After 783 continuous workdays in which he coughed and sniffled every 15 seconds, the guy in the cubicle next to you is confident that he has finally combated the lingering nasal drip and will finally cease making an annoying noises—after just one more sniffle.
“It’s been a tough project that never seemed to end,” said Fred Grant, the sniffler’s manager. “We’re happy that we’re finally going to put a bow on it.”
Some of the guy’s coworkers are doubtful.
“I mean,” accountant Suzanne Johns said, “it’s been going on for three years. What makes him think this time is different?”
Jane Clark agreed. “I asked him if he were sick, and he didn’t seem to understand the question. He just sniffles and clears his throat all the time. It’s what he does.”
Marketing manager Tyrone Kissling was visibly upset. “I thought he was done one time when I hadn’t heard him for three minutes, but then I just realized that he had gone to a meeting and was coughing and hacking there instead.”
The constant disruptions go unnoticed by some in the office, but for others it can be excruciating.
“I have misophonia,” designer Darren Lydell said, “which means each sniffle and cough is like an electronic shock. I have to listen to classical music to drown it out and drink a half-bottle of Jack Daniels every morning to cope.”
When asked how he felt about his upcoming milestone, the sniffler just shrugged. “I’m sure I’ll find something else to keep annoying people. That’s what I’m here for.”