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Old 05.08.2019, 13:50
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New employee smelling of smoke

Hey everybody,


Half mini-rant and half asking for your advice


A new employee started working at our company today.
He seems to be kind, in general, but... to be honest, he stinks.
- One is, a huuuge amount of perfume. (ok, not that bad on its own, although it's still not much fun. I understand that some people love having huge amounts of perfume, and some are very sensitive to smells. I could smell this guy's perfume from about 10m away.)

- Second, a very strong smoker's aura.
And he's sitting 1.5m away from me.
We had both windows open in the office and it still triggered an asthma attack, in the one hour I was there before I decided that today was a good day to work from home. And during which time he went outside to smoke twice.


What would you do?
The HR person, my boss and my boss' boss are all smokers, and are all on vacations for the next 2 weeks.
I guess I'm the problem there. Apart from that... seriously I can't go to work every day with asthma. Even if I quit, there'd still be 3 months to solve.
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Old 05.08.2019, 13:52
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Re: New employee smelling of smoke

I've worked with many people who stink because they don't use deodorant.

Not illegal, however.

Tom
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Old 05.08.2019, 14:01
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Re: New employee smelling of smoke

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I've worked with many people who stink because they don't use deodorant.

Not illegal, however.

Tom

Yeah, had plenty of those, too I remember one guy where everybody would take the stairs when he was waiting for the lift.

nothing illegal, no, even with smoking or using perfume.
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Old 05.08.2019, 14:16
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Re: New employee smelling of smoke

How do you manage to get to and from the office??
Can one person who's been out for a smoke really be worse than all the fumes of daily life commuting etc?

Do the other people who smoke, boss/HR etc trigger the same medical reaction?

So maybe it's the perfume? Or the smell of resentment that the new boy had two smoke breaks in an hour?
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Old 05.08.2019, 14:27
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Re: New employee smelling of smoke

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How do you manage to get to and from the office??
Can one person who's been out for a smoke really be worse than all the fumes of daily life commuting etc?

Do the other people who smoke, boss/HR etc trigger the same medical reaction?

So maybe it's the perfume? Or the smell of resentment that the new boy had two smoke breaks in an hour?

Nope. I never had any asthma attack from perfume. Maybe I shouldn't have mentioned that, just thought it contributed to the general picture. And he (we) can have as many breaks as he wants, coffee, smoke, whatever.

And I'm not talking about fumes(car exhaust, train particles, etc) health or anything here, please.
Other people who smoke are in other offices, and seem to smoke milder tobacco. I don't know.
I know I get the asthma from cats (sadly. still love cat pictures) and smoke. Talking with smokers is fine, waiting for the train next to a smoker is fine. Never had that strong a reaction before either.
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Old 05.08.2019, 14:35
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Re: New employee smelling of smoke

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- Second, a very strong smoker's aura.
That's funny because the smokers on this forum are convinced they don't stink.
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Old 05.08.2019, 14:42
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Re: New employee smelling of smoke

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That's funny because the smokers on this forum are convinced they don't stink.

Please don't escalate this into a full on smoker - antismoker war


Reduced story:
New employee causes asthma attack* in other employee. What to do?



*(not just "oh man what's that smell" but "cough cough wheeze sh*t where's my inhaler oh man I left it at home")
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Old 05.08.2019, 14:42
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Re: New employee smelling of smoke

First day, and all that. Maybe he’s a bit nervous and hitting the fags a bit hard? Perhaps he’ll settle down in a day or two.

If he’s that bad going forward, just have a quick word. Use your asthma as an opener to the chat.

Could be worse; his nerves could manifest themselves as chronic gas and he’s melting the paint off the walls...
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Old 05.08.2019, 14:49
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Re: New employee smelling of smoke

Yeah I'd give it a few days..
Maybe he's got 8 cats at home too.?

Wear a surgical mask tomoro, that should help to break the ice, a good conversation starter.
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Old 05.08.2019, 14:50
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Re: New employee smelling of smoke

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Reduced story:
New employee causes asthma attack* in other employee. What to do?
You won't get him to stop smoking or reduce it so how about telling him about your asthma and asking to avoid wearing his perfume for a couple of days?

If your asthma goes away then you know the problem.

