My group hired a new fella. Usually I'm involved in the hiring process but not in this case. We made a poor choice and hired someone who is noisy and disruptive via various bodily sounds. Snorting, gagging, sniffling, clearing throat. Constantly.

The entire cubicle area has brought this to our attention in addition to our own team members mentioning it.

To make matters potentially worse, he's going to be here a few weeks before being placed at a client. Projecting a terrible image of our group and company.

As a Sr. member of the team (not a manager) what should my approach to handling the situation be?

I need to help create a productive work environment and preserve the image of our group and company...and I can't snipe at our hiring process but I want to make sure I'm involved in it in each case. I cannot be left out because I happen to not be available at the scheduled time of interview.

  • 4
    What if this person has a chronic condition that causes this? Are you wanting to be a jerk to the person that has to deal with this 24/7?
    – JB King
    May 15, 2015 at 15:16
  • 3
    Have you talked privately (and compassionately) with the disruptive person? Maybe this is a temporary situation he's dealing with and he will be willing to take measures to reduce the disruption if he realizes what an issue it is. Many times the source of the issue can be pretty oblivious, so I would make sure they're aware there's a problem and that you understand the full nature of the problem before escalating too much.
    – ColleenV
    May 15, 2015 at 15:24
  • 8
    "Snorting, gagging, sniffling, clearing throat. Constantly." sounds like me during allergy season, I hope I'm not about to get fired.
    – cdkMoose
    May 15, 2015 at 15:57
  • 1
    It sounds like an allergic reaction. This is definitely the season (May) in the Northern Hemisphere that is terrible for hay fever. Leave a box of Claritin on his desk with a bow on it anonymously before you assume too much. May 15, 2015 at 15:58
  • 3
    Seems like you are suggesting that no candidate is acceptable without your seal of approval. So if you are out sick, interviews should be cancelled and no hiring can go on while you are on vacation?
    – cdkMoose
    May 15, 2015 at 16:05

1 Answer 1


Your question reminded me of a temp worker who was a worse slob, but did poor work. At the end of the day, he was not asked to return.

Is this person doing the work he was hired to do? Is it high-quality work on or before schedule? Is he helpful to other team members?

If this person is a quality worker who will go to client, then client might overlook it. At end of day people just want to be paid so they can go home and support their families.

Long ago, I knew one person who was quality worker and was intentionally making gross noises just so he could get separate cubicle away from others. From there, he was able to concentrate better and do better work.

All the best.

  • Quality of work remains to be seen. My fingers are crossed in the hope it is excellent.
    – Michael P
    May 15, 2015 at 17:54

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