I've seen lots of posts on office whistlers, but no one has an answer for this guy so far. Our totally open plan office used to have two guys who whistled constantly, loudly, all day. One of them, was the worst because it was a total compulsion with him. He's obviously oblivious to his habit, but he left a few months ago.

The other guy, who is still here whistles VERY loudly. He whistles songs, Christmas carols, ring tones, etc. If you speak, he will mimic your voice and what you just said by whistling. The problem is, he is aware he's doing it. It's been pointed out to him that people are annoyed by it, but his response is to do it MORE just to keep annoying everyone and attract attention to himself. The boss loves him, so they won't do anything about it.

Yesterday I asked him to stop and he accused me of "office bullying". Someone else complained and he responded by whistling more quietly, but still whistling.

I have headphones, but they're constantly having to be on, tethering me to my desk and also damaging my hearing.

Short of quitting, how do we get this guy to stop?

EDIT because of perceived duplication. I haven't seen anyone ask how to deal with someone who deliberately makes noise that's been complained about because they think it's funny to annoy everyone. What do you do with someone who has been told, but became worse as a consequence, because he thinks he's funny and thinks everyone else thinks he is funny. even when we say he's not, he doesn't believe it. it's like some weird cognitive dissonance. but he's making everyone batty.

  • You may want to edit for tone, also, what is your question? – Old_Lamplighter Oct 27 '17 at 0:18
  • the question is in the title. how do i deal with a whistler who is aware he's doing it, but continues to do it deliberately to annoy everyone cuz he thinks it's funny? – monique Oct 27 '17 at 0:41
  • Did you read the accepted answer to the possible duplicate? It includes alternatives in case speaking to them doesn't work. At some point you run out of options and you just have to live with it or leave. – Dukeling Oct 27 '17 at 4:52
  • 1
    I read it. Not a dupe. This should be reopened. – Chris E Oct 27 '17 at 14:24

Your company likely has procedures in place already. If there are a couple of you who feel similarly, go to your boss about it together (or alone, if you all prefer). If your manager can't or won't do anything about it, short of quitting, you have one option and it's a risky one.

Go to HR. I normally don't suggest this because as some of us like to say here,


But in limited cases, they can actually be useful. They might talk to the guy, they might try to mediate it. On the other hand, your boss could get ticked if you go to HR after your boss. That's always a risk. If you don't think your boss will do anything, get a couple of you and go to HR together without talking to your boss, which will work better if the few of you doing it work for different people but are equally irritated because of similar spaces.

Short of those two things, there's really nothing you can do that doesn't carry a likelihood of getting you fired.

  • Good advice, seems that HR could be useful this time if done properly. The only downside could be in the cases (some smaller companies) where the Boss is also HR... in any case having others back up the petition is the right way to achieve it. – DarkCygnus Oct 27 '17 at 2:14
  • well, would you believe we have no HR department? I mentioned it to the office manager once because they were changing all the desks around and I requested to be far away from him. I was for 6 months, but they have this thing where they want us to shift every 6 months to "break up the cliques" so now I'm close to him again. When I asked about being moved away, i got shrugged shoulders in reply. – monique Oct 27 '17 at 4:04

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