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I have a colleague who loudly slaps his bare skin pretty much constantly and regularly makes loud, bizarre noises. I believe this is something to do with OCD, and it wasn't a problem until recently, as he used to sit a fair distance away from me.

There's been a recent desk move and now he's close enough to be distracting - and it's impacting my ability to concentrate. I've spoken to him previously about it and I honestly don't think it's under his control, but I also feel extremely bad going to management about it. That being said, I need to be able to concentrate on what I'm doing (and headphones aren't an option, I pair program a lot).

What's the best option in this situation?

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    What did he tell you when you confronted him about it?
    – sf02
    Aug 15, 2019 at 16:02
  • That he feels like something awful will happen if he doesn't do it - hence my assumption it's something like OCD Aug 15, 2019 at 16:06
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    My recommendation: Address it with management, but give it 3 or 4 weeks. You'd be amazed at what you can get used to. Unless you were in the military, and then it wouldn't surprise you at all as to what you can get used to. Aug 15, 2019 at 16:10

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it wasn't a problem until recently, as he used to sit a fair distance away from me.

What's the best option in this situation?

Ask management if you can move your desk a fair distance away, so you are back to the situation where it wasn't a problem for you.

That's the simplest solution to your problem.

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