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Perfume at work
Posted by: shiva_shakti
Date: October 02, 2006 11:40AM
hello there gang:

first, let me say that I am a woman and I like to smell good as much as anyone. that said, there is a person that occupies the office next to mine that wears so much perfume, you can still smell it after several minutes of her having walked down the hall. what bothers me about it is that it gives me headaches.

generally I can be pretty diplomatic when it comes to communicating with people but in this instance, I don't know if should say something to her (she is not a co-worker of mine and I don't know her very well, having only been her neighbor for several weeks) or keep my door closed (which would appear a bit anti-social given that everyone keeps their doors open). this seems like such a personal issue, I am tending towards the latter... I am a bit at a loss and would appreciate any suggestions.

thanks!
shiva



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/02/2006 11:40AM by shiva_shakti.
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Re: Perfume at work
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: October 02, 2006 12:01PM
It's a 'miss manners' issue- usually a direct approach saying " I have a mild allergy to scent, and was wondering if you might tone it down' . this gives the stinker an 'out' and the stinkee a little fib. I would not take the approach of yelling "Jeezuz, where the heck is the Musk Ox ?" in the hall.

Scent is like smoke or noise. You wouldn't hesitate to ask someone pulling on a big stogie to take it outside, or someone listening to *music* really loud to turn it down, would you ? Then why should you hesitate about this ?
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Re: Perfume at work
Posted by: BigGuynRusty
Date: October 02, 2006 12:09PM
I worked in a building where I had to visit the documentation department at least twice a day, it was all very nice workers, all women, about 25 total. A salesperson moved into their area, the place began to absolutely reek, my allergies began to kick in everytime I made a visit to that area, felt like ants were marching inside my sinus. After about six weeks, I could not get an answer from HR about what to do, I just went to her office and talked to her, no problems after that, she cut her perfume usage way down,
Funny thing, at a sales meeting about six months later, she thanked me, she said that food tastes much better now!

BGnR



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Re: Perfume at work
Posted by: shiva_shakti
Date: October 02, 2006 12:38PM
thank you both! cbelt - your 'musk ox' comment made me laugh outloud.

good points!

shiva
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Re: Perfume at work
Posted by: $tevie
Date: October 02, 2006 12:58PM
People who use the same fragrance all the time begin to get used to it, and start to put on more because they can't smell it any longer, and then they can't smell that amount so they put on even more, and after a while they are absolutely pouring it on. It's like when you go into someone's house and smell the litter box but obviously they don't even notice it.

So even though it would be hard to do, you probably need to tell her -- because I am sure she truly has no idea that she is gassing everyone around her.
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Re: Perfume at work
Posted by: Effin Haole
Date: October 02, 2006 01:16PM
This happened at my workplace last summer.

Your only real "safe" option is to go to HR and make your concerns known.

They will deal with it and you/company won't run into any "harassment" BS from the person if they take it too personal.



Strength without compassion is brutality. Compassion without strength is weakness.

We must train our minds to desire what the situation demands.
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Re: Perfume at work
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: October 02, 2006 03:54PM
Eff has a point, but it's a poor comment on the nature of our society that we STILL have to run to Mommy to settle an argument between the children. In this case because the children sue each other, AND Mommy.
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Re: Perfume at work
Posted by: shiva_shakti
Date: October 02, 2006 04:30PM
you do have a good point effin... even though, I think that I would rather err on the side of being conservative and not take it to the HR level... even if I wanted to, with all the bureaucracy, it would take months for it to get noticed (my company was acquired back in April and the effects will be reverberating for some time - things are a little loopy right now).

I do think that I will need to stop by her office and tell her, hell, I dunno... I will figure out something succinct and tactful. after that, it's out of my hands - she will either be receptive or not. I do think that we develop a tolerance to fragrences that we wear and after a while, aren't aware of how strong our perfumes are.

and it is a sad thing, but yes, I think that people are way too sue-happy these days - very indicative of our culture as a whole.

thank you for sharing your insights and experiences...

have a good one all! this desk jockey has got to get back to the monday grind!

smiling smiley shiva



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/02/2006 04:31PM by shiva_shakti.
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Re: Perfume at work
Posted by: Effin Haole
Date: October 02, 2006 06:07PM
If your company is that big - 50+ employees, I again reiterate it's an HR matter.

In our company - 49 employees, what happened was HR sent out an email stating a small list of company policies including frangrace.

That way it was "mixed" with other policies and didn't make any one person standout amongst the rest and the message was received loud and clear.

Our HR does that a lot with the emails when there is a complaint. Fortunately our staff gets the message and no feelings are hurt publically.

I know it suck to be the tattletale, but in this era of litigation when anyone's "honor" or ego gets bruised, it has become necessary in order to avoid being the target of that litigation.



Strength without compassion is brutality. Compassion without strength is weakness.

We must train our minds to desire what the situation demands.
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Re: Perfume at work
Posted by: MacMagus
Date: October 02, 2006 07:44PM
If all else fails, a small desk fan will moderate the odor.
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Re: Perfume at work
Posted by: Lux Interior
Date: October 04, 2006 08:29AM
Quote
cbelt3
I would not take the approach of yelling "Jeezuz, where the heck is the Musk Ox ?" in the hall.

I believe the correct protocal is to loudly say, "Smells like a French whorehouse in here!"
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Re: Perfume at work
Posted by: ka jowct
Date: October 10, 2006 10:42PM
It's not necessarily a lie to say that you are alllergic to her perfume. If it's giving you a headache, that's a pretty good clue that your body is having a bad reaction to it.

It's a fairly common problem. A lot of hairsprays and scents contain something that makes my sinuses hurt as soon as I get a whiff.
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