When this employee is annoyed with her 'sensitive coworker', they ask Reddit:
Okay, so for context, I work in a fairly big office room with two other people. Our room is set up so that each of us is facing a different wall.
In order to see the other people and their workspace, you have to fully turn around. To see anything other than your own desk, you have to turn around fully.
One of the coworkers I share the room with is a new guy named Mark. He started about a month ago and has some sensory issues.
My other coworker, Jane, and I were not made aware of this when he started. We actually didn't know about it at all until about a week ago when Mark had an issue with another coworker.
We had another lady (from a different department) that sat in our office who played the radio. She talked to me and Jane throughout the day; she didn't talk to Mark as much.
One day when I was in the breakroom, Mark came up to me and told me he didn't like the radio playing - that he has a sensory issue and that it distracted him. I told him that I wear noise cancelling headphones, but if he told the other lady, I'm sure she would turn it down/off. End of convo.
But then I found out that afternoon that he had already complained several times to management about the radio and that my team lead had just been informed. She told me and this other lady that he also complained her talking, that it was distracting, and that she should be moved offices.
The next morning, he sat outside in the hall because he 'wouldn't be sitting in the room with us until [the other lady] was moved.' He also went into another office and complained to them about her.
The lady ended up being moved the next day, even though she turned off the radio when she found out about his complaints. Ironically, he turns around and talks to me a lot when I'm working. So... idk it's very hypocritical to me, actually lol.
In the same day, along with the no music rule, Jane told me that management doesn't want us to hang up decorations for Halloween now because Mark will get distracted by them. We're both upset about this.
Our office has a Halloween decorating contest, with prizes and team photos, and every other room gets to participate. It is ONLY our room that can't.
So. AITA if I hang up decorations around my desk anyway? For clarity, I wouldn't pick anything wild. I would just do some pumpkins or a couple ghosts - nothing that moves. And ONLY at my desk.
The worst I would consider are orange string lights hanging off my desk/computer, and not ones that blink either. I have epilepsy and although it's not the light-sensitive kind, I am empathetic to people that do have it. I get that people have sensitivities that they cannot control.
At the same time, I think it's a bit... absurd because he can't even see my desk. So yeah WIBTA? I don't really care if management gets mad. It's about the principle ig.
ESH. Management has told you not to decorate. That means don't, or take up the issue with them. Don't just do it anyway. They seem to be bending over backwards a bit for Mark, though. You absolutely should tell them that he keeps talking to you when you're working and it's distracting.
NTA. Mark has to learn to function in the world and, while reasonable accommodations can be made, he can’t go around expecting everyone around him to modify their behavior to suit him. That’s just selfish and rude.