If it doesn't then you need to speak to HR about moving desks or getting a new job.

I worked in a large open-planned office and one of the software engineers was very heavy with the cologne. It was every day for a couple of years.
One day he came in not wearing it and he never wore it again.
I think someone eventually plucked up the courage to tell him how revolting it was.
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Old 05.08.2019, 15:03
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Re: New employee smelling of smoke

I used to work in a team where the boss chain smoked...and like that episode from Friends, everyone else started smoking to become closer to her. It was this asthmatics nightmare.

Perhaps you can start first with the cologne, and kindly tell him you like the smell, but that it somehow causes you to have asthma. If he refuses and it really begins to cause you health issues, maybe you can move to a new desk away from him?

Best of luck!
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Old 05.08.2019, 15:15
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Re: New employee smelling of smoke

Can you ask your boss to supply an air purifier for your desk, or you get one yourself? Might help keep the air clear/clean enough for you to work in?
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Old 05.08.2019, 15:54
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Re: New employee smelling of smoke

Speak with him, explain your health problems and how the smell of smoke aggravates the condition and try to come to some understanding.


As he is new boy on the block he probably wants to establish good relations with his co-workers and as his smoker allies are currently on holiday, in my opinion, better to do it sooner rather than later !


You have a reasonable point and a health issue, i'm sure you can come to a sensible arangement.



Maybe have the discussion with your inhaler close to hand, a subtle cough or two during the conversation, an excuse for you temporary lack of breath durin a long sentence......
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Old 13.08.2019, 00:37
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Re: New employee smelling of smoke

An ex-colleague of mine used to go every Tuesday to a Thai restaurant near the office. Every Tuesday at 12:15 we had our weekly team meeting, the only way I could survive was by shoving a mint up my nose.

Fun days.
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Old 13.08.2019, 07:06
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Re: New employee smelling of smoke

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Hey everybody,


Half mini-rant and half asking for your advice


A new employee started working at our company today.
He seems to be kind, in general, but... to be honest, he stinks.
- One is, a huuuge amount of perfume. (ok, not that bad on its own, although it's still not much fun. I understand that some people love having huge amounts of perfume, and some are very sensitive to smells. I could smell this guy's perfume from about 10m away.)

- Second, a very strong smoker's aura.
And he's sitting 1.5m away from me.
We had both windows open in the office and it still triggered an asthma attack, in the one hour I was there before I decided that today was a good day to work from home. And during which time he went outside to smoke twice.


What would you do?
The HR person, my boss and my boss' boss are all smokers, and are all on vacations for the next 2 weeks.
I guess I'm the problem there. Apart from that... seriously I can't go to work every day with asthma. Even if I quit, there'd still be 3 months to solve.
Buy a good room deodorant. As soon as he comes in spray alot in his direction. When he complains then you can discuss his stink. All smokers stink-whether disgusting breath or from their unwashed clothes.
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Old 13.08.2019, 07:11
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Re: New employee smelling of smoke

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First day, and all that. Maybe he’s a bit nervous and hitting the fags a bit hard? Perhaps he’ll settle down in a day or two.

If he’s that bad going forward, just have a quick word. Use your asthma as an opener to the chat.

Could be worse; his nerves could manifest themselves as chronic gas and he’s melting the paint off the walls...
please don't use such ambiguous words
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Old 13.08.2019, 08:00
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Re: New employee smelling of smoke

Step 1. Talk to him nicely and explain.
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Old 13.08.2019, 08:02
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Re: New employee smelling of smoke

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Step 1. Talk to him nicely and explain.
When step 1 fails proceed to step 2
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Old 14.08.2019, 08:36
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Re: New employee smelling of smoke

Introduce him to IQOS
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Old 14.08.2019, 16:21
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Re: New employee smelling of smoke

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I've worked with many people who stink because they don't use deodorant.

Not illegal, however.

Tom
I used to work with a guy who had a distinct odour around him of something I mistook for alcohol. And it was especially strong in the mornings when he arrived for work (he was typically late all the time).

Assuming I was dealing with somebody with a drinking problem, I discretely talked to some co-workers about it. They told me, actually, it's probably not the alcohol that he's drinking but the solvent of some cheap aftershave that he's using way too much of.
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