The sound of my coworker typing is driving me crazy. I'm not permitted to wear headphones. How can I deal with the noise?
I work in a cubicle, and my neighbor in the next cube is a loud typer. She types for 30 or 40 minutes at a stretch, at what sounds like 80 words per minute, for most of the day. Due to the configuration of our cubes, her keyboard is less than two feet from my head (albeit on the other side of a cube wall), and there's no way to rearrange either of our seating areas.
I have already been explicitly told that headphones are not permitted (my boss thinks they're unprofessional). Lately I've been wearing earplugs, but those don't cover the sound, and it's a fair bet my boss will reject those too once she sees me wearing them. I'm allowed to play music at my desk, but since I can't play it loud enough to completely mask the sound of the loud typing, the additional noise only makes the situation worse.
I suspect I have something like misophonia
, as I've had an extreme aversion to typing noises (sometimes even my own!) in the past. But lately the sound makes me so tense that I am literally in physical pain at the end of the day, and my productivity is terrible because I'm so distracted by the noise.
1. What can I do NOW to mask or mitigate the noise?
2. Is misophonia a real diagnosis? When I see a doctor for my depression and--you guessed it!--anxiety, should I address this? Would wearing headphones be a possible ADA accommodation for depression and/or anxiety?
3. What is the best way to address this with my boss and perhaps request to wear headphones even though they're forbidden? I've only been at this job a couple of months, so I'm wary of rocking the boat too much.