I work in an office building. When you work in an office with cubicles, you are faced with many common annoyances. I have a good job and work with a good team. But even though I like my coworkers, sometimes they become annoying coworkers through no real fault of their own.
I am a self-diagnosed sufferer of a little known disorder called misophonia. In layman’s terms, misophonia is a severe emotional or psychological reaction to certain sounds or noises. (For a more comprehensive definition, you could check out WebMD’s page about it here.) There are several sounds that set me off: loud, open-mouth chewing; water pouring; loud breathing. In an office, you cannot avoid most of these sounds. That is when my coworkers go from being pleasant and wonderful people to the most obnoxious creatures on the planet.
Of course, this creates some problems. I want to live in peace and harmony with all men. Yet, if my coworkers decide that it’s okay to water their plants, chew their food (or gum) with their mouths open, or breathe loudly, then I am well within my rights to react in the most immature and emotionally unstable manner possible. Right?
You can’t really blame me if I have fevered day-dreams of covering my cubicle with bubble-wrap – shielding me from at least some of the offending sounds. And you can’t really blame me for doing a little dance of joy when my most annoying coworkers are out for the day. Nor can you blame me for longing for the day when I can work from home, away from all the noises, smacks, chews, slurps, snores, coughs, drips, and burps that are an ever-present torture to my daily life.
No, I am completely blameless in all of this. I am the victim here. I have annoying coworkers. Not because they are bad people, but because they are very, very good at doing the things that annoy me. So, if next time you see me, I have a scowl on my face, it’s probably because someone sitting nearby is chewing with their mouth open. Either that or it’s just my natural resting face – but that’s an article for another day!