I live across town from where I work, so I don’t often get to go home for lunch. And buying lunch gets too expensive over time. Most of the time, I bring lunch from home to save money.
We don’t have a lunch room, cafeteria or official eatery in our building. There is a restaurant on base, but getting in my car to go somewhere kind of defeats the purpose of bringing my own lunch. So almost every work day, I wind up eating lunch at my desk. And I have a co-worker who does the same.
And I have a problem with it.
I take care, when eating around others, to be as considerate with my noise as possible. I don’t slurp. I don’t chew with my mouth open. And I really do try not to scrape my teeth on my fork. My coworkers, one in particular, does not show this same respect.
He smacks, chews, bites, swallows, crunches slurps and scrapes without regard to anyone around him. It bugs the effin hell out of me. I mean, this is a pet peeve I’ve had as long as I can remember. And I don’t know how to tell the dude.
So, I cover up the noise as best I can with music. Working in the kind of office I do, I can’t listen to headphones, or else I would most definitely own a pair of those Bose noise cancelling muthas. But playing music aloud is fine. So that’s what I do.
There is a fine line you have to draw. You have to be picky about what kind of music you play and how loud you play it. At what level is the music loud enough to be enjoyable and still be in the background? At what level can I play the music to cover up my inconsiderate co-worker’s apple chomping?
A funny aside: As I type this he is right now opening a pack of snack crackers and smacking away to his delight.
There’s a balance. I tend to play progressive rock. Not just because I like it, but because the songs are really long, you can play them pretty loud because they’re mostly instrumental and even if other coworkers aren’t fond of the style of music, it’s not too offensive to their sensibilities.
Anyone else ever dealt with this or something like it? Do you use music to cover anything up? Let me know.