mucus everywhere, but he seems oblivious to this. I wanna say something, primarily, "Cover your flipping face!" but I'm a bit to passive to react in such a way. I've thought of subtle ways of bringing this to his attention, but I'm walking a line of not getting through to someone who his blissfully unaware of social norms, or being obtuse.

 

Suggestions?

 

Marcus Hansen

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Just ask him if he could please cover his mouth when he sneezes. Being polite should be sufficient, I don't think it's productive to try and come up with subtle, clever, basically passive-aggressive ways to point the issue out. That seems more likely to either escape his notice, or make him more uncomfortable than is necessary.

 

If you really wan to take that approach and you have something resembling a HR department, let them know, and they can send out one of those "friendly reminders to all staff (that you know is really only directed at Bob in accounting but somebody wants to preserve the illusion)" about basic personal courtesy and hygiene.

Edited by Josh Petrie

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I wouldn't be at all surprised if he genuinely is unaware. I can think of several similar situations with people in my own life and I think "How on earth can they not notice?" I have no doubt that they really don't notice and until someone says something they will continue their life blissfully unaware. Isn't this a law, an object in motion...

 

What to do about it is very difficult because it depends largely on how they will react to what you do. Avoid being hostile "Cover your flipping face!" because that may work but chances are it'll just piss him off and then he may well do it out of spite (people are funny creatures). Personally I'd exaggerate wiping my face (or really wipe my face if needs be..) and say "Yeah, thanks for that, any chance you can keep your mucus to yourself next time?" It's not hostile, it's not an order and it explains why you'd like him to cover his face. Who knows, next time he decides to crazy sneeze he might have a thought about covering his mouth/nose before hand. One thing's for sure though, if you do nothing, nothing will change. Just avoid being hostile and avoid TELLING him what to do.

Edited by Nanoha

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. But, rather periodically, several times a day, ... a biiiiig sneeze.

 

Does it really matter?

 

If he was one desk over and facing you when he let it fly I can see how it might, but if he is across the room I don't see it.  If it doesn't directly affect you don't sweat the small stuff.  Everyone has their quirks.

 

 

Do you know why is he doing it? I mean why both as the trigger for the sneeze, and the why for the posturing. Is there dust in the air? Pollen or mold he is allergic to? Sudden exposure to sunlight? Sickness? I suffer from seasonal allergies and during the bad season can have 15-20 in a row, barely able to breathe and not pass out. As for the posture, there can be a difference between a small and simple sneeze versus someone dramatically acting it out, but do you know why he is choosing to do that? He might be acting it out because he is bored and is looking for a way to enliven the workplace, or maybe he thinks it is comical, or maybe is doing it out of ignorance.

 

 

Have you talked with him about it?

 

He may not know he is doing it. He may be doing it on purpose. He may not want to do it but is doing it in spite of his own efforts to stop. Open yer yap and talk to your coworker.  Don't accuse, don't blame, just ask about it after a large sneezing fit. Something as simple as "Why do you do that?" You may become sympathetic, or you may hear the reason and end it with "Would you mind doing it this other way in the future?"

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I mean it's possible he has allergies, ya know. I wouldn't discount it. And we don't have a traditional HR place at my company, not due to size really, but more so flagrant frugality.

Going to Management would be an option as I know the guy wouldn't get in trouble, as I've said he does his job, and does it well. But, maybe an announcement or something, I don't know.  But than talking to him about it may be better. As he's already so introverted he may not even establish a correlation between his sneezing, and the announcement.

 

 

If he was one desk over and facing you when he let it fly I can see how it might, but if he is across the room I don't see it.  If it doesn't directly affect you don't sweat the small stuff.  Everyone has their quirks.

 

Oh, for sure, I certainly have mine. It's just a sneeze is like a shot of febreeze even when one aims it in a certain direction those droplets have a tendency to wander. I know Germs don't live very long in open air, but still.

