Author Topic: It's Not The Amount of Perfume... UPDATE, p. 62!  (Read 17332 times)

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Outdoor Girl

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Re: It's Not The Amount of Perfume...
« Reply #45 on: September 26, 2013, 08:31:47 AM »
A coworker complaining about another coworker's scent because it clashes with her own and demanding that the other coworker stop wearing it is a completely unreasonable request.

In your radio example, if the coworker complaining is doing so because his coworker's heavy metal clashes with his easy listening?  Unreasonable.
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Venus193

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Re: It's Not The Amount of Perfume...
« Reply #46 on: September 26, 2013, 09:14:43 AM »
Your boss is a wimp.  I would have laughed Carla out of my office.

I'm a perfumista and this situation makes me wish for the 80s when most women with ambition avoided wearing perfume to work in order to not risk appearing too feminine for advancement.

Posting for updates.

Twik

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Re: It's Not The Amount of Perfume...
« Reply #47 on: September 26, 2013, 10:44:59 AM »
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.

The problem is in your statement, "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." Why not ask Carla to "give in a little," and accept the "clashing" scents? Why, because Carla is going to be a pain, a squeaky wheel, so she is never going to be the one expected to give in.

After a while, though, the other workers will figure this out, and realize that management is solving their own problems by offloading them onto the "reasonable" workers to make sacrifices to keep Carla happy. Because Carla is just like that. And when that realization occurs, management will find that people will no longer make those little sacrifices when asked. And then those "little problems" will start to grow.
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gen xer

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Re: It's Not The Amount of Perfume...
« Reply #48 on: September 26, 2013, 10:50:19 AM »
As with most of the others I agree that the manager is humouring the squeaky wheel.....and it always seems to be the case that the more some people are humoured the worse they behave. 

Since his request was so silly I would ignore it and continue on as usual.  When it comes up again you can tell him you thought he couldn't be serious.  A cheerful "No - I'm not caving in on this one.  Her request was ridiculous and I'm surprised you even gave her the time of day."

Make him sweat trying to explain why he asked you to be the one to give in.

What I don't necessarily agree with is going for a perfume ban just to settle this particular issue.  That punishes other employees too.  Scent allergies notwithstanding I wouldn't be happy if I had to stop wearing scents because of a dispute between two other employees. 

Yvaine

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Re: It's Not The Amount of Perfume...
« Reply #49 on: September 26, 2013, 10:55:22 AM »
Your boss is a wimp.  I would have laughed Carla out of my office.

I'm a perfumista and this situation makes me wish for the 80s when most women with ambition avoided wearing perfume to work in order to not risk appearing too feminine for advancement.

Posting for updates.

I'd always heard that 80s women wore big power perfumes with those big power shoulder pads! :D

Venus193

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Re: It's Not The Amount of Perfume...
« Reply #50 on: September 26, 2013, 11:02:32 AM »
Women in fashion wore those.  Many others who read The Women's Dress For Success Book followed the advice to tone down their femininity in order to be taken seriously in the office.

Amanita

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Re: It's Not The Amount of Perfume...
« Reply #51 on: September 26, 2013, 02:34:34 PM »

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.

This is the part I find problematic- it sounds entirely too much like the rationale my teachers used when dealing with the kids who bullied me. Instead of telling the bullies that they were the ones being unacceptable, and their behavior needed to stop (picking on me about my clothes, my food, reading material, whatever), they got on my case, asking me to suppress myself in various ways. Don't wear anything they might notice, don't bring flakes of turkey sandwiches or liverwurst and crackers in my lunch, blah blah blah. All that did was reinforce the bullies- it was perfectly fine for them to pick on my appearance, or freak out over the contents of my lunchbox (They thought flakes of turkey and mayo looked like cat food and liverwurst was disgusting), and I was the one who needed to change.

Twik

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Re: It's Not The Amount of Perfume...
« Reply #52 on: September 26, 2013, 02:46:43 PM »
There's also the issue that most people have an unstated "capital" of favours that they will do. If you use that capital up asking them to make concessions for annoying coworkers, one day you'll ask them for a more important favour - maybe shift their vacation time, or work through a weekend - only to find that they have realized that they are not getting any return on investment.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

tinkytinky

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Re: It's Not The Amount of Perfume...
« Reply #53 on: September 26, 2013, 03:11:11 PM »
OP, just curious, but when you said that you are in a new department, does that mean that you haven't always been working under your boss? The reason I ask is the "you know how she is" comment. He may, in fact, have been dealing with Carla for a while and he knows how she is, and is just getting burnt out on all of the drama around her, because this may be an all the time occurance and you are fresh meat that she can bully.

But if you have been with said boss for a while, then I would say that boss needs to get his gluteous maximus unclamped from around his ears and deal with the matter at hand. He now has 2 co-workers at odds and it is very much his responsibility to remedy the situation.

I would give it a few days, and if Carla didn't tone down her perfume, I would consider asking boss if he was going to do anything about it. If not, suggest a pow-wow with HR including Carla, boss and yourself. My guess is that boss will not want you to go to HR and will deal with it.

