Need suggestions ...

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2010
Need suggestions ...
5
Thu, 08-09-2012 - 2:57pm

So I have a problem at work and I need some suggestions on how to handle it.  My hyper active, high maintenance supervisor at work is a chain smoker and it seems that every time she comes in from yet another smoke break she needs to step into my little office to tell me something.  Well this would be fine, but the smoke smell that clings to her clothes & her breath makes me cringe on a normal basis, but it makes me downright ill now that I'm pregnant!  My extra sensitive nose is being assaulted on a regular basis when I'm at my office (thankfully only 3 days a week) and it's making me VERY cranky!  My issue is that I don't know how to approach her about this.  It's not like I can tell her to stop smoking, or to stop coming into my office, and I think asking her to wash her hands, spray body mist or just change her clothes & brush her teeth before talking to me might be deemed more than a little offensive!  Advice anyone?

Lilypie Maternity tickers
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-04-2007
Thu, 08-09-2012 - 4:59pm

This is a sticky situation, and I'm kind of at a loss for exactly how you should approach it. That being said, I'm of the opinion that if something is affecting your productivity or comfort at work, it needs to be addressed. No, you can't demand that she stop coming to your office or stop smoking, but you can sit down and speak with her privately, letting her know that you are concerned about the effects of third-hand smoke on your health and your baby's health (even though most research seems to indicate that the worst of it is nasal irritation unless you have a real allergy/sensitivity; she doesn't necessarily have to know that since a)the jury is still out to an extent and b) concern doesn't always have to have solid science behind it). Make sure you let her know that you aren't judging her decision (even if you are, mentally) and stress that the real issue is that you are super-sensitive due to your condition. The solution may be as simple as her stopping by on the way outside before her smoke break instead of on the way back to her office afterwards. At any rate, when approaching the topic, the most important thing is that you keep what you say completely non-judgemental and non-accusatory while focusing primarily on your physical symptoms and concerns.




Avatar for duchessdina
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-08-2011
Fri, 08-10-2012 - 12:08pm
I agree, see if she's willing to talk to you before she goes out to smoke rather than after. Just say the smoke smell makes you very nauseated and hopefully she's respectful enough to talk to you before she smokes.

Photobucket

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2010
Fri, 08-10-2012 - 4:00pm

Thanks ladies!  I am going to have to just suck it up & talk to her about this.  Hopefully she'll be understanding when I explain that it's just because I'm pregnant & super sensitive to smells right now.  :smileyhappy:  Now I just have to find the courage to have this conversation!  Luckily I don't have to be back in my office until the week after next, so that gives me some time to practice what I'm going to say.

Lilypie Maternity tickers
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-21-2003
Sat, 08-11-2012 - 4:12pm

Could you mention that it's not just smoke but all smells? Fib a little if this isn't true but hopefully it helps lessen the blow to her. I know I'm just barely able to stand the smell of lotion and perfume again. My SO's deodorant even made me nausea at first but you can't very well tell someone to stop wearing deodorant. 

Photobucket

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-23-2004
Tue, 08-14-2012 - 3:35pm

I like the apporach recommended by others on the board and just want to encourage you to not worry too much about your conversation with her.  Really, what is the absolute worst that can happen?  Even if she is a little miffed by it, I'm sure she won't say anything and she'll get over it.  You need to do what's best for you and your baby.  Don't feel bad about it, just do it.  It's simple, really :smileyhappy: