Crunchtime at work

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - An­nie Lane

I am a 25-year-old woman work­ing at a small com­pany with an open floor plan in a nice, spa­cious of­fice.

I sit near “Sarah,” who seems ir­ri­ta­ble about a lot of things, in­clud­ing the sound of eat­ing or drink­ing. Be­cause of my fast me­tab­o­lism and ac­tive life­style, I need to snack every hour or two.

At first, Sarah would put on her head­phones, start blast­ing mu­sic and sigh loudly when I started eat­ing — even if it was some­thing quiet, such as a ba­nana. She does the same when an­other co-worker drinks soda. When it be­came an ob­vi­ous pat­tern, I pri­vately asked a few co­work­ers (with­out men­tion­ing Sarah) whether my fre­quent eat­ing both­ers them. They all told me it doesn’t bother them. Af­ter all, we all snack at our desks, in­clud­ing Sarah.

To­day Sarah got closer to be­ing openly hos­tile, giv­ing me a death stare every time I bit a car­rot stick. I didn’t re­act, but I’m start­ing to get un­com­fort­able. I would eat only on break and lunch if that were enough time, but it isn’t.

Should I just ig­nore Sarah’s hos­tile at­ti­tude to­ward me? Should I care­fully ask her about what’s both­er­ing her or go through a su­per­vi­sor? We don’t have hu­man re­sources.

— Girl Who’s Gotta Eat

The more time I spend writ­ing about this sort of topic and hear­ing from read­ers the more I re­al­ize there are two types of peo­ple in the world: those who can usu­ally tune out back­ground noise and those whose blood pres­sure starts ris­ing the minute they hear some­one open­ing a bag of chips. I’m guess­ing Sarah is in the lat­ter camp.

The next time you start snack­ing and Sarah starts glar­ing, be di­rect. Ask her whether your eat­ing is both­er­ing her. Then ex­plain what you told me — that you have a high me­tab­o­lism and need to eat snacks through­out the day — and say you’d like to com­pro­mise and fig­ure out a way for you to work near each other in har­mony.

It’s al­ways bet­ter to clear the air — es­pe­cially when you con­sider how much car­bon diox­ide Sarah’s let­ting out with all those ex­ag­ger­ated sighs.

This is in re­sponse to the cou­ple who have been mar­ried for one year and have the “too hot/too cold” prob­lem when sleep­ing.

My hus­band and I have been mar­ried for 32 years. We had the prob­lem that he likes it hot and I like it cold. Many years ago, I bought a mat­tress pad that has dual heat­ing el­e­ments. My hus­band sleeps with it on high every night. When we had a king­size mat­tress, I could feel some of the heat. About 10 years ago, we needed a new mat­tress. We were liv­ing in a two-story condo, and they couldn’t get a king-size up the stairs be­cause there was a turn in the stair­way. So we got two twin beds and pushed them to­gether. The only dif­fer­ence I have no­ticed is that I no longer can feel the heat from his side of the bed. Hur­ray! We have a heav­ier com­forter, and if I feel warm, I just throw it off me. My hus­band sleeps with it al­most cov­er­ing his head.

— Sleep­ing Like Ba­bies

It’s al­ways bet­ter to clear the air — es­pe­cially when you con­sider how much car­bon diox­ide Sarah’s let­ting out with all those ex­ag­ger­ated sighs.

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