This colleague of mine sits next to me like barely 2-3 feet apart. she keeps burping out loud all day every 10-15 min or so.

It's annoying and i cannot find a way to tell her without sounding rude.

Could it be a health issue? As this has started a week back only.

Even other colleagues have noticed the same and are wondering how to address the situation. As this is ultimately affecting the overall work environment.

  • 5
    I'm not a medical professional.. but every 10-15 mins for what I'm guessing is a 7-8 hour work day every day for a week sounds like a medical issue to me. Have you tried gently asking them if they are okay?
    – motosubatsu
    Commented Sep 26, 2018 at 11:29
  • @motosubatsu I haven't tried asking her as she is very conservative and she might find it offensive or rude. Commented Sep 26, 2018 at 11:43
  • @JoeStrazzere The concern is loud noises, as its affecting the work environment Commented Sep 26, 2018 at 11:51
  • 1
    If it is a health, the question is whether she is aware of it, and whether it is treatable. If she is already aware of it, there may not be much that she can do (although a change of diet might help). the first thing to do would seem to be to find out if she is aware of it, by - as others have said - making a gentle enquiry - if she is not aware that it is so frequent, she might actually be grateful.
    – Mawg
    Commented Sep 27, 2018 at 6:37
  • What do you expect her to do about it
    – Bwmat
    Commented Sep 27, 2018 at 7:03

2 Answers 2


Could it be a health issue? As this has started a week back only.

No-one (that I know of) decides to wake up one day and say "hey, I'm going to just start belching every few minutes for the fun of it!" Sounds very much like a health issue to me, and probably one that she's aware of and potentially embarrassed by.

If you must say anything to her, then be nice about it and ask if she's doing ok. If your issue is just the noise though, I'd try to take steps that don't involve bringing her into it, eg:

  • Wear noise cancelling headphones if you have any, and listen to music
  • Ask if you can work elsewhere, perhaps at another desk in the meantime

If these aren't feasible, then just take the issue to your manager and let her deal with it - part of her job is to make sure you have an effective working environment, so she can then address the situation as she sees fit.

  • 1
    Listening music or changing place might be a good solution, Hoping its a temp health issue and gets resolved. Commented Sep 26, 2018 at 12:42

Invite your coworker into a private space to discuss the problem. It's an embarrassing enough conversation by itself -- doing it in front of 20 people will probably make the burper feel mortified.

Lead the conversation with sensitive questions. For example, you could say, "Are you feeling okay? I've noticed you've been belching quite a bit lately and I'm wondering if you might be a little sick." You could add, "Did you know that I can hear it in my cubicle?"

Indicate gently, very gently, why it's a problem. Usually, your best bet is to start your sentences with "I" or keep the focus on yourself

  • 1
    Going private might be a good idea, She is very conservative as i said earlier. Iam still very confused as to ignore it as it might be temporary or actually talk to her. Commented Sep 26, 2018 at 12:46
  • 1
    Talk to a manager or to your HR if the conversation doesn't help or if tension worsens. Chances are, you're not the only one dealing with your coworker's unprofessional behavior and it should be addressed.
    – ringdings
    Commented Sep 26, 2018 at 12:56

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