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to ask my colleague not to cook broccoli...

(78 Posts)
crazybutterflylady Mon 29-Nov-10 15:04:37

This is my first AIBU post so please be gentle with me...

I work in a small office of about 10 people. I sit right next to the kitchen. I am 4 months pregnant and have been really battling with all day morning sickness. One of the things that really makes me want to vom is the smell of veg cooking, particularly broccoli.

There is a girl in the office who does the South Beach diet which is basically a lot of veg and a bit of protein. She insists on steaming broccoli most days and it makes me feel really ill. I have mentioned it a few times and said how it makes me feel really rough. At first she seemed sympathetic and stuck to other veg but recently she has started steaming it most days.

I am really starting to feel pissed off about it. Surely she could cook it when I was out on my lunchbreak, or stick to salads or soups or something that doesn't stink the entire office out.

Grr. Yours greenly envy

faverolles Mon 29-Nov-10 15:05:41

Could you be moved so you're not so near the kitchen?

GetOrfMoiLand Mon 29-Nov-10 15:06:15

Well, if you have already asked her to stop and she has decided not to, there is not much else you can do about it really.

StealthPolarBear Mon 29-Nov-10 15:06:55

Can you ask her to give you a 5/10 min warning so you can take your lunchbreak?
Or do you jhave a set lunch?

crazybutterflylady Mon 29-Nov-10 15:09:14

No we don't have set lunch times. She tends to eat around 2.30 though and I get in at 8.15 so it would mean a really late lunch for me. I can't be moved; I sit outside my boss's office and there are no spare desks.

Maybe I just need to shut up and put up, but it really makes me heave blush

DorisIsAPinkDragon Mon 29-Nov-10 15:13:25

Heave gently into her brocoli and she might get the hit.


DorisIsAPinkDragon Mon 29-Nov-10 15:14:02

hint <pah I can't type for toffee today>

GMajor7 Mon 29-Nov-10 15:14:07

Wierd. Most folk eat a sandwich or similar and save steaming veg etc for when they get home!

I can sympathise though. Several staff in an office I worked at were partial to microwaved KIPPERS of a morning. I mean, how inconsiderate is that??

If all else fails vom on said broccoli. Should get the message across!

GMajor7 Mon 29-Nov-10 15:14:51

X-posts with Doris! Same sentiment!

TheSmallClanger Mon 29-Nov-10 15:15:12

Hot food and offices don't really mix.

Go over to her desk and fart in her coffee.

crazybutterflylady Mon 29-Nov-10 15:19:26

Major KIPPERS??? I feel blessed with broccoli.

Oh no clanger she wouldn't have coffee, not green enough. She only eats green or smelly things. Salmon works. Spinach, peas, haricot verts... you get the idea. I just think she should have a salad and be done with it.

i have thought about taking the fuse out of the microwave hmm

<realises this is a little selfish but heaves into said broccoli anyway>

olderandwider Mon 29-Nov-10 15:23:05

I think a full-on Technicolor vom into a bin strategically placed at her feet as she is eating said broccoli should sort the problem out nicely.

ajandjjmum Mon 29-Nov-10 15:23:20

This is the reason that we NEVER have a microwave in our office kitchen.

Bit mean of her under the circumstances. I agree that throwing up every time she cooks broccoli might just stop her.

Deliaskis Mon 29-Nov-10 15:23:56

I don't envy you - early on in pg my sense of smell was very acute and I could smell what people were cooking 3 floors down.

However, it's difficult to know what to do about it. It's not her fault you feel ill, but it's not a nice situation for you to be in either.

I know it's winter so this may seem like a stupid suggestion, but can you open some windows, even if just for 5 minutes whilst it's cooking, it will clear the air and might be more bearable. Is there a window in the kitchen?


MisSalLaneous Mon 29-Nov-10 15:24:46

Since you've already tried the direct approach, might a word with HR help?

It annoyed me a little when I first came across it, but in some offices people are banned actively discouraged from eating smelly foods. I thought it was odd as people are surely adults, but then again, some are inconsiderate.

diddl Mon 29-Nov-10 15:25:38

Can you go & sit somewhere else until the smell has gone?

I think if she insists on doing it then provision should be made for you to be accomodated elsewhere tbh.

crazybutterflylady Mon 29-Nov-10 15:28:01

I had a H&S assessment last week and the guy said 'is there anything you think I should be aware of that is bothering you?' and I laughed and said about the broccoli... he said 'if you like I can have something done about it?'. Hehe. If I was evil I'd ask him to but probably not so great for office relations.

delia I might try your suggestion actually. If nothing else it will be in vengeance since she always whinges about being freezing wink

FindingMyMojo Mon 29-Nov-10 15:29:49

you have my every sympathy. I LOVE broccoli but it does stink when cooked in microwave. We used to have colleague who did just the same - it stunk the entire office out & I'm on a different floor and several fire doors away. This colleague left over 5 years ago now, yet only last week someone here brought up the stinky broccoli diet it was that memorable & objectionable!!!!!!!

Perhaps it would help if she cooked it at home & heated it in the office??? Or maybe not? She is ignoring you so you will have to step things up a bit. It must be affecting your other colleagues too and the smell does hang around. I'd start loudly saying yuk what a pong & get your other colleagues moaning along too (or vomit on her lunch as mentioned above).

It's a ticky one if she's ignoring you - she doesn't care that it's making the working environment unpleasant for others. Perhaps wait another week & ask her if she's pregnant LOL! Then she might switch to less stinky 'diet'!

NeverEatYellowTaintedSnow Mon 29-Nov-10 15:30:28

GMajor7, I think you and I worked in the same office. I used to sit near a woman who was obsessed with Zumba classes (which she did on her lunchbreak) and kippers, so her area of the office constantly smelt like sweat and fish. Yum.

crazy, I don't think it's an unreasonable request tbh, at least until you feel better. I would go back to her again, plead your case, and hope she has a heart. If she doesn't agree to compromise, I'm not sure if there's anything you can do, but YANBU in asking.

Maisiethemorningsidecat Mon 29-Nov-10 15:31:03

If it were me (and I completely sympathise, having vomited my way through 3 pregnancies) you need to have a more formal word with her, explain how ill it's making you feel, and ask her if she could - please - stop cooking broccoli until the worst of your sickness has passed. If she refuses, then I'd refer it upwards, explain that I have asked her to stop, and then ask them to have a word with her or move you to another desk.

theevildead2 Mon 29-Nov-10 15:31:24

I'd mention it again,nicely, maybe she forgot or assumed you'd be over it by now. If she doesn't listen I'd speak to the health and safety guy again and get him to sort it.

If it helps at all, you should (hopefully)at 4 months be nearing the end of it.

Deliaskis Mon 29-Nov-10 15:32:09

CBL I was thinking that, it might make her realise that it's still an issue and you're not being a drama queen - if you'd rather sit there freezing then obviously it's not an 'affectation'!


FindingMyMojo Mon 29-Nov-10 15:32:30

"he said 'if you like I can have something done about it?'"

and you didn't take him up on it? You're mad - I don't think it's bothering you that much if she's ignored you (not great for office relations either) but you refused help when it was offered???? confused

diddl Mon 29-Nov-10 15:33:47

"he said 'if you like I can have something done about it?'"

Well why not?

Ask her to stop until your morning sickness stops?

FindingMyMojo Mon 29-Nov-10 15:33:55

BTW it bothered EVERYONE in our office and not one of them was pregnant! Only it was a boss who was doing it so harder for us to put an end to it.

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