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Dear Wendy

How do you deal with annoying coworker habits?

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by avatar Fyodor 1 week, 6 days ago.

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  • #802674 Reply
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    Ale
    Member

    One of my co-workers just recently started wearing cologne, but he wears way too much. I work in a small space (a lab), the whole lab smells like his cologne the whole day.
    Worse, when I pick up the phone it smells a lot. I feel like I smell at the end of the day.
    Is there a way to tell him not to wear so much cologne? It’s taking a toll on me.
    How do you handle your coworkers habits?

    #802684 Reply
    Copa
    Copa
    Participant

    I’ve never had to deal with this myself, but I know I’ve read about similar situations on Ask A Manager. Here’s one, in which she recommends that you frame the issue as, “I have a sensitivity” vs. “Stop bathing in cologne,” which seems like the right approach to me if you want to ask him to stop. https://www.askamanager.org/2012/11/can-my-office-ban-fragrances-in-the-workplace.html I know I’ve read other similar situations on there (about stinky lunches, pregnancy-related sensitivities, etc.).

    #802685 Reply
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    JD

    My ex coworker cleared her throat constantly. I tallied it up once, it was literally every single second. Many times I thought of clearly that airway with a damn pen. This I couldn’t get her to stop really. It was actually a anxious habit, she never did it outside of work.

    Just lie and say you are allergic to his cologne. I find that that little white lie about allergies is the most useful. I lie and say I am allergic to coconut. I am not but I hate it. However, every damn time someone say “oh no try it, this is the best ever.” I don’t ant to try it, I hate it. This is just the easier way.

    #802687 Reply
    Copa
    Copa
    Participant

    I always feel like I can’t breathe when I walk into stores that are heavily scented (I hate any store that has a heavy candle smell), so if I ever happened to work in an environment like this, I would speak up.

    #802691 Reply
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    Kate
    Keymaster

    The cologne thing is something HR could actually speak to him about. It’s their job to talk to people about hygiene and stuff like body odor or perfume. If you don’t feel comfortable saying to him, “hey, I think I may be allergic to your new cologne, I like how it smells, but it gives me a headache partway through the day,” then talk to HR about it.

    #802706 Reply
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    Fyodor

    I feel like cologne/perfume may be one of those things where people sometimes are not genuinely not conscious of how strong it is and may be receptive to a polite comment about it. I agree that it would go over better if it’s phrased as more an issue of your own sentiivity than hs overuse.

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