Social Etiquette and Good Manners/distracting throat clearing

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Question
my co-worker does this every 15 seconds or so. i'm pretty sure it is intentional because a) she doesn't do it in meetings or when she's very busy or when people stop by for a conversation b) the sound is very fake (ahh-humm!).

i have always thought this is considered rude behavior, just as talking loudly in a shared work environment would be rude. am i wrong?

also, even if she has a health issue causing this (which i doubt is the case), isn't it incumbent on her to excuse herself and do this in the ladies room, or get medicine or something?

Answer
I had to give this some serious thought, I've been pondering it for several days, because this is really a sticky situation in today's politically correct society.  Here's what I came up with.

If it is an unconscious habit, then it's simply obnoxious.  However, if it happens to be a medical condition, then you're pretty much out of luck because the ADA might consider this as a disability and then you are either going to have to live with it or change jobs.

Here's what I would do:  As her this: Have you seen a doctor for whatever is causing you to be constantly clearing your throat? You will need to appear concerned and solicitous of her health when you do this. It might wake her up to an unconscious habit and she might stop. If she denies a medical condition and does not stop then your attempt to tactfully resolve it is for nothing.  If it doesn't stop you will have to take further action.  Ask your supervisor if you can move your office/workspace as you think she is "suffering from a possibly contagious malady" that you don't wish to contract.  Again, approach this as a MEDICAL concern as it will make you appear to be a concerned co-worker/friend instead of someone who is being driven crazy by this obnoxious habit. If you get moved, great. If not you may need to change jobs.

Social Etiquette and Good Manners

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