This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Friday, August 07, 2009

The Hacker

My next-door-office-neighbor has a very bad coughing problem. He coughs for hours on end. And this is not just a 'cough-cough' kind of cough. No. The cough he delivers is full of phlegm. And then he hacks a lugy, on top of coughing phlegmy stuff.

And he does this for hours. And loudly. I have to really find my 'zone' and tune it out. If not, I will be throwing up with disgust. It is ultimately one of the most disgusting things that someone could do in an office environment.

One other thing I can think of that's disgusting: clipping your nails at work. I also had the privilege of having an office mate that did this. His clippings would sometimes hit me. N----I----C----E.

Anyway, the hacker can be heard throughout the hallways of the floor I am on. I have had IMs sent to me with "How can you stand that?" "Why doesn't his manager say something to him?" or "YUCK!"

He doesn't seem to be a bad person. I have heard rumors that he can't stand loud noises. Interestingly ironic, I think.

Generally, I keep my door closed because his neighbor's neighbor (the other side of his office) is really LOUD. But that stuff doesn't entirely bother me. It can be interesting to hear her bitching about work but it wasn't too long ago that my heart actually ached because she had lost her husband and she would talk about the things she was doing (getting his funeral ready, cleaning up his clothes, etc.) and she would cry. And she would continue to talk while she cried. And it would rip me apart hearing her.

And the oddity was she would be talking to The Hacker, who would say nothing or say something that I couldn't hear. So maybe he needed to cough the words of sentiment to her.

But he is strange.

One day, as I was prodding along, typing out stuff: e-mails, documents, whatever, he stood outside of my door. Just standing there. And I sensed a presence. So I turned and he was just staring at me and then he said: you sure are a loud typist. I laughed and said "Yeah, and I'm fast too...I should win an olympic medal for how fast I am". And he laughed and walked away. But I think he was seriously trying to tell me that I was too noisy for him. MORE IRONY.

Today I heard him dialing into a conference call. He likes to not only cough loudly, but he likes to play anything on his computer loudly, or have his speakerphone on really loud.

So I heard the automated voice come on "Welcome to the conference center...please enter your conference code, followed by the pound sign". I heard him punching in numbers on the phone and then I heard him yell "SHUT UP!!!"

So this is when I paid attention. Everything else was background noise until I heard him yell. My thought was: Is he yelling at the automated voice on the phone? No way!

Yes way.

I then heard him tell the phone "I haven't pressed the POUND SIGN!"

And then a few more mumbles before he hung up and re-dialed in. At this point I heard him, not yell, but sternly say "you piece of shit".

Hmmm...talking to an inanimate object. That can't be good.

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