I work in an office environment where silence, if not paramount, is very important for the quality of work. Academic editing requires a lot of concentration and can be taxing. So, editors need a release too. In such an environment, the time and method of release chosen by a particular person might conflict with the work of others working nearby. It can be annoying if a person a group constantly creates a lot of noise, especially laughter and/or giggling.
My office unfortunately has such a group of people who, despite repeated warnings, carry on laughing loud and giggling. During these episodes, they fail to control the decibel levels of their conversations too. To avoid getting distracted, you could possibly listen to music. But when you are trying to read sentences aloud in your mind to try and understand and edit them, music is also a hindrance sometimes. There is no other way but hope that these people would stop and realize others are getting affected by it.
I tried to talk to a member of this group and let that person know what exactly the issue is. One day, in the evening, the person appeared to be apologetic and promised to be careful in the future. The very next day, after repetition of the same unruly behavior, and after it was pointed out, the same person was aggressive and rude. The ego was offended and exploded like a volcano. The person started pointing out other groups of people having small conversations in the office and went on to insist that I was being biased against him/her.
I tried to tell the person that I have features of adult ADD and I am particularly sensitive to noise and get distracted very easily. Even that backfired. I was told that I am trying to hide behind the façade of ‘mental conditions’ and I wanted everyone to work in a way that I wanted them to. Eventually, I ended up being called a ‘hypocrite’ for being only sensitive to the noise created by a particular group. I decided that it was best to end the conversation at that.
What would you have done in the same situation?