Gum Chewing Boss

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a boss who chews and pops her gum:

Help! My boss chews and pops her gum worse than a teenager. If she were my child, I would have had that gum in the trashcan before the second pop! What can I do? The most annoying thing is when she stands behind me chewing and smacking in my ear. It is like fingers on a chalkboard. I have put my iPod on and taken to wearing earplugs, but this is so unprofessional.

Signed, Annoyed!

Dear Annoyed!:

You are annoyed! It is enough to drive you up the wall. Fortunately you’ve found ways to shut the gum popping out of your ears but not out of your mind. What can you do? Continue to fume inside or kindly but firmly tell your boss that it really bothers you, especially when she chews and pops near you. Sure it is the kind of thing you would have stopped if she were your child, but she isn’t rather she is your boss.

Therefore, you must decide whether to bite your tongue or to assert your self. I predict that if you can speak to her in a hushed tone, but kindly that she will try to respect your complaint. It might be necessary to remind her later. Habits do not change easily. Can you do all of this in good humor? Remember that we earn the right to speak frankly when we are individuals of good character, good sense, and good will. If you take the time to scan the thousands of Q&As we have posted, you will be happy that your annoyance is small in comparison to the serious problems that others send us about their bosses. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS, and that is really what you want; a workplace that is boss-bossed friendly and a place that does good while doing well.

William Gorden