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mrkitty

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Re: It's Not The Amount of Perfume...
« Reply #54 on: September 26, 2013, 03:53:17 PM »
On perfume levels, what ever happened to "just trust that one spray?" I happen to love perfume...on ME, and my husband, but we're also slightly sensitive. I don't layer scent - I feel it's too strong and as though I'm swimming in it, and I figure if I can smell it on me, other people can smell way too much. When I do wear perfume, I go very light - just one spray. I like to wear enough to have a very mild whiff as one walks by...not announcing one's presence from three blocks away. I once went to a job interview where my would-be boss seemed like he bathed in cologne - it was so bad it stung my eyes. Needless to say, it was a relief to never hear back on that one.

It's so tempting to use too much if a person really likes that scent. When I was younger and less experienced, I really did use too much. In fact, I wish perfume companies would sell little sachets of their scents in small plastic containers that one could whip out just to smell for themselves - not necessarily wear it. KWIM? :)
Learn from past. Live in the present. Hope for the future.

Hillia

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Re: It's Not The Amount of Perfume...
« Reply #55 on: September 26, 2013, 04:03:22 PM »

It's so tempting to use too much if a person really likes that scent. When I was younger and less experienced, I really did use too much.

When I was in high school (1980) my favorite scent was Chantilly, and I had every Chantilly product made - bubble bath, powder, lotion, cologne, perfume - and I dutifully layered it on before every date with my true love.  His signature scent was Jovan Musk for Men, and he had aftershave and men's cologne.

I wish I could go back in time and apologize to the people in the movie theaters with us, because we must have *reeked*.  I sniffed some Chantilly at WalMart recently, and it's pretty strong stuff.  Jovan Musk wasn't much better.

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Lynn2000

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Re: It's Not The Amount of Perfume...
« Reply #56 on: September 26, 2013, 04:26:17 PM »
I know a couple people who overdose on the perfume. One of them said that she couldn't even smell it on herself anymore, she'd become so desensitized to it. When she was asked to stop wearing it (our boss is really sensitive to smells), she still smelled perfumy for a while after that, because scents had just permeated all her clothing, coat, etc.. Plus she used other scented products, like lotion and shampoo, that she didn't even really think of as "scented" by that point. I think a lot of people just kind of slowly build up more and more scent, not even realizing it, until it's finally brought to their attention that it's bothering people.

I think at this point the OP has a few options. I would definitely not advocate stopping my own perfume use while Carla continued to get away with hers--I understand the boss's position of trying to placate the squeaky wheel, but I think that's really not a good way to do things in this case.

I actually think asking Carla to stop wearing perfume, and in exchange the OP would too, is a great suggestion, done sincerely--if Carla refuses, or agrees but then breaks it, the OP can say she tried in good faith to resolve it on an individual level and it didn't work.

I think the OP could also wait a few days and then ask the boss what his plans are with this issue, because she's not prepared to drop it--in other words, she's going to be a (politely) squeaky wheel, too, and force him to step up and decide something.

The OP might also check with HR as well, just in a general way, to see what company policy is on this issue and if there's any precedent for it. That way if her boss refuses to make a decision, or decides something the OP thinks is unfair (like, Carla can have perfume, but YOU can't), she'll be prepared to take the next step. Maybe the boss would actually prefer to have someone from "up above" make the decision, that way he could have an out with Carla.
~Lynn2000

EllenS

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Re: It's Not The Amount of Perfume...
« Reply #57 on: September 26, 2013, 05:54:07 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.

I'm sticking my POD here.  What your boss asked you to do is ridiculous, and I would ignore it.  If either Carla or Boss want to bring it up, then you can say, "wow, I thought we didn't want to make a big thing of this, but if you feel so strongly about it, I agree we should sort this out right now.  Let's go down to HR and talk about how this fits in with company policy."  (said with a positive and cooperative demeanor)

Marisol

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Re: It's Not The Amount of Perfume...
« Reply #58 on: September 26, 2013, 06:01:42 PM »
If I were the boss I would probably ask both people not to wear any perfume...then again, scents give me migraines so I would have a legitimate reason.  But it is not fair to ask one not to wear any while letting the other one roam wild and free.

Hmmmmm

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Re: It's Not The Amount of Perfume...
« Reply #59 on: September 26, 2013, 06:42:21 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.

Steve, I must say I believe this statement implies a very short term view as a management style. Yes, the easiest fix is the path of least resistance but it does not always equal good business since. In this case, constantly asking the least squeekly wheel employees to bend for the squeeky wheels makes life easy for the manager but will create a terrible moral problem in the long run and end up with those employees completely loosing respect for the manager.

Or imagine these scenarios:
1. Terry is complaining about her low salary so I'm going to give her a 20% raise but that means I can only give you a 2%. Thanks for understanding.
2. Don doesn't want to take the Saturday shift because that's his day for his cycling group so I'll need the three of you to cover all Saturdays. It's just one extra for you guys every 3 weeks. Otherwise I won't hear the end of it.
3. I know I said that you had another 3 days to finish the project but the manager for the other department called and really wants to have it tomorrow. Sorry that means you have to work all night, but if I don't get it to them tomorrow it'll look bad on me.
4. Kali is constantly making PA remarks when she has to take the early lunch because she can't go to lunch with her BF. You guys will need to start rotating the ealry lunch amongst yourselves. I know everyone prefers the late lunch but I know you 2 like to be the "team players".
5. I'm tired of listening to you guys complain about not being able to leave right at 5pm so even those the clients really believe we should take their calls up till 5pm,  I'm ok with you stopping calls at 4:45. 

With enough repetition, this manager is going to loose employees and loose clients.