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Stinky Smoking Colleague

(161 Posts)
SniffsAndSneezes Tue 07-Jul-15 10:04:48

I work in an office and share a desk with a colleague who smokes. About 3 times an hour he'll go outside for 5 minutes, have a cigarette and when he comes in he absolutely stinks to high heaven, to the point where I'm almost gagging. I'm just so aware of breathing it in, and of that smell going on my clothes and in my hair. And when I go out for lunch he'll be there, 2 feet from the building entrance puffing away, forcing everyone coming in or going out to walk through a cloud of smoke. It makes me so angry!

WIBU to speak to him about it? I unfortunately can't switch desks and sit somewhere else.

MythicalKings Tue 07-Jul-15 10:06:28

Maybe your perfume/feet/breath/ stinks to him.
YABVU. And a tadge hysterical.

Wantsunshine Tue 07-Jul-15 10:08:45

Maybe you are doing something that pisses him off or smells and he is doing it on purpose. Especially if you are sitting there gagging and being dramatic

WorraLiberty Tue 07-Jul-15 10:09:01

Gosh, the 3rd smoking thread in 2 days. Still I suppose it's leaving the obese alone...

BastardGoDarkly Tue 07-Jul-15 10:09:11

You can't stop the bloke smoking, so saying anything is pointless.

sugar21 Tue 07-Jul-15 10:14:42

Blimey you work for a good company if he is allowed to nip out 3or 4 times an hour. Does he get any work done at all? Never mind you can always spray him with your insecticide. Shall we have another benefits bashing thread now?

SniffsAndSneezes Tue 07-Jul-15 10:14:48

Almost. Almost gagging. I've never been dramatic about it, I just sit there and get on with my work and try not to breathe in too much. I don't wear perfume at work, I don't eat food at my desk and I don't have any personal hygiene issues so I can't imagine that he's doing it to get back at me in any way.

FearOfABlackPlanet Tue 07-Jul-15 10:18:37

I dont think he should be smoking right near the entrance to your work. You could maybe tackle that issue? Not sure what else you can do.

Sympathies, though. Its such a grim smell and people can't seem to smell it as much on themselves <ex-smoker here>

Grewupinafield Tue 07-Jul-15 10:19:48

Just talk to him. Your both adults. Tell him the smell bothers you. If he doesn't do anything about it, speak to your manager.

Are you exaggerating about how often he goes out for a smoke? It's unusual for people to smoke that heavily and that your bosses allow him to do that!

SniffsAndSneezes Tue 07-Jul-15 10:23:20

It's a pretty quiet company, the boss is often out and other people are always coming and going so it's pretty relaxed. I'm not exaggerating, it's not exactly 3 times exactly every hour but I'd say it averages about that much! everyone else just kind of accepts it but they don't sit as close to him as I do.

MrsKoala Tue 07-Jul-15 10:24:19

The only thing that would bother me if i was his boss, is how much work he was missing. 3 x 5mins an hour is 25% of the work day. Does no one else comment on how much time he spends outside? shock

<misses point of thread entirely>

WorraLiberty Tue 07-Jul-15 10:24:40

I call exaggeration on the '3 times an hour', just as I call exaggeration on the 'cloud' of smoke. Unless the air is completely still and he has lungs the size of a hot air balloon?

It's not nice I'll grant you that but my god some people on MN seem to have no tolerance for smells at all.

They simply would never survive a commute on the tube for example on a hot day. The smell of stale garlic/spices/BO being sweated out is eye watering, but that's life.

WhoNickedMyName Tue 07-Jul-15 10:27:45

YANBU to speak to him about it, or raise it with your manager and ask them to deal with it in the same way you would if it was the smell of horrendous BO.

maybebabybee Tue 07-Jul-15 10:30:39

I agree that people in offices seem unusually tolerant to smells. We actually had a hot pork sandwich withdrawn from our campaign because colleagues whingers complained about the smell.

I'm 5 weeks pregnant and very smell averse but I have to say I do think we overreact to things like this. You are not going to smell of smoke because someone sits near you who has been smoking, FGS! It's not like you're standing with him while he smokes.

I personally find the smell of many perfumes pretty vile but I wouldn't complain about them as it's not my right to dictate what my colleagues smell like!

maybebabybee Tue 07-Jul-15 10:30:59

Campaign? Meant cafeteria!

WorraLiberty Tue 07-Jul-15 10:34:58

You are not going to smell of smoke because someone sits near you who has been smoking, FGS!

Wouldn't it be fab if we could sit next to someone who has very naice, expensive perfume, and come away smelling of it?

We'd save a bloody fortune grin

WhoNickedMyName Tue 07-Jul-15 10:35:42

In my previous job I've had to have awkward discussions with staff who have smelled strongly of bo, smoke, headache inducing Angel perfume and bad breath. Oh and one chap who farted constantly.

It's not acceptable in an enclosed office to inflict a strong, unpleasant or overpowering smell on others who have to spend 8 hours a day with you.

dejarderoncar Tue 07-Jul-15 10:36:12

I have an image of perfect MN UK. Everyone a size 10, no unhealthy food even available in the shops, not one single smoker
left in existence.

Dogs only allowed if they are working dogs, and must be kept on a lead, muzzled and with their permit on display at all times. All cats must live indoors with own private toilet.

NDN's not permitted to make any noise between 10pm and 8am, but if you have young children then NDN not allowed to make any noise after 6pm. No trampolines or bbq's allowed. Children not allowed to make any noise outside their own home, i.e. in garden or street.

Only those deemed worthy allowed benefits, this normally meaning 'in work' benefits good, 'lazy scrounger' benefits, bad. Worthiness to be decided by panel of peers gathered weekly behind bike sheds.

Bottle of wine per person, per day, compulsory, but cut down to one glass per day while pregnant.


LashesandLipstick Tue 07-Jul-15 10:36:22

Maybe pork sandwiches DO stink though, if it's in an office, pungent food should be OFF the menu.

OP you can ask him to move from the entrance, not sure what you can do about him smelling though

JinglyJanglyJungleBigGameTours Tue 07-Jul-15 10:36:54

Actually, I'm with you on this, OP there's a guy who sometimes sits near me in meetings and I have no idea what he smokes but the smell is enough to take your breath away sometimes, its incredibly strong and seems to hang about him for ages after smoke breaks. Other smokers in the office don't have this so much so I guess it must be the brand he smokes.

Could you move desk?

SycamoreMum Tue 07-Jul-15 10:37:08

I don't see how you can really do anything about it. If you speak to the manager he might ask him to cut down his breaks but that wont stop him from having probably two cigs while on his break and smelling even stronger of cigarettes when he returns...?

I had no idea there were so many smoker bashers on MN shock. I'm shocked and have to light up to reflect on this wink

LashesandLipstick Tue 07-Jul-15 10:37:24

Oh and one chap who farted constantly

How did you tackle that?! Can you force someone to stop farting? I'm curious! :grin:

Fromparistoberlin73 Tue 07-Jul-15 10:40:49

this is why HR exist honey|!

FYI I am a smoker (not 3 hourly though praise be) and his behaviour sucks. Smokers should ideally wash hands, spray perfume and use chewing gum. I would never smoke then have a 1:1 with a colleague after

WorraLiberty Tue 07-Jul-15 10:41:51

All cats must live indoors with own private toilet

Absolutely no toilet brush in sight grin

WhoNickedMyName Tue 07-Jul-15 10:42:37

I offered to refer the farter to occupational health/dietitian (worked for the NHS) if he felt he had a medical problem and also suggested he might want to see his GP and offered him the appropriate time off and support for any follow up medical appointments if required.

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