Skip to comments.Sure, Hold Your Nose, But Colleagues Odors Pose Serious Problem
Posted on 07/21/2004 9:16:51 AM PDT by BluegrassScholar
Larry Isaacson's nose is so sensitive to perfume that he gets woozy, loses his appetite and can develop an itchy rash that blooms behind his ears when he is exposed to it.
So when a colleague recently slathered on perfume that emanated well beyond her personal space, Mr. Isaacson found himself employing his usual tactics. They include avoidance, which means standing several feet away from the cloud and holding his breath until it passes. If trapped in close proximity for an extended time, he breathes through his mouth. And his most passive tactic, which sometimes works best: waiting for someone else to go through the embarrassment of notifying the offender.
This time he also held an impromptu meeting in the kitchen with several sympathetic colleagues and tried to brainstorm some smell strategies for the future, including screening smelly people during the interview process.
"It should be treated like smoking," he argues. "There should be signs."
Perfume isn't the only second-hand smell that harms indoor air quality. Any body odors strong enough to spread beyond their perpetrators' cubicles are bound to upset colleagues. Unfortunately, options for dealing with them are awkward. It isn't simply that no one wants to hurt a colleague's feelings. It's also the knowledge that you will see the offender -- and he or she will see you -- forever, and neither of you will be able to forget the torturous conversation. As a result, many people just frown and bear the discomfort, forced into one of the office's countless endurance tests.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
Here we go!!!!!!
Once, a new co-worker was eating a burger for lunch, and a piece of onion fell into his shirt pocket, undetected. It stayed in his pocket all day, and--warmed by his body heat--began to smell just like B.O. This guy was VERY nice and VERY put together and well-groomed, and the secretaries in the office were torturing themselves about whether they should mention it or not, when he came out of his office red-faced with the piece of onion in his hand to confess to all that he was wondering to himself why he stunk so bad.
Otherwise, I haven't really had a problem with smelly co-workers--but try going to the public library.......
I once cared for a man with asbestosis who couldn't tolerate any perfume smell on any of his nurses...you couldn't wear scented deoderant or lotion. Really made me aware as a novice nurse...I remained careful of this throughout my entire career.
In the office-type cube-city workplaces, I would think common courtesy would prevail, but alas...
something here doesnt' pass the smell test...
Try working with these guys.
I'd MUCH rather have perfumed or smoking colleagues than unwashed/sweaty/farting co-workers.
My first roommate weighed in at 300+ pounds. Who cares, right? I didn't... until I found out that at that weight, she made the room smell like one giant walking armpit. Sure she showered regularly but she really needed to shower 4 times a day to keep up with the stink. Very pleasant--NOT!
Boy! What a bunch of "girley men." geeeeeesh
What the 'ell are being raised today? People are just too damn sensitive when out and about with other people that DO live on this earth as well!!!
What kills me is nail polish remover, for some reason. That stuff is pure poison. Once some woman sitting near me on a plane decided to "do" her nails and I thought I was a goner -- my lungs felt like they were on fire.
Ping for later read!
I worked with a smelly guy, Big, fat, sweaty, massive B.O... We tried verything subtle to get the point across, such as leaving anti-perspirant/deodorant in his cubicle when he was gone etc... Nothing worked, and he never got the hint. I always dreaded having him in my cubicle when we were working on stuff together... Finaly, I couldn't stand it any longer.
I just took to walking into his cubicle to say "Hi! How's it going?" whenever I needed to break wind...
I have a co-worker from India who eats a great deal of cumin. As well as curry, of course. I don't think he's discovered anti-perspirant, or else he is too cheap to purchase it. So anywhere he is begins to take on this curry stink, and when he gets excited he starts to exude it from his pores. It's really quite nauseating. His wife works with us too and she slathers on the Impulse Body Spray like it's going out of style. I'm surprised he lets her use so much because I doubt he would want to be asked to let her purchase it more than once a year or so. That $3.99 will break the bank dont'cha know. Once he said she's always wanting new clothes. For Pete's sake he had just let her buy a new dress not 18 months before.
A little constructive dieting can give you a very powerful self-defense shield with which to drive away annoying yuppies babbling into their cell phones next to your desk and almost any other type of human annoyance.
I vote with you, except in the cases of co-workers that deliberately wait to pass gas until the elevator doors shut.
I worked with a guy like that, he was a nice guy in every other way once you learned to not get on the elevator with him. He used to come into the office chuckling, "Boy, they really climbed the elevator walls this time!"
When I was preganant, smells really got to me. During the first one, there was a guy in the shop who took "Elvis showers" He had walked into my space, and when the colone hit me I thought I was going to die. When he saw me pale, he got closer, all concerned, Are you OK?.... ack!!
I ran passed him into the bathroom, and did just what I thought I was going to do :)
Everyone in the shop was so mad at him for making me sick, and he was so sorry. He never did it again, and several people there learned a valuble lesson in the "over-cologne" department.
Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy..............
Sorry, but after spending half of my working life underground and the next half negotiating (on behalf of the company) working conditions among other things, this seems absurd and part of another reality to me.
Try being a manager who has to talk with an employee about their perfume/body-odor!
Did we work together? That sounds like me ;0)
I worked in a warehouse once pushing a dolly and pulling boxes from the maze of asiles. There were a dozen of us doing this when a new guy was hired. He was a country pumpkin who smelled like he hadn't had a bath in months.
We could tell from his lingering odor what asiles he had been on 5 minutes after he had left them.
We complained to the management enmass and the supervisor called him and and told him to take a bath before coming into work the next day. He never showed up.
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