A co-worker that i get on reasonably well with has started coming in to the work place 2 hours before his shift. I told my husband about it and he said "why would anyone want to turn up to work early if they didn't have to?"

Here is the problem.

The room that i sit in is around 10 feet by 10 feet with lockers and table and chairs so its not a big area. This room is used for lunch breaks and sitting in while waiting to go out at different times to do my job.

The person is question has started to turn up 2 hours before he starts work EVERY day and he sits there with his feet up either blaring music out on his phone or texting or playing games on it. I like to eat my lunch in peace as it's the only time i get (in between 5 minute breaks) for a quiet moment throughout the day.

Now this person is in every day it is getting annoying. I have hinted "haven't you got a home to go to" at which he just laughs. I find it hard to express to my supervisor how this is bothering me. Its not making me uncomfortable but I am not enjoying him being here for that amount of time before he starts his shift.

He can travel into work quite easily and 30 minutes before he starts is more than early enough to arrive i think. Am i over reacting to this? Should i inform my supervisor or just put up with this person coming in 2 hours early?

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    ^ this. If this is a communal area, you can't really expect people to sit in silence just because that's how you like to enjoy your lunch, and it's not like management are going to do anything about someone turning up super early for work. Maybe buy some noise-cancelling headphones if it's a big issue? – delinear Sep 26 '18 at 10:34
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    the only thing that would bother me would be this : "blaring music out on his phone" (I'm guessing he's not using any kind of headphones). About this particular thing you could just ask him if he can stop doing this as it seems to me as a particularly careless thing to do on workplace. – Guiroux Sep 26 '18 at 10:37
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    As there's nothing unprofessional from either of you - you might be able to get good answers for dealing with the interpersonal issue of "how to get a coworker to turn down their music in the lunch area" on Interpersonal.SE. I don't think any escalation or workplace solutions are really needed here. – user81330 Sep 26 '18 at 10:38
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    If you are only having a five minute lunch break, and he is there for two hours, exactly what is the problem? Your overlap is only five minutes, and it would be similar if you both were taking a short break at the same time. Or is this communal rest area also your workarea? That'd be a bit weird, consider asking your manager for a desk elsewhere. – Mark Rotteveel Sep 26 '18 at 13:05
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    @ Mark Rotteveel. Maybe you could read my post again as i don't think you read it correctly. I have a 30 minute lunch and he is there 2 hours before his shift starts. In the room doing NOTHING for 2 hours before his shit starts apart from playing music from his phone at full volume with his feet up on the chair. This is NOT a communal area. I work there for my shift and then the next person does for their shift. In other words only one person at a time is meant to be in the room. You have to sign in when you arrive and sign out when you leave as it is fire safety protocol. – working9-5 Sep 27 '18 at 10:26

There are those who take hints, and those who aren’t. He seems the second kind.

When you said “ don’t you have a home to go to” you might have hit the nail on the hat. Homeless, marriage close to breakdown, mother-in-law visiting. So your husband doesn’t have much imagination. The guy is there, so obviously he has a reason, you just don’t know it.

Instead of hints you could actually go to him and say “your music is very loud. I don’t enjoy my lunch with that loud music”. As I said, some people don’t get hints.

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  • It could also be that he uses a form of transportation that has a limited schedule such as a ferry, intermittent bus route, or catches a ride with a friend whose job starts earlier. – David Schwartz Sep 26 '18 at 18:00
  • He is married (happily from what i know) and has his own home. Not very kind of you to insult my husbands imagination but thanks for your reply. – working9-5 Sep 27 '18 at 10:02
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    I can come up with a dozen reasons why he comes early. And the fact that he does come early proves there is a reason. So, yes. – gnasher729 Sep 27 '18 at 20:17

While I can (and do) sympathize with the desire for a bit of peace and quiet when you're having your lunch break it sounds as though this is something of a communal break area not a quiet room or specific room set aside for you.

The only thing this coworker is doing that sounds remotely objectionable is "blaring music", and even then depending upon the norms for the rooms use and the volume is arguably not that bad.

sits there with his feet up

Unless he's putting his feet up on your desk or chair this sounds a remarkably petty thing to complain about - in what way is this actually affecting you?

texting or playing games on it

again, unless he's doing this at some absurd volume what is actually so terrible about this?

I have hinted "haven't you got a home to go to"

Passive-agressive sniping is very rarely a productive way to solve anything.

He can travel into work quite easily and 30 minutes before he starts is more than early enough to arrive i think.

There could be any number of reasons why this schedule suits his personal circumstances that you are unaware of and with all due respect it's not any of your business how he schedules his free time and travel.

Am i over reacting to this?


Should i inform my supervisor

No. It doesn't sound like he's breaking any of the workplace's rules, if he is then you can take the appropriate steps to address those.

or just put up with this person coming in 2 hours early?

You mention you get on well with this co-worker so why not talk to him as one adult to another and ask him if he would mind keeping the volume down on the music? Other than that it's pretty much your issue to manage I'm afraid.

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    final option, get earplugs/headphones for the loud music and forget the rest – SaggingRufus Sep 26 '18 at 11:29
  • I obviously need to clarify a few things,so my apologies for that. – working9-5 Sep 27 '18 at 10:03
  • 1.It is not a communal area it is the room that one person at a time is in while working.I do my shift its only me there until the next person comes in for their shift at which time i leave and they start.2. He has his feet up on the chair that people like me use.3. A phone on max volume is not fun to listen too,get someone to do it to you for a hour or more.4.The hint i said was good humidly put.5. I never suggested anything of the sort of what he does with his free time. We have to sign in when we arrive at the work place.and sign out when we leave,fire safety. He does not sign in for 2 hour – working9-5 Sep 27 '18 at 10:16
  • @working9-5 you should put that in the question. – jcm Sep 27 '18 at 10:41
  • @working9-5 1. That really wasn't clear from the original description 2.If he's got his feet up on your chair then that's rude and I'd object to that too and I'd ask him to put this feet down 3. I absolutely agree! Hence the suggestion to address the volume with him 4. If you said it in a humorous tone it's not going to be effective either, try talking to him politely but directly, at this point he may well have absolutely no idea that he is annoying you 5. If he's not signing in and violating the fire safety policy then that is something worth talking to your supervisor about [cont] – motosubatsu Sep 27 '18 at 10:56

I have had the same kind of problem. I can understand why that would be annoying...

First of all, unless there is a serious breaking of rules I don't think that involving the supervisor solves it.. Also, this will ruin your relationship with that co-worker.

his feet up

This is not a very valid objection, as long as it does not disturb you significantly.

blaring music

I have had this problem and it is annoying. Since, you seem to have a good relationship with this person, you can just tell him/her that you are getting disturbed. You could ask him to lower the voice. Or best: use Earphones/Earplug (for yourself or ask him to use 'em). It'll be a win-win situation for both individuals.

Also, you could probably try to sit in some other place, during your break. Like, if you have a balcony around. Or outside your workplace and, get some fresh air (if possible).

2 hours early

I myself reach my workplace an our early, so as to avoid the extreme traffic. So, I think the person might have his own reasons.

So, just try to communicate with this person. And try to work out a solution. Hope it helps!

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