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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 '19 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 – pyramidicshallot Aug 15 '19 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. – Wesley Long Aug 15 '19 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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