Author Topic: It's Not The Amount of Perfume... UPDATE, p. 62!  (Read 17292 times)

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siamesecat2965

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Re: It's Not The Amount of Perfume...
« Reply #30 on: September 24, 2013, 01:15:56 PM »
Please give your boss a chance! I know he is handling this "poorly" as people see it here, but really he is looking for the easiest way out. That usually makes the most business sense. Firing people is expensive (at least it is here) and it is not something that you would want in a recession.

"Looking for the easiest way out" is my definition of a boss handling an issue "poorly." This does not make the most business sense -- it's creating a very poor working environment which will hurt productivity. It also shows the boss as weak and people will lose respect for him/her. The boss had a chance to handle it and failed.

Also, it's not a choice between the "easiest way out" and firing -- that's a false dilemma. There are plenty of steps in between that are appropriate.

I agree. My company has the unfortunate habit of slapping a band aid on something, rather than getting to the root cause and fixing it. This is what the OP's boss is doing. Carla complained, oh well, OP must stop wearing her perfume. That's the band aid, but the deeper issue is Carla marinating in hers. And while no one may have ever complained, its come to light now, and must be dealt with appropriately, whether boss wants to or not, and if not, I say, move up the chain.

Steve

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Re: It's Not The Amount of Perfume...
« Reply #31 on: September 24, 2013, 01:25:10 PM »
If a bandaid works, then it works....
Not every problem needs weeding out and getting to the root.

Where people have to work together, they will annoy each other. If I can make a problem go away by asking one person to give in a little, the problem is fixed. Even if that person is totally right, and within his/her right to expect another outcome.



*inviteseller

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Re: It's Not The Amount of Perfume...
« Reply #32 on: September 24, 2013, 01:38:17 PM »
If a bandaid works, then it works....
Not every problem needs weeding out and getting to the root.

Where people have to work together, they will annoy each other. If I can make a problem go away by asking one person to give in a little, the problem is fixed. Even if that person is totally right, and within his/her right to expect another outcome.

Unfortunately, this management style, which I have experienced, only serves to cause resentment and dissension.  The 'good' workers constantly are the ones who have to give in to the whiners and complainers.  If 2 co workers are annoying each other with their own personal habits, it is something that needs mediated and the boss needs to step in and be that mediator, not ask everyone to change themselves to appease the Carla's of the workplace.  At my last place of work, my boss was as useless as they come.  The worst co workers (slackers, whiners, ect) were also the most vocal about perceived slights and when they knew they were going to get busted on their own behavior they would throw one of us good workers, who did our work (and usually theirs) without complaining, right under that moving bus.  And guess who had to give ine each.and.every.time???  One of the reasons I, and numerous others before me, left.  When you reward bad behavior and punish the ones who are right in an effort to keep piece, your are not a manager, you are a doormat.

SamiHami

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Re: It's Not The Amount of Perfume...
« Reply #33 on: September 24, 2013, 01:45:35 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.

I see what you did there!  ;)

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SamiHami

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Re: It's Not The Amount of Perfume...
« Reply #34 on: September 24, 2013, 02:01:27 PM »
I wonder how it would go over if OP approached Carla and said something like:

"Gosh, Carla, I'm sorry that my perfume has been bothering you. I actually didn't plan to say anything, but since you brought it up, I've found your perfume to be bothersome as well. Why don't you and I agree to both stop wearing perfume to work? That way we'll both be happy." All said with a bright smile and a sincere tone, of course!

I'd love to know how she would react to that.

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artk2002

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Re: It's Not The Amount of Perfume...
« Reply #35 on: September 24, 2013, 02:03:51 PM »
If a bandaid works, then it works....
Not every problem needs weeding out and getting to the root.

Where people have to work together, they will annoy each other. If I can make a problem go away by asking one person to give in a little, the problem is fixed. Even if that person is totally right, and within his/her right to expect another outcome.

Band-aids don't help much when you've got cancer. They may cover up the sores, but the cancer will continue to grow and fester.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

poundcake

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Re: It's Not The Amount of Perfume...
« Reply #36 on: September 24, 2013, 04:05:36 PM »
I wonder how it would go over if OP approached Carla and said something like:

"Gosh, Carla, I'm sorry that my perfume has been bothering you. I actually didn't plan to say anything, but since you brought it up, I've found your perfume to be bothersome as well. Why don't you and I agree to both stop wearing perfume to work? That way we'll both be happy." All said with a bright smile and a sincere tone, of course!

I'd love to know how she would react to that.

I really like this!  >:D

Delia DeLyons

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Re: It's Not The Amount of Perfume...
« Reply #37 on: September 24, 2013, 06:53:13 PM »
I'm in for updates/developments on the situation.. This hits close to home... Gotta "love" office drama (when it's not your own, of course) ;-)
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Oh Joy

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Re: It's Not The Amount of Perfume...
« Reply #38 on: September 24, 2013, 07:01:56 PM »
Please consider unmarrying the weighty pile of Carla issues from the request about your perfume.  You said that people can still smell your perfume at the end of a long day.  No matter what tricks you use or how certain you are that someone else would have complained if there was an issue, your scent is noticable.

