I feel horrible because I know my coworker can't help it, but I'm going crazy... I think he has a hearing problem so I am uncomfortable saying anything to him. Sometimes he burps loudly, but I'm not sure if he really knows how loud it is... He violently shakes his legs and our desks are right next to each other. If he has some sort of condition, the last thing I want to do is say anything, but how do I go about telling my boss that I would like to be moved away from him? It is horribly distracting and it makes me want to pull my hair out.

  • 2
    Have you tried talking to him about it? A simple "Hey bro, your burps are hella gnarly" (please don't say it like that) "could you chill back on the baked beans and mountain dews?" are pretty simple. He may not know he is even doing it. Interpersonal tact comes into play here, and if he keeps being a gross/nervous human being then move desks - no need to involve HR as I am sure someone may mention. Commented Sep 9, 2016 at 18:19
  • 1
    I would love to, but the guy has some sort of disability and it would make me feel like a total jerk. Also, we have no friendly work relationship whatsoever. It's literally a "Hi, see ya" type of deal.
    – TTR
    Commented Sep 9, 2016 at 18:24
  • 3
    Seems pretty simple: Start with, "Hey boss, I need to be moved to a different desk. Bob is incredibly distracting." Then see where the conversation goes from there.
    – NotMe
    Commented Sep 9, 2016 at 20:49
  • As a 'leg jiggler', I don't even know that I'm doing it most of the time. I can consciously suppress it for a while, but eventually it will come back. I've worked in offices with floating floors, and that can be difficult, but usually a polite polite word and an occasional "you're doing it again" (with a smile) was enough to get me to stop. Although usually associated with autism, disability, or a neurological disorder, stimming is common among neurotypicals too, so it's worth reading up on it. As my autistic friends say, please be aware and accepting.
    – Mark Booth
    Commented Apr 11, 2018 at 11:34


Browse other questions tagged .