Author Topic: Okay! I Get It!  (Read 3997 times)

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cookiehappy

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Okay! I Get It!
« on: November 20, 2012, 10:32:13 AM »
Start BG/ Iíve moved to a new floor in my work building and while I know the people on the new floor, I never interacted much with them.  Move went smoothly and I am settled in. /End BG

Two days ago, I made a stop to the ladies room, stopped to refresh my water pitcher and came back to my desk where I put on some hand lotion.  I started back on a project I was working on and a coworker that I sit next to (divided by a half wall) asked:

CW: Cookiehappy, do you smell perfume?
ME:  Hmmm, no but it could be the lotion I just put on, is that what youíre smelling?
CW:  Yes, thatís it!  I canít stand perfumes with flowery scents Ė gives me a headache!!
ME:  Oh, Iím sorry.  Itís not perfume, itís lotion.  Itís called ďcolored materialĒ.  No worries, I wonít use this particular lotion when youíre here, I can use an oil with no scent.
CW:  Good!  Ugh, I can just sniff a small whiff and it sends my head reeling.
ME:  Not a problem, I can use the oil.

Yesterday, I was finishing up a project and coworker says out of the blue:

CW:  You know that lotion?  I still see it on your desk.  Please do not use it. I almost got an instant headache yesterday.
ME:  Coworker, I am aware.  I told you I wouldnít use it while youíre in the office.
(NOTE:  we all have the option of working from home so there are no set days we work in the office at any given time together)
CW:  What is that anyway?  Iím sorry, I just have to make sure I donít get headaches.  You see, I use non-scented lotions and hand creams.

I ignored her and picked up the phone as if I was dialing a number.  I didnít want to get into another conversation with her about the lotion.  I thought we handled it two days ago.

In case she comes back again with more to say, what should I say?  I certainly do not want to give a rude answer (although I could conjure up a good rouser!).

Help and thanks in advance!

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Okay! I Get It!
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2012, 10:37:36 AM »
Put the lotion out of sight in a drawer or your purse.  If she doesn't see it, maybe she won't bring it up again.

If she does, 'Coworker, we have discussed this.  I was not aware you were scent sensitive.  I am now.  I will not be using any scented lotions while you are in the office.  (Please) do not bring it up again.'
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
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siamesecat2965

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Re: Okay! I Get It!
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2012, 10:41:22 AM »
That's a tough one. Some people, no matter how many times you tell them something, simply won't let things go. It also sounds like, as my neighbor puts it "she enjoys ill health" that is to say she wants everyone to know she has issues with scents, even though she's told them over and over again.

I'd simply keep repeating that while it may be sitting on your desk, you are well aware of her issue with scents, and you will NOT be using it while she's there. And keep repeating that. If she persists, maybe ask her if she's actually SMELLED it since you became aware she has the issue.  If she says no, then simply ask WHY she keeps repeating herself and complaing.

wolfie

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Re: Okay! I Get It!
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2012, 10:55:39 AM »
Hide the lotion. People are creatures of habit - since the scent doesn't bother you your coworker is afraid you are going to sit down and put on the lotion without thinking about it. As long as it is on your desk she will have that worry. Put it away and she will probably stop talking about it.

rashea

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Re: Okay! I Get It!
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2012, 10:58:54 AM »
Why not just take the thing home, or at least off your desk. If I had let a coworker know that their scent bothered me and I saw it still sitting there a few days later, I wouldn't say anything, but I would be concerned that they would forget, or just not notice I was in one day and use it.

But then, this is why I wish there were more scent free policies in place.
"Manners change, principles don't. It's about treating people with consideration, respect and honesty." Peter Post

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O'Dell

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Re: Okay! I Get It!
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2012, 11:08:52 AM »
Why not just take the thing home, or at least off your desk. If I had let a coworker know that their scent bothered me and I saw it still sitting there a few days later, I wouldn't say anything, but I would be concerned that they would forget, or just not notice I was in one day and use it.

