Author Topic: Unappealing smells . . . not sure if I handled this correctly.  (Read 6136 times)

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jpcher

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One of the most nauseating aromas, to me, is the smell of a banana. Especially very ripe bananas. Green bananas and newly turn-yellow fresh? I can tolerate, and do. The aroma isn't sooo strong when the bananas are young. I buy bananas for the DDs all the time because they love them. But once the bananas ripen beyond a certain stage (still edible) the smell becomes stronger and just turns my stomach off.

Three situations. I'm wondering if I'm being rude?

1. When I walk into my kitchen and smell a banana I ask "Are you going to eat these? If so, they're in the garage." DDs know my aversion, so I don't think I'm rude in this situation.

2. Boss, CW & I had a short phone meeting where CW & I went to Boss' office so we could take the call together. Boss was eating a banana. The smell was overwhelming. I apologized "I'm sorry. If you don't mind, I can hear the conversation from here." I stood by the door for the 5-minute meeting with my head turned to the hallway and fresh air. I did make a comment or two so Boss knew that I was listening, but still . . . Yeah, probably really rude, right? How would you deal with this situation?

3. Boss came to my cube today, eating a banana. I was showing her certain things on my computer, so I put my elbow on my desk and covered my nose with a few fingers, kinda like in the "I'm thinking" pose. I was trying to be discreet. I felt that this was not rude, possibly handled correctly? Boss didn't seem to notice anything amiss.



Any suggestions as to how to handle unappealing smells? Especially with Boss who seems to have a fondness of bananas?

Shoo

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Re: Unappealing smells . . . not sure if I handled this correctly.
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2013, 07:57:17 PM »
I think you need to tell your boss about your aversion.  I bet she would be glad to know about it so she can stop eating them around you.  She probably doesn't want to make you nauseous.  Other than that, I think you're doing just about all you can do.

NyaChan

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Re: Unappealing smells . . . not sure if I handled this correctly.
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2013, 07:57:44 PM »
I treat things like that as a funny joke that we can share - i.e.  "I know it is so weird,  ;D but I actually can't stand the smell of bananas - it's a great way to get rid of me if you ever need to lol"

reflection5

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Re: Unappealing smells . . . not sure if I handled this correctly.
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2013, 08:00:59 PM »
Since Boss is so fond of bananas, it's past time to say "Sorry, but the smell of bananas bothers me.  No offense."  This would be a lot easier than the actions you're taken - which might be interpreted as body odor, etc.

(I can't stand the smell of some foods (bleu cheese for one) and I've mentioned it to people. and scooted away or whatever.)
« Last Edit: April 09, 2013, 08:04:33 PM by reflection5 »

rose red

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Re: Unappealing smells . . . not sure if I handled this correctly.
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2013, 08:02:24 PM »
I think it's better and more polite to come right out and say you have a problem with the smell of bananas than standing far away or covering your nose.  No matter how discreet, someone someday will catch on and think they stink.

WillyNilly

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Re: Unappealing smells . . . not sure if I handled this correctly.
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2013, 08:04:41 PM »
I think in situations 1 & 3 you are totally fine. #2...? You should have at least explained the issue! I don't get it, because to me banana is one of the most delicious smells, but I do understand its a strong and distinctive smell - anyone who likes bananas knows they have a smell. Just tell your boss, I'm sure she'll think you are silly (because banana! yum!) but at the same time I doubt she'll take it personally or really care.

Yvaine

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Re: Unappealing smells . . . not sure if I handled this correctly.
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2013, 08:11:33 PM »
I think it's better and more polite to come right out and say you have a problem with the smell of bananas than standing far away or covering your nose.  No matter how discreet, someone someday will catch on and think they stink.

Yup. Better than letting the boss think she has BO or something.

JenJay

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Re: Unappealing smells . . . not sure if I handled this correctly.
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2013, 08:31:06 PM »
Is #1 a joke and you're actually telling the girls to either come eat the bananas right now or they're going in the trash? I think that's fine. If you actually put them in the trash and then expect your kids to remove them from the trash and eat them then yes, I think that's rude.

Okay, my mistake. Op said garage and I think that's completely fair.  :P

I don't think the work situations are rude but, as others suggested, I'd explain. Something like "FYI, I have an aversion to bananas and just smelling them is enough to nauseate me so I'll stand over here."
« Last Edit: April 09, 2013, 09:15:37 PM by JenJay »

SouthernBelle

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Re: Unappealing smells . . . not sure if I handled this correctly.
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2013, 08:38:43 PM »
Is #1 a joke and you're actually telling the girls to either come eat the bananas right now or they're going in the trash? I think that's fine. If you actually put them in the trash and then expect your kids to remove them from the trash and eat them then yes, I think that's rude.


