Advanced search

smoking/smelling colleage

(68 Posts)
baritonehome Wed 06-Dec-17 09:38:00

I have a newish colleage who has an hourly smoker's break outside the office in a designated smoking area.

We share a desk. When she comes back to her desk, she stinks. I cannot stand the smell of cigarettes and having to sit next to her when she is oozing the old stale smell of cigarettes (which is always there to some extend) really bothers me. it is absolutely disgusting. yuk.

WIBU to ask my employer to ask my employer to stop her smoking during working hours? Is there a legal basis did it?

our office is air conditioned so I cannot even open the window. speaking to her won't help, I tried that. She is addicted.

thefutureisours Wed 06-Dec-17 09:40:11

Yabu. Ask your employer for a desk move by all means but asking her to quit smoking because you don't like it is quite frankly ridiculous.

Eltonjohnssyrup Wed 06-Dec-17 09:41:25


Eltonjohnssyrup Wed 06-Dec-17 09:42:38

You can ask them to speak to her about the number of breaks she is taking. But that's it. If she's making the time up then it's none of your business really.

Systemoverload99 Wed 06-Dec-17 09:43:22

Definitely ask to move desk, not sure an employer can make someone give up smoking! Are people really allowed hourly breaks to smoke though??

Pickleypickles Wed 06-Dec-17 09:43:52

😂😂😂 this cant be real?

baritonehome Wed 06-Dec-17 09:44:45

there is no other free desk.

I asked around if anybody wants to swap desk but there are, surprise, surprise, no takers. She is the only smoker so the rest of the team is also smoke smell sensitive.

it is really bad. I have worked with smokers before but she smells for some reason a lot more.

Hotpinkangel19 Wed 06-Dec-17 09:46:22

I feel sorry for you op. I'd hate to sit in such close proximity to a smoker like that, second hand stale smoke is revolting. People would complain about sitting next to someone with BO, so YANBU to complain, although I don't think they can stop them smoking!

baritonehome Wed 06-Dec-17 09:46:34

this cant be real?

it is. Have you ever shared desk with a heavy smoker? not sure if she is showering daily and how often she is washing her clothes but it smells awful. and having to endure it 8h/day is no fun.

But it seems I am very unreasonable.

Korez Wed 06-Dec-17 09:46:36

I'd be straight away asking for a desk move... it's one of the smell aversions which trigger me puking at the moment 🤢

bustraintram Wed 06-Dec-17 09:47:08

I definitely think you should raise this with your employer, they (assuming they're decent) would want to know that you're experiencing discomfort, I'd certainly want to know that about my team, not sure what they can do but they might be able to reshuffle so smoker is on her own or something. Alternatively whilst they can't force her to give up smoking, surely they could say no smoking during work time?

WorraLiberty Wed 06-Dec-17 09:47:21

Of course YABU. Your colleague is addicted to nicotine. It's not like popping out every hour because she fancies a sausage roll.

It's horrible though so I feel for you. At least 3 days a week I end up working with a smoker and I cope by spraying myself with perfume.

Pickleypickles Wed 06-Dec-17 09:47:40

I would imagine if its that bad then she is smoking at home with all windows and doors shut and so her smoking in work is probably quite irrelevant (to the smell)

crisscrosscranky Wed 06-Dec-17 09:48:43

I actually don't think it's unreasonable. I worked with a woman who smelt strongly of smoke before and she was asked to sort it because it was unprofessional and resulting in complaints. She failed her probation in the end and this was one of the issues raised with her suitability for the role.

Eltonjohnssyrup Wed 06-Dec-17 09:49:22

You could ask for the desks to be repositioned.

molifly Wed 06-Dec-17 09:49:40

i feel you. I work with two and they sometimes manage 10 10 minute breaks extra to our already hour long lunch break whilst i sit and hold house.

It's annoying and smells but i've never mentioned it because i don't want to be that person.

crisscrosscranky Wed 06-Dec-17 09:49:40

P.S to the PP who dealt with the smoke smell by spraying perfume- that's just as bad! 😷

baritonehome Wed 06-Dec-17 09:49:42

I would imagine if its that bad then she is smoking at home with all windows and doors shut and so her smoking in work is probably quite irrelevant (to the smell)

possibly. I worked with smokers before who were a lot less smelly.

Pickleypickles Wed 06-Dec-17 09:49:49

You could wear a heavily perfumed head scarf?

pinkhorse Wed 06-Dec-17 09:50:39

I totally get this. It's bad enough getting into a lift with a smoker after a lunch break. It's absolutely vile.

baritonehome Wed 06-Dec-17 09:51:50

You could wear a heavily perfumed head scarf?

hell, no. bleurghh envy

Frillyhorseyknickers Wed 06-Dec-17 09:52:22

Having a fag break every hour is unreasonable, in an 8 hour working day that's roughly 40minutes spent outside smoking.

When I smoked I had two fag breaks a day and when I came in I would go straight to loos to wash hands, spray and stick some chewing gum in, though nothing covers the smell - it's rank.

I would request a move as forcing someone who doesn't smoke to endure smelly stale fag smoke is a form of torture. They shouldn't be letting her go outside so often!

WorraLiberty Wed 06-Dec-17 09:53:52

P.S to the PP who dealt with the smoke smell by spraying perfume- that's just as bad!

It's how I cope though and if the smoker ever has the front to complain, I'm going to unleash 3 months of pent up angst on her grin grin

It's only me and her in the office.

baritonehome Wed 06-Dec-17 09:54:23

she only has a very short lunch break instead (we have normally 1h).

Wineandpyjamas Wed 06-Dec-17 10:05:57

YANBU to complain about the smell. Stale smoke smell is vile and sounds like this woman smokes a lot. I used to smoke and like @frillyhorsey I would often wear a specific coat or cardigan which I would then leave on a hanger outside office. Then wash hands and put perfume on. Also chewing gum. I don't think you can stop her having smoke breaks as I believe if you're a smoker you're entitled to them by law. However I do think your management should limit them or find some other way to move you away from her. At the end of the day it's affecting your morale and performance at work. Hope you get it sorted.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: