Dental un-Hygienic

It’s been a long while since I’ve brought up this particular topic… for one thing, I’ve been gloriously out in the field for nearly two months (also the reason I’ve been pretty quiet in blogland and in blog-comment-land.  For another, talking about this makes me feel like a crazy person, and like I’m being nit-picky.

I already told you all about Crazy-pants.  He was cough-ying me, remember?  He isn’t anymore, though I’m also not coughing, so I don’t think that issue is entirely over-with.

A summary – Crazy-Pants is a strange, sad gremlin-man who works in the cubicle next to me.  He’s creepy in a “one day, he’ll come to work with a machete or a gun and start massacring people” kind fo way.  He’s probably already killing hookers, if his running commentary to himself is anything to go by.  He is particularly un-fond of me, which is why I have an escape-route plan, and leave a variety of heavy manuals within easy reach for defending myself.

His talking to himself (and creeping me out royally) has been curbed by a talk with my boss (a big part of why he doesn’t like me), and, like I said, I’m not coughing at the moment, so that issue is on hold.

Which, of course, means he needs a new outlet for his craziness.  He needs to let it leak out slowly, or he might explode in a terrifying gooey mess.  His craziness seems to now revolve around things that he can do that dance around the border of ‘harassing me severely enough that I can validly complain to my boss again but always on the side of it that would make me seem like the crazy one.”  That’s what I’m figuring the cough-y-ing was.  After all – “He’s coughing when I cough” is not a sane-person complaint.

A question for you all – where do you floss?  I don’t mean, “what part of your body do you floss” – I’m going to assume teeth, and I don’t want to hear any other alternatives.  But, in your teeth-flossing endeavors, where do you floss?  I’m a bathroom-at-home person, though my old roommate would do it while sitting in the comfort of our private living room, while watching tv sometimes.  I bet, though, that if you floss at work, you relocate to the washroom?  If not, you should.  Seriously.

Crazy-Pants flosses at his desk.  Which would be fine, if he were like my old roommate, who was both quiet and efficient at it.

I have never ever heard flossing that loud before.  He produces these awful wet *TING!* noises for every single pass he makes with floss.  It makes the skin of my lower back attempt to crawl up to cover my ears.  And he spits.  I’m assuming it’s a case of spitting out whatever it is he flossed.  But, given my past knowledge of Crazy-Pants… I really doubt he’s spitting into a kleenex or a garbage can or something.

Now the explanation of why I am sure that this is some kind of harassment tactic.  I leave.  I realise that flossing noises shouldn’t activate my gag reflex, but his seriously bother me.  So I leave.  I walk down to the washroom on one side of the building, wash my hands long enough to be fully ready to scrub in on surgery.  I walk to the other side of the building, past my desk, and make myself a tea.  I wait in the cafeteria for my tea to be adequately steeped (3ish minutes) before removing the bag, and doctoring my tea.  I stir it while I’m there, too.  And, if anyone is in the cafeteria to talk to, I do.  I shoot the breeze, catch up on the details of their children, car troubles, life in general.  And then I go back, with at least 15 minutes having past.

And Crazy Pants starts flossing again.  By that time in a professional teeth-cleaning, my dental hygienist would likely be shining my teeth or asking me to wait while she goes to find the dentist.

Is this all in my head?  I won’t be upset if you think I’m crazy.

Also, even if I am crazy for being bothered – do you agree that flossing at work should be kept in the washroom?



  1. The guy does sound nuts. I’d buy earplugs. 🙂

    • I’ve got sound-damping earbuds, and I turn on music… not the least distracting work-environment, but I get more done than I do while in the cafeteria 😛

  2. You’re crazy.
    XD Just kidding, I’ve heard this enough from you that It has to be an issue, though it’s new hearing that you leave for that long 😀
    I’m serious though, get him toothpicks and leave them on his desk or something. Maybe on one of your walks stay quietly nearby, but hidden from all (and with escape route), and then chuck it over his cubicle wall like a grenade.
    Toothpicks are cheap.
    I also suggest a lot of body armour… not like for sports, I’m talking bullet proof vest kind of armour. Bullet-proof vests would probably help with machetes as well.
    Also write it all down… time and place Lexy, so that later you can be like “SEE?!?! FIFTEEN MINUTES! I wasn’t imagining it!”
    They won’t think you’re crazy, I swear 😀

    • 😛 yeah, well, i’m not sure if kevlar falls under the ‘business casual’ dress-code or not. do you think it comes in pinstripe?