She said garage, not garbage.

turtleIScream

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Re: Unappealing smells . . . not sure if I handled this correctly.
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2013, 08:41:11 PM »
Is #1 a joke and you're actually telling the girls to either come eat the bananas right now or they're going in the trash? I think that's fine. If you actually put them in the trash and then expect your kids to remove them from the trash and eat them then yes, I think that's rude.

I don't think the work situations are rude but, as others suggested, I'd explain. Something like "FYI, I have an aversion to bananas and just smelling them is enough to nauseate me so I'll stand over here."

I think OP said she makes her daughters eat the bananas out in the garage, where she can't smell them.
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JenJay

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Re: Unappealing smells . . . not sure if I handled this correctly.
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2013, 09:14:46 PM »
Is #1 a joke and you're actually telling the girls to either come eat the bananas right now or they're going in the trash? I think that's fine. If you actually put them in the trash and then expect your kids to remove them from the trash and eat them then yes, I think that's rude.


She said garage, not garbage.

Ohhhh, lol, that makes more sense. I could see myself yelling "If you want your *gross thing* it'll be in the garbage!" as a joke so that's where my brain went. Thanks for correcting me!  :)
I've edited my post.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2013, 09:16:19 PM by JenJay »

Surianne

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Re: Unappealing smells . . . not sure if I handled this correctly.
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2013, 09:19:49 PM »
I hate the smell of bananas too!  Good to hear it's not just me.

I think in a work situation, where eating in meetings is the norm*, you have to suck it up, or it could look badly on you. 

My trick is to carry a lip chapstick that's mint-flavoured with me.  If I rub mint right on my nostrils and my septum, it blocks most other smells.  (I'm very sensitive to perfume, so this helps me pretend it's not there.)  Vick's body rub or something similar works too.  I learned this from The Silence of the Lambs -- in one of the autopsy scenes, the characters put it under their noses to mask the smell of the corpse.  It really works!   And if you do it subtly, no one knows.

*I wish it weren't; I hate smelling some of the things my coworkers eat, particularly my boss, but she gets to dictate the norms for meetings, unfortunately.

TootsNYC

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Re: Unappealing smells . . . not sure if I handled this correctly.
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2013, 10:08:32 PM »
Why don't you just say, "I'm sorry--the smell of ripe bananas bothers me. Can you come back when you're done?"

It's not rude to say that something is bothering you--and this isn't all THAT different from someone accidentally banging you repeatedly w/ their tote bag or something.

They're not doing it deliberately; there isn't any value judgment either way.

It's just something that bothers *YOU*, and you *are* entitled to ask people to take the smell away from you, or you're entitled to excuse yourself, or to make accommodations. And you should explain it.


*inviteseller

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Re: Unappealing smells . . . not sure if I handled this correctly.
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2013, 10:19:33 PM »
I think everyone has that one smell they just.cannot.stand.  I am with the poster about blue cheese..it makes me gag.  Of course I seem to be related to or friends with the blue cheese lovers society !  When I go out to eat with my family, I cannot sit by my dad or sister because it will ruin the whole experience for me to smell that (altho, bless my sister, she ia atarting to refrain in front of me).  I would tell your boss that it's not her, it's you but the smell of bananas are too much for you.  If you have a good relationship, she will understand, if not keep a small bottle of cologne on you to dab on your wrist and keep your hand under your chin (pensive pose).  Surprisingly, it works (learned when I worked with an aromatically offensive woman).

MariaE

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Re: Unappealing smells . . . not sure if I handled this correctly.
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2013, 04:36:31 AM »
I haaaaaate the smell of bananas as well. It literally smells "off" to me. I've often found myself thinking (though fortunately not saying) "Oh no, something smells rotten in here!" and then discovered somebody nearby was either holding or eating a banana. Can't stand the taste either, which unfortunately has ruined a lot of smoothies for me :( My brain just won't allow me to eat something that my senses are telling me has gone bad.

I've had to ask coworkers not to dump their banana peels in the trashcan in the office we share. Otherwise I have to empty it right away before I can focus on getting back to work. Fortunately they've been really kind about doing that :)
 
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