Today was an extremely rough day for me, misophonia trigger-wise. This time of year sales representatives and manufacturers always send yummy food baskets. At past firms where I've worked, these goodies are put in a common area - like the break room or samples library. Unfortunately for me, the most common area for my department happens to be a peninsula separating my desk from my cubicle mate's.
Today, we received a very popular holiday gift - a cheese, sausage, and crackers basket. I was very happy when it was first opened, since I have a culinary weakness for cheese. Today though, it was my trigger downfall. It was bad enough to have a crowd of people munching and gabbing right behind my chair as I was trying to work, not to mention the crunching sounds of crackers, pretzels, and crinkling food wrappers too, but I could feel the vibrations of people cutting food and knocking against the peninsula - which is directly attached to my desk. I blasted my earbud music louder than I've ever done at this place, but the vibrations traveling through the desk surface to my arms were just as annoying. I felt like I was going to explode... Worse than I've felt in a long time.
My heart raced as I struggled trying to figure out how I could deal with this overwhelming trigger stress. As much as I wanted to walk away and calm my nerves, that food basket would still be there - bringing more people looking for a snack.
After my supervisor stopped for a little nosh, I walked with him back to his desk to ask if there is any possibility for switching desks in the future. I was very apprehensive about doing so - especially since my nerves were so frayed at that moment. Looking back, I should've probably waited until I was calmer - but when is there ever a good time to bring something like that up. I wish I remembered what I said (again... I was overwhelmed with stress), but his reaction reminded me of all the times I've cautioned people to have a game plan for how to make your work environment more comfortable. He asked me where do I want to go? (My mind was a blank b/c I only went to him to gauge if moving was even possible.) When I couldn't answer him, he said, "Don't come to me with problems. Come with solutions!" (Doh! I felt like such an idiot.)
So, I went back to my desk mortified and cranked up my earbuds. After more vibrations from snackers bumping the table again, I asked one of the interior designers if they had any plush/padded fabric samples I could put on my desk to dampen my feeling the vibrations. Luckily for me, she knew of a product and requested two samples from the manufacturer for me to put under my arms while working. Hopefully, that could be one problem solved... (Fingers crossed!)