DEAR ABBY: I have a co-worker I share an office with. We are cordial, but not friends. The problem is she chews gum most of the day with her mouth open, and occasionally pops it. The noises she makes are extremely disturbing and they disgust me. I have taken to wearing headphones and listening to music as often as possible to tune out her noises, but it feels a bit rude and isn't practical for all day. I'm on the verge of snapping at her. Is there a kind way I can alert her of the problem without disrupting our working relationship?
— ABOUT TO POP OFF
DEAR POP: Have a congenial chat with this co-worker and ask her to let you know when she's going to pop in a piece of gum so you can pop on your headphones. It beats popping your cork in frustration.