I'm an engineer, my work consists mostly of silent coding and testing.
My office is a room in a shared office space, and my room is adjacent to a meeting room of a consulting company. On most days, the meeting room is not used, at least currently. About 2-3 times per month, people from the consulting firm meet in the meeting room with people from other companies.
On such a day, a guy from the consulting firm comes to my office about every time he passes my door and apologizes for the noise and disruption this meeting is going to cause to me:
- "I'm really sorry, but we have people from other companies here today, we will meet in the meeting room and it will disturb you"
- "Sorry, but it's another meeting day"
- "Sorry for the noise, I hope you are still able to work"
- "Today we have to disrupt your peace again, I'm very sorry for that"
- "Maybe you want to close the door today, people are coming over, and we don't want to disturb you"
Note that the "noise" he means is just some minutes of people arriving, people making coffee, people talking in the hall, until the meeting begins behind closed door. Once the meeting has started, there isn't any noise, except maybe from time to time someone going to the toilet or fetching a cup of coffee. This is in absolutely no way disrupting me, and if it was, I would just close the door.
When I write this here, his comments may sound sarcastic, as if the colleague is saying it to taunt me. However, judging by the colleagues character, this is practically impossible. He is a very quiet, earnest guy, a bit shy, many people would consider him a bit boring. IMO it's quite impossible he means it in another way than an honest apology.
I always answer the same thing: No it isn't disturbing me. Absolutely no problem, you don't have to apologize.
In a way, his apologies are annoying me more than the actual noise. How can I tell him that? How can I make him stop apologizing without being rude?