Author Topic: It's Not The Amount of Perfume... UPDATE, p. 62!  (Read 15533 times)

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donnamos2

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It's Not The Amount of Perfume... UPDATE, p. 62!
« on: September 23, 2013, 05:46:16 PM »
So, my company recently re-organized, and I'm in a new department.  I am now on a team with Carla, whom I'd only known before by sight and scent.  That's not a typo: Carla is famous for her heavy perfume.

Now, I don't really know why nothing has ever been done, or even if anything has ever been tried, but Carla's perfume is really egregious.  The scent is fine, I suppose, but it's just SO MUCH and really heavy.  You always know if she's coming or if she's just been by - that's how much there is.  I've also been treated to her "refreshing" herself in the bathroom: all of that spritzing caused me to have a sneezing fit, and she sighed heavily and told me to stop being a drama queen. (Yes, she really did - thank G-d she stalked out because I probably would have said something non-e-hell-approved.)

I'd been pondering saying something to our boss, or possibly to HR, or thinking I should just deal with it, mostly because it bothers me, but it's not an extreme bother, so...  Well, what do you know, our boss called ME in this morning to discuss MY PERFUME.  He looked incredibly uncomfortable, but said that Carla (Yes, Carla!) had complained about my perfume. 

Now, I do wear perfume, but I learned a trick years ago that keeps the amount I wear light and all-day constant: spritzing the underwear (the theory is that you never wear too much AND your body heat keeps re-activating the scent all day long). I have no idea if the theory really works this way, but I have had people ask me what perfume I'm wearing after a long day and have NEVER been told I wear too much.  And no, it's not like I'm just surrounded by people afraid to tell me that - my mother would in a heartbeat because she has a sensitivity, and she's never said a word.

My boss was acting really weird and cagey, but after some questioning, it turns out that Carla's "problem" is that my perfume CLASHES with hers, and the resulting scent is making her sick, so I need to stop wearing my perfume.  When I remarked that my "problem" is Carla's perfume, period, and that I knew I wasn't alone, he said, "Oh, come on, you know what she's like."

I said, "Are you kidding?"  I think he realized what he said, but now he's asking me to just not wear perfume because if I go to HR it becomes "this big thing," as he puts it, "and then Carla will be all bent out of shape."

I can't believe how silly this all is.  If she wasn't marinating in her own scent, I'd stop wearing my own - I know people can be very sensitive.  But this isn't anything like that!  Do I talk to my boss again? Carla?  HR?  And if I do, what do I say, because this sounds so very ridiculous!
« Last Edit: September 26, 2013, 08:01:18 PM by donnamos2 »

rose red

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Re: It's Not The Amount of Perfume...
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2013, 05:56:25 PM »
I am so tired of the "Carlas"of the world winning and people giving in to them because "Oh, come on.  You know what's she's like."  Your boss is a wimp who is trying to make you give up your rights because you are the reasonable person who won't make waves.  Make waves.  If it goes to HR and becomes a big thing, so be it.

Tell your boss you are not changing your habits and if there's a rule of no perfumes, they it goes for everyone, including Carla.

*inviteseller

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Re: It's Not The Amount of Perfume...
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2013, 06:04:28 PM »
Well, isn't Carla just a Special Stinky Snowflake???  I am extremely sensitive to perfumes and she would (as would my supervisors) that either she tones it down or I would be filing a complaint.  I hatehatehateabhorabhorabhor the line "You know how she is".  Yes, you know how Carla is..rude, smelly, and just full of herself.  I think you need to escalate this to HR.  I will eagerly await an update to their response to you being told you cannot wear your light scent as it clashes with her marinade.  What if someone like myself has to work with Carla and she causes them to have a serious respiratory attack?  Will she cry to the boss that my wheezing is bothersome and I should stop breathing for her???

Outdoor Girl

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Re: It's Not The Amount of Perfume...
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2013, 06:07:29 PM »
Your boss is really showing off his fine managerial skills, isn't he?  NOT!

I would continue to wear your perfume and ignore the edict from your boss.  If Carla raises a stink about it again, straight to HR.  What will probably happen is that a scent-free policy will be implemented for all employees.  So while you wouldn't be able to wear your perfume, neither would Carla.

Personally, I'd make it a BIG THING.  I'm incredibly scent sensitive and working with Carla would result in constant headaches and nausea for me.
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doodlemor

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Re: It's Not The Amount of Perfume...
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2013, 06:17:22 PM »
Evil doodlemor thinks that you should start snacking on raw garlic cloves all day long. 

[Putting evil doodlemor back in the cellar.]

I think that you should just keep on with what you're doing.  Let Carla go and complain to HR - they will be gasping for breath and in astonishment at her audacity.

artk2002

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Re: It's Not The Amount of Perfume...
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2013, 06:38:09 PM »
I would make it a "big thing." Boss needs to learn to deal with the tough stuff and not give in to people who are "like that."
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VorFemme

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Re: It's Not The Amount of Perfume...
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2013, 07:07:02 PM »
Your perfume clashes with hers?

Well, maybe if she wore only half as much, it wouldn't clash as badly....

Snarky and Evil had the suggestion of buying some nice skunk perfume - but realize that it is not a scent most people want to be caught wearing.

Maybe if you gave a bottle to Carla and suggested that this wouldn't be quite so overwhelming a scent as her current one?  Nope....

