I debated over whether or not this was too gross to post, but decided to go for it. So … A reader writes:
I recently aquired a male officemate (I am female) at work. He had surgery on his knee, and is unable to get up the stairs to his own office, so he is temporarily sharing my office. He makes constant bodily noises all day long. The problem is so bad, I have actually started to keep count. In the last 2 weeks, he has averaged 43 farts and 22 burps PER DAY.
I spoke with him about when he thinks he’ll be able to return to his own office, and he’s expecting to be in my office for the next 6 months.
At one point, the smell in my office was so bad it actually made me physically sick. I tried to explain the situation to my boss, and asked if there was anywhere else they can put him. Since there is no other office he can get to without using the stairs, I’m stuck with him. I’ve tried spraying Febreeze, leaving the room, and even asked him to at least say “excuse me” if he is going to do that in front of me. Nothing has worked. How do I explain to my coworker that his bodily noises are making me physically ill?
Can you work out of his old office while he works in yours? Or somewhere else? Figure out where you could move and then talk to your manager.
Say this: “I am not able to concentrate on my work while Joe is in my office. At times, I actually feel nauseous because of the odors he produces. I am sympethetic to his situation, but I want to be able to focus on my work and I’m sure you do too. I’ve thought of three possible places I could relocate to while he needs to be down here – X, Y, and Z. Which one of these would work best?”
I am now promptly putting this out of my mind.
You can read an update to this post here.