But enough of talk about employees... Yesterday my thoughts went to how different my misophonia experiences are now as a managing partner of an office versus years past when I was just another employee cog in a much larger corporate machine. It's not that my triggers have lessened (although perhaps being in a smaller office means that there are fewer people in my regular office environment surroundings who might create triggers). No, it's more that the situations where I am exposed to triggers puts me in situations where I'm less able to address them because of my position.
What do I mean by that? Well, as an employee surrounded by dozens of coworkers in cubicles, I found that if there was someone in an adjacent cubicle who regularly created triggers (such as whistling), usually I would be able to go up to that person and politely explain my misophonia and ask that person if (s)he could be so kind as to not create that trigger. If the situation became so bad that I was being triggered by multiple people around me, I was fortunate that the last two companies where I worked allowed me to move to another cubicle location - which usually helped.
In my current position when, at most, there are only two other people in the office (one of whom has a private office), the majority of my triggers occur outside of the office - when meeting with clients at their office or at a job site. It's a delicate situation to be sitting at a conference table with multiple clients who are clicking their pens or drumming their fingers on the table yet despite the torture, you can't afford to offend them. (It's even worse when it's a lunch meeting and everyone is eating crunchy potato chips out of crinkly bags). That's a more challenging situation than having to deal with triggers caused by fellow employees and more often than not I try to sit through the agony quietly - like I did for the many years before learning about misophonia. It's rare now that I reach for my earplugs, for fear that I'll miss something important during the meeting. No... With my current leadership position, I've found that I've had to go back to "toughing it out" over speaking my mind.
Of course I'm still fairly open about addressing my discomfort in public when I'm exposed to triggers, but when it comes to triggers caused by clients... I'm still at the point where, unless they know me very well, I hold my tongue and hope that that it winds up being an efficient meeting instead of a long, drawn out one.