A Weekly Q&A Column About Professionalism, Etiquette and Problems in the Workplace
by Sue Morem
Coworker Wears Too Much Perfume
Dear Sue: We have an employee whose fragrance announces itself
way before she enters the room. I am the person of least status in the
department and yet people complain to me, rather than to upper
management, hoping I'll do something. We cannot expect action from upper
management as they do not cope well with issues like this.
To top it off, I'm highly allergic to fragrance. What is the best way
to handle this?
- Can't breathe
Sue Says: If you are allergic to perfume and are being affected
by someone’s fragrance you have every right to say something--and you
should. You can own the “problem.” Tell this person how fragrance
affects you, and although it is difficult for you to ask her to limit
her fragrance you must or you will continue to suffer.
This person probably has no idea she is wearing too much fragrance or
that it is affecting others negatively. By speaking up you are doing
both of you a favor.
Sue Morem is a professional speaker, trainer and syndicated columnist. She
is author of the newly released
101 Tips for Graduates and
How to Gain the Professional Edge, Second Edition. You can contact her by email at
firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her web site at
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