But then, this is why I wish there were more scent free policies in place.

I agree. We know you, CookieHappy, as a good eHellion will be conscientious and not use the lotion, but many people wouldn't be. I'm betting your coworker has run into plenty of people who poo-poo her sensitivity and "forget" etc. It isn't fair that she's not giving you the benefit of the doubt, but I also don't blame her for being concerned after some of the horror stories that I've read here from people with sensitivities/allergies.

If you really don't want to stop using the lotion at work even when she's not there, then maybe tackle it head on. Let her know that you know not everyone is sympathetic to sensitivities like hers, but you are sympathetic and won't use it around her.
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
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cookiehappy

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Re: Okay! I Get It!
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2012, 11:41:13 AM »
Thanks everyone!  I've put the lotion bottle in my desk.  Out of sight, out of mind!

I am certainly sensitive to her health concerns and am happy to oblige in this way.

Hopefully, she won't mention it again when she is back in the office.

edgypeanuts

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Re: Okay! I Get It!
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2012, 12:49:14 PM »
I agree. We know you, CookieHappy, as a good eHellion will be conscientious and not use the lotion, but many people wouldn't be. I'm betting your coworker has run into plenty of people who poo-poo her sensitivity and "forget" etc. It isn't fair that she's not giving you the benefit of the doubt, but I also don't blame her for being concerned after some of the horror stories that I've read here from people with sensitivities/allergies.

Yes, this!  Scents give me a headache as well which I tried not to mention too much at work, until my manager put an automatic fresh mango spray thingy near my desk.  I moved it and explained that I could not have it there. 
It has been several years and he STILL thinks it is funny to spray my chair with air freshener (I have to actually wash the chair and sit elsewhere) and to buy perfumed handsoap and fill ALL the soap dispensers with it, etc.  I now bring my own soap etc, and I am labelled as being SO PICKY about things. ::)

So she is being over the top, but everytime he does these things to me he claims he just forgot or that it smells good.  If she has had a similiar experience it may be influencing her.

Hopefully hiding it will solve the problem!

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Okay! I Get It!
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2012, 02:17:00 PM »
I agree. We know you, CookieHappy, as a good eHellion will be conscientious and not use the lotion, but many people wouldn't be. I'm betting your coworker has run into plenty of people who poo-poo her sensitivity and "forget" etc. It isn't fair that she's not giving you the benefit of the doubt, but I also don't blame her for being concerned after some of the horror stories that I've read here from people with sensitivities/allergies.

Yes, this!  Scents give me a headache as well which I tried not to mention too much at work, until my manager put an automatic fresh mango spray thingy near my desk.  I moved it and explained that I could not have it there. 
It has been several years and he STILL thinks it is funny to spray my chair with air freshener (I have to actually wash the chair and sit elsewhere) and to buy perfumed handsoap and fill ALL the soap dispensers with it, etc.  I now bring my own soap etc, and I am labelled as being SO PICKY about things. ::)

So she is being over the top, but everytime he does these things to me he claims he just forgot or that it smells good.  If she has had a similiar experience it may be influencing her.

Hopefully hiding it will solve the problem!

That's just harrassment.  If your company is big enough to have an HR department, this is exactly the kind of thing they should be dealing with.
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
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gen xer

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Re: Okay! I Get It!
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2012, 09:50:00 PM »
This coworker seems like the type who gets off on looking for things to make an issue about.  These tedious souls lurk in every office setting.  Sure - you could hide the bottle and maybe it would shut her up....but ( and maybe this is just my evil side coming out ) sometimes it's better to shut them down. 

Just to be clear this is not about people with a scent allergy....but about the type of people who flog a complaint to death even after it has been resolved.  Sometimes the more people are humoured the worse they get...and they need someone to tell them to drop it in no uncertain terms ( in a civil manner of course ).

You apologized and agreed not to use the lotion anymore.  She needs to stop harping about a non-issue.  I don't think it would be rude to push back a little.