There Is Nothing More Annoying Than The Way Other People Sneeze

Or cough, or chew, or…

Bev Potter
3 min readSep 29


Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

I’m sick. Not deathly ill, just “under the weather” as they say.

And now that I think about it, what does that even mean? Weather comes from the sky, so isn’t everybody “under the weather” all the time? (No, I’m not going to Google it.)

Anyway, an attorney here at the office refuses to keep a box of tissues on his desk. Instead, every time he needs to blow his nose, he comes out into the waiting room, grabs a tissue, and then blows his nose next to my sliding glass window.

Since he’s actively ill right now, he’s making several trips an hour.

It’s fucking bizarre and it’s bugging the fuck out of me.

Yes, please, blow your nose in the public space so that everyone can partake of your effluvium.

I guess it’s part of the general lack of concern that everybody has for anybody else anymore. And he’s a Democrat, so I can’t blame his politics. He’s just an inconsiderate, self-centered POS.

My boss sneezes like a cartoon character. I can’t decide if he does it on purpose or if it’s just the way he sneezes. It’s incredibly forceful and I envision his lips flapping like one of Snow White’s dwarves. Each sneeze blankets a radius of five feet, easy.

I, of course, have a delicate, lady-like sneeze. It’s hard to gauge your own sneeze, just like you don’t really know how your voice sounds until you hear yourself on a recording.

I guess I should record myself sneezing, but I’m afraid I’ll find out I don’t actually sound like a Victorian gentlewoman dabbing her pert nose with a silk kerchief. I’m probably more Ernest Borgnine with a head cold.

The other secretary just sneezed four times in a row. I’ve never been up for that sort of Olympic endurance sneezing. Two is my maximum sneeze capacity.

Everyone comes to work when they’re sick because they either don’t have any more days off, or because they think they’re so important that the workplace can’t possibly function without them.

That’s what the attorney thinks. Even though he has nothing to do and his secretary watches TV on her computer all day long.

Nice work if you can get it.

My boss also eats with his fork jammed into his fist like a toddler. He never gets a paper towel or a napkin before he sits down to eat at his desk, so his keyboard is literally crusty.

Hershey is a messy eater, but since she’s a dog, I think it’s cute. She likes to get a mouthful of food as she passes by and then take it to her bed, spit it out, and eat it off the floor.

She didn’t learn that from me. I might be in bed, but I still use a plate. Most of the time.



Bev Potter

Legal secretary by day, insomniac by night. Ally. BA, MA. Humor, pop culture, and things that make you think. My weekly-ish newsletter is