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So I work with this guy. Good guy, and all. Knows his stuff, and what not. But, rather periodically, several times a day, he'll pivot at a 45 degree angle, and let one rip, a biiiiig sneeze. Like, comically big. "Aaaaachoooo!" Like, you'd think he was trying out for Broadway, or something. Like, tone it down buddy.

 

I mean, common courtesy dictates that you at least make a mild effort not to spritz your mucus everywhere, but he seems oblivious to this. I wanna say something, primarily, "Cover your flipping face!" but I'm a bit to passive to react in such a way. I've thought of subtle ways of bringing this to his attention, but I'm walking a line of not getting through to someone who his blissfully unaware of social norms, or being obtuse.

 

Suggestions?

 

Marcus Hansen

 

Don't mean to come across as mean or anything, but I just feel our expertise in this industry does not qualify us to answer this.

The board is game industry job advice, and I don't think the question is specific to a game industry problem or really about your job even.

I'm also unclear as to the gravity of this situation. I've had colleagues do that, and I haven't paid much attention to it. I mean, I even had coworkers that would fart every once in a while, and so far as I can tell, that's a bodily function. Social norm dictates you don't do it, and I'd feel some level of shame if I did, but I hardly believe there's anything inherently wrong to the level where I would ask advice on what to do to avoid this occurring ever again?

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So I work with this guy. Good guy, and all. Knows his stuff, and what not. But, rather periodically, several times a day, he'll pivot at a 45 degree angle, and let one rip, a biiiiig sneeze. Like, comically big. "Aaaaachoooo!" Like, you'd think he was trying out for Broadway, or something. Like, tone it down buddy.
 
I mean, common courtesy dictates that you at least make a mild effort not to spritz your mucus everywhere, but he seems oblivious to this. I wanna say something, primarily, "Cover your flipping face!" but I'm a bit to passive to react in such a way. I've thought of subtle ways of bringing this to his attention, but I'm walking a line of not getting through to someone who his blissfully unaware of social norms, or being obtuse.
 
Suggestions?
 
Marcus Hansen

 
Don't mean to come across as mean or anything, but I just feel our expertise in this industry does not qualify us to answer this.
The board is game industry job advice, and I don't think the question is specific to a game industry problem or really about your job even.
I'm also unclear as to the gravity of this situation. I've had colleagues do that, and I haven't paid much attention to it. I mean, I even had coworkers that would fart every once in a while, and so far as I can tell, that's a bodily function. Social norm dictates you don't do it, and I'd feel some level of shame if I did, but I hardly believe there's anything inherently wrong to the level where I would ask advice on what to do to avoid this occurring ever again?


OP's issue is that
1) The recurring sneezing is loud and distracting (and he may have misophonia).
2) The sneezing is unsanitary - his coworker is not properly containing his sneeze. That means his coworker could be a big vector for illness in his office. Edited by Oberon_Command

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but I just feel our expertise in this industry does not qualify us to answer this.

The board is game industry job advice, and I don't think the question is specific to a game industry problem or really about your job even.

 

That's a good question, HOW did this end up in Jobs advice? I thought I posted in the lounge :\ It's whatever, it does fit the criteria, I just wanted the conversation to be more casual, idk. I'm just gonna talk to him about it. The whole going around his back thing I really don't care for.

 

 

I'm also unclear as to the gravity of this situation. I've had colleagues do that, and I haven't paid much attention to it. I mean, I even had coworkers that would fart every once in a while, and so far as I can tell, that's a bodily function.

 

For sure, but this comparison completely falls apart when it's flu season, and I'm pretty sure I've caught stuff from him before. I can get over 30 seconds of bad smell from flatulence, However 2 weeks of a cold rightfully grinds my gears.

Edited by markypooch

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That's a good question, HOW did this end up in Jobs advice? I thought I posted in the lounge


I moved it, and I stand by that decision. Work etiquette and work conun-
drums are a job advice matter. I totally agree with the answers that said
"talk to the guy about your concerns." And I'm a bit surprised with how
"viral" this topic became!

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