  3. I felll off the chair laughing at “he’s probably killing hookers…”….. I’ll have to read the rest of the post once I change my pants….. 🙂

    • the guy has some serious issues with the ladies of the night, if his talking-to-himself is anything to go by. lots of ‘kill you prostitute’ sunniness. Pretty Woman would have turned out a whole lot differently if he had anything to say about it.

  4. This sounds like a Seinfeld episode! LOL I feel for your situation. Maybe you should make a tape recording of his “harassment” that somehow finds its way onto your boss’s desk. The only thing worse than a crazy is a crazy who’s smart enough to turn the tables on you like this guy is doing so you can’t complain or it backfires on you. I agree with Doodled – invest in body armor.

    And no one should floss outside the bathroom, that’s disgusting.

    • the tape recording idea is intriguing… i’d just have to get the right equipment to pick up the noise.
      And yeah, he’s smart enough to really screw with my head and make my workplace less than happy. blah.

  5. I’m hanging my head as I type. I pick my teeth, wherever and whenever. I have a thing about food in my teeth and I have a little roto-pick that is always close by, after I eat I pick my teeth… my desk.

    In my defense, I do sit alone and share office space with no-one, but that wouldn’t stop me.

    At home I floss my teeth wherever I happen to be at the moment.

    All that being said however, if I did share office space with someone I’d like to believe I would be considerate and not pick/floss with them around.

    As for Mr. Crazypants, I don’t know what to tell you to do about it, except write everything down, sooner or later those types of people tend to hang themselves given enough rope. And I don’t mean literally!!

    • I forgive you because you work alone and have no near-by neighbours. And in the privacy of one’s own home… it is one’s own business where they floss. If he didn’t have near-neighbours wiht thin cubicle walls, this post woudln’t be written at all. Also, he’s super loud at it. I have no problem with quiet-flossing… but the guy sounds almost like he’s plucking the string on the most irritating violin on earth. Picture going to an elementary school xmas concert – the standard pluck-string-song… only entirely in discord, with spitting and wet noises.
      I really hope he gets enough rope soon! All I want for xmas is an empty cubicle on that side of me!

  6. My mom flosses in public and she is LOUD about it. No subtle, sneaky flossing. No, with each tooth she’s pretty much announcing to the masses “Hey, ya’ll. I got crap in my teeth. And I aim to get it.”

    • … maybe it’s because I like your mom, from your stories and from her guest post on your blog… so I’m going to let that fly. Also maybe because she lives far far away 😛
      If she moves into the cubicle on the other side of me, though, i’m leaving.

  7. Yuck. Yuck. And, did I mention…yuck? This is SO obviously him passive/agressively trying to bait you. Your cube-neighbor is a diabolical genius! Sick and mean, but a genius because if you complain about it, YOU will sound like a loon.

    • he is certainly diabolical. And maybe a genius in the baiting me and irritating me department.
      The most I’ve been able to do about hte situation is comment to my boss that it’s really unhygienic, with the spitting and the hands-in-mouth-and-then-touching-things, in a vaguely germophobic manner. He might think i’m a germophobe, but apparently isn’t worried about it enough to tell the guy to stop, unfortunately. Maybe if i start spraying bleach everywhere and wearing a mask 😛

  8. I saw a guy standing at the bus stop flossing once. I have also been guilty once or twice of sticking my hand in my mouth to eject food from the gap in my teeth. However, in both cases the offender (bus stop man) and me did not make a production out of it. I have never “heard” flossing either. Also, the fact that he is flossing when you get back also seems kind of “in yo face”. I mean, you probably sit there for 3 to 5 minutes before you are disgusted enough to leave. Then you spend 15 minutes busying yourself. Then it probably takes 2 or 3 minutes when you get back to realize he is still doing it. I mean seriously? Who flosses for 25 minutes?

    • I am no less guilty of picking at my teeth… but yeah, I’d like to think I’m quiet and efficient at it. It takes less time to get a thorough teeth-cleaning at the dentists’, it would seem, than it takes for Mr. crazypants to achieve dental cleanliness.

  9. Have you asked him to stop doing it at his desk? If so, you could bring it to the boss not to say “I feel harassed” but to say “I am too distracted by this noise to work efficiently, and I want to work efficiently.” Maybe a cubicle move is in order for one of you.

    • I’m currently in a ‘zero interaction with him’ type situation. And, while I’ve played the “i’m too distracted” card with my boss, he hasn’t apparently done anything to stop this issue from occuring. This is also the cubicle I moved into in order to avoid the creepy creepy stares of Mr. Crazypants, who I wold often catch sitting at his desk just watching me and giggling or muttering to himself. A huge improvement just having to hear him, but yeah, it’s still driving me a bit nuts.

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