The gracious thing is to thank your boss for bringing it to your attention and acknowledge that it must have been an uncomfortable topic to broach.  Gladly offer to reduce your scent.  While you're on the subject, admit that another employee's perfume bothers you and request that he have the same conversation with her.  If it doesn't help, readdress the issue without mention of the complaints about your own scent, using whatever avenue is best suited to your workplace structure.

It's a completely different response than to huff about defensively and take a 'tit for tat' approach, KWIM?  After all, you did ask an etiquette board...

Best wishes.

Delia DeLyons

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Re: It's Not The Amount of Perfume...
« Reply #39 on: September 24, 2013, 07:26:10 PM »
I like your angle, Oh Joy. Truly equitable and unselfish.
Once in a while you get your delight, in the strangest of faces if you look at it right...

LifeOnPluto

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Re: It's Not The Amount of Perfume...
« Reply #40 on: September 24, 2013, 11:35:50 PM »
I tend to agree also. I think if the OP wants Carla to stop wearing her perfume, the OP had better be prepared to stop wearing her own perfume too.

wheeitsme

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Re: It's Not The Amount of Perfume...
« Reply #41 on: September 25, 2013, 12:13:20 PM »
What I think?

Don't change anything.  If your boss brings it up again, tell him "I find this request more than a little disturbing.  I am willing to support a scent free workspace, but identifying acceptable perfumes and banning others on an arbitrary and subjective basis is a questionable business policy and I'd run it by HR and Legal before trying to implement it".

That also gives your boss an out with Carla.

Twik

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Re: It's Not The Amount of Perfume...
« Reply #42 on: September 25, 2013, 03:56:30 PM »
If a bandaid works, then it works....
Not every problem needs weeding out and getting to the root.

Where people have to work together, they will annoy each other. If I can make a problem go away by asking one person to give in a little, the problem is fixed. Even if that person is totally right, and within his/her right to expect another outcome.

Do you really make problems go away, by saying, "Worker Z, you must only wear grey, tan or beige, because Worker X wants to be the only one who wears bright colours? Just go and throw your current wardrobe out, and spend hundreds replacing it. You're a team player, right?" You haven't solved the problem, you've simply taught one worker that if they stamp their little feet and hold their breath, you'll pressure the reasonable workers to do whatever they want. It's like someone "creating family harmony" by making everyone jump for the one member who throws tantrums.

One day, your workers will realize that you'll give anything to the people who throw tantrums, and give the "team players" a kick in the teeth as a reward for sacrifice. That's not going to be an easy workplace for you to manage at that point.
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blarg314

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Re: It's Not The Amount of Perfume...
« Reply #43 on: September 25, 2013, 08:43:08 PM »

Giving in to the most demanding person, whether or not their demand is reasonable or fair, can make things quiet temporarily. So does giving your kid what they want whenever they throw a tantrum.

Ultimately, though, they produce the same response - a spoiled, demanding person who makes like miserable for everyone else, and thinks that throwing tantrums is the best way to negotiate.

So from a Boss's (or parent's) perspective, the questions to ask before giving in to a demand are "Is this a reasonable request?" "Is it unfair to anyone else?" "What are the long term repercussions of acceding to this request." and "Is this person in the habit of making selfish demands".

So a request of "I have trouble concentrating when people play music out loud. Can we ask people to use headphones?" could get an easy yes, and a new policy, while "Coworker's music clashes with mine, so tell her to turn her music off when I'm in the office" get a "You've got to be kidding, go away".

And the other coworkers will very, very quickly realize that the most demanding, unreasonable person gets whatever they want, no matter how inconvenient, unfair, or damaging it is, and that can really poison a work atmosphere.

Steve

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Re: It's Not The Amount of Perfume...
« Reply #44 on: September 26, 2013, 08:03:40 AM »
....

Do you really make problems go away, by saying, "Worker Z, you must only wear grey, tan or beige, because Worker X wants to be the only one who wears bright colours? Just go and throw your current wardrobe out, and spend hundreds replacing it. You're a team player, right?" You haven't solved the problem, you've simply taught one worker that if they stamp their little feet and hold their breath, you'll pressure the reasonable workers to do whatever they want. It's like someone "creating family harmony" by making everyone jump for the one member who throws tantrums.

One day, your workers will realize that you'll give anything to the people who throw tantrums, and give the "team players" a kick in the teeth as a reward for sacrifice. That's not going to be an easy workplace for you to manage at that point.

Well now, there is a giant leap to an interesting assumption.

I think that sometimes the most simple solution is the best. When an employee complains about the radio, I will first ASK the owner of said radio if they mind turn it down. If a co-worker complains about something another co-worker does or has, I find it no problem to discuss it with both. Maybe the other is not that attached to their radio anyway, maybe they do not care about their scent that much anyway. You will never know that until you ask.

If the co-worker can not or will not grant the request, then I will look at what is needed. That is the moment I try to see which stance has the most merit, which outcome is best policy for the company, which co-worker is the more deserving, what other options there are.

In my opinion it is best if people can co-exist without management telling them what to do. If two people are happy with a high volume radio in their office, and it does not bother anyone, and it does not hurt business, then why would I take it away from them, just because there is a rule? I do not believe in creating rules for every single little thing.

And this could be very little indeed. Or it could be large, I would not know that until I talked to the OP, and I would act accordingly.

Now why people here are expecting me to use bandaids on terrible diseases, I do not know. This seems like a scraped knee to me at this moment.