See a doctor and get allergy tested for whatever the name of her perfume is?  Make it a medical issue so that your boss has to develop brass ones and talk to Carla.....or HR will have to. 

Gee, whiz, what a wimp - giving in to the one who raises the bigger stink about the perfume issue.... >:D

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Re: It's Not The Amount of Perfume...
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2013, 07:12:43 PM »
...When I remarked that my "problem" is Carla's perfume, period, and that I knew I wasn't alone, he said, "Oh, come on, you know what she's like."

I said, "Are you kidding?"  I think he realized what he said, but now he's asking me to just not wear perfume because if I go to HR it becomes "this big thing," as he puts it, "and then Carla will be all bent out of shape."...

Basically, in so many words, your boss told you the person who makes a bigger stink (no pun intended) gets their way. He thinks dealing with Carla will be more annoying, so he's trying to deal with you because you are less of a hassle. The solution is, make dealing with you more annoying then dealing with Carla. Well, not annoying per say, but stop making it the easier option. Go to HR, make it a "big thing".

camlan

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Re: It's Not The Amount of Perfume...
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2013, 07:15:34 PM »
Unless your boss would retaliate in some way, I'd tell him that you are perfectly willing to move to a scent-free department for everyone. But that you are not willing to stop wearing perfume on the say-so of a fellow employee.

But if your boss pushes the issue and insists that you stop wearing perfume because that is what Carla wants, I'd warn him that I'd be going to HR about the situation. And HR is not going to look kindly on a rule made just for one employee, at the insistence of another employee.
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Surianne

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Re: It's Not The Amount of Perfume...
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2013, 07:19:06 PM »
Keep in mind that even if no one has said anything to you, it's very possible your perfume is bothering your coworkers just as much as Carla's is bothering you.  I've stopped requesting that people in my workplace abide by our scent-free policy because I've found they get quite angry and defensive about it.  So your coworkers may be suffering your perfume in silence.

I also think it's hard to complain to your boss about Carla's while wearing your own.  If you do decide to go to HR, better to ask for a scent-free policy than to complain that you want to wear your perfume and expect Carla's to stop wearing hers.  Unfortunately while hers may actually be worse than yours, the request seems unreasonable, whether it's coming from Carla (asking you to stop wearing yours) or from you (asking Carla to stop wearing hers). 

Requesting that everyone abide by a scent-free policy seems fair to me.

donnamos2

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Re: It's Not The Amount of Perfume...
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2013, 08:17:03 PM »
OP here, clarifying a few things...

I've already said that if someone has a sensitivity, I'd be happy to stop wearing my perfume.  Secondly, I've been wearing this perfume for a very long time and I've worked for this company for several years: believe me when I say that if my perfume was an issue, I'd have been notified long before now. For example: I chew gum at my desk in my office (nowhere else - I sometimes go thru an entire pack in a day b/c I throw it away if I leave my desk or someone comes to speak with me), and someone spoke to me once about chewing too loudly! In my own office!  Trust me when I say that if my chewing gum at my desk in my office is bothersome, I'd have been given some grief regarding the perfume if it was an issue.

My BFF pointed out, when I spoke to her earlier, that she thinks Carla's trying to get back at me for my "drama queen" sneezing fit.  Geez...  I thought I'd graduated from high school a long time ago...

poundcake

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Re: It's Not The Amount of Perfume...
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2013, 08:26:39 PM »
I was just going to suggest that Carla is doing this to get back at you or do a preemptive strike on what she anticipates will be your complaints.

I think suggesting a fragrance-free environment is the way to go. That's actually common in most offices these days, anyway.

Ida

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Re: It's Not The Amount of Perfume...
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2013, 08:36:47 PM »
Tell your boss you've stopped wearing fragrance. See what happens.
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jmarvellous

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Re: It's Not The Amount of Perfume...
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2013, 08:38:49 PM »
OP here, clarifying a few things...

I've already said that if someone has a sensitivity, I'd be happy to stop wearing my perfume.  Secondly, I've been wearing this perfume for a very long time and I've worked for this company for several years: believe me when I say that if my perfume was an issue, I'd have been notified long before now. For example: I chew gum at my desk in my office (nowhere else - I sometimes go thru an entire pack in a day b/c I throw it away if I leave my desk or someone comes to speak with me), and someone spoke to me once about chewing too loudly! In my own office!  Trust me when I say that if my chewing gum at my desk in my office is bothersome, I'd have been given some grief regarding the perfume if it was an issue.

My BFF pointed out, when I spoke to her earlier, that she thinks Carla's trying to get back at me for my "drama queen" sneezing fit.  Geez...  I thought I'd graduated from high school a long time ago...

Honestly? It's entirely possible that no one has complained about Carla's perfume, and you've said it's a notable stench. So it's possible yours is an issue, too.

The only time we've had any luck at my jobs getting a person to cut back on perfume was when we got our boss to complain to her boss because her taking breaks (frankly, naps!) on a couch near our department was triggering massive headaches for FOUR of us on a nightly basis. It's not something people like to bring up.

That said, I agree with everyone else that the real issue here is Carla, and your boss being afraid of offending her. Would you feel comfortable going to the next level of management with a complaint?

Roe

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Re: It's Not The Amount of Perfume...
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2013, 09:24:46 PM »
I would make it a "big thing." Boss needs to learn to deal with the tough stuff and not give in to people who are "like that."

Pod!  Head to HR.  And I wouldn't stop wearing (reasonably applied) perfume because Carla said!  No way.