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#26 ~Bob~

Posted 11 July 2019 - 11:56 AM

My first thought was some sort of diagnosis too. Can you ask him. Simply, "is there a reason that you like to smell my food". When he responds, I would explain that you don't like it and could he please stop.

If he says it's some sort of diagnosis, I'd probably try to manage the situation on my own. Keep things hidden and gently but firmly say "please don't smell it, remember, I don't like it" before he does. If it's not related to any type of condition, then I would take it to HR if it continued.

#27 Paddlepop

Posted 11 July 2019 - 11:58 AM

Sensory or not, he can keep his damn nose to himself. He's a grown ass man in a workplace who can control his sniffing of other people and their property. He managed to do it when OP told him to bugger off previously, and he manages to do it when it's people he's not comfortable with. No excuses. I'm saying that as a mum of a child with ASD and sensory issues, and wife of a man with ASD and sensory issues.

OP: Put your hand up and physically block him while telling him to bluntly bugger off and keep his nose and his germs to himself. If he persists, go to HR. It's not okay to invade your personal space or contaminate your food and drink with his nose germs. Hair sniffing would fall under sexual harassment wouldn't it? Screw that.

#28 VigilantePaladin

Posted 11 July 2019 - 12:02 PM

OP - is it just you or do they do it to others? I actually wouldn't give a rat's a*se if they may have a "disorder". It's unacceptable behaviour and should not be tolerated especially if you have made it obvious by saying so. If they're not doing it to others then it's not a "disorder". It's rude and not on.

#29 TheGreenSheep

Posted 11 July 2019 - 12:04 PM

I have a friends daughter who is a ‘sniffer’. She sniffs loads of things. In the confines of my home and her home it’s not a bother. And for the record, no sensory issues or diagnoses. It’s her ‘thing’.

However if someone even tried it on me in my workplace I would be ‘WTAF are you doing! That is really gross, don’t come near my food’ I would be very firm with them and their lack of social boundaries.

I have a really strong sense of smell, it’s really bothersome some days as I get so distracted by smells nobody else seems to detect, I have learnt to ignore them or not comment.

#30 SelceLisbeth

Posted 11 July 2019 - 12:04 PM

No one is saying it is ok. What some are saying is that there could be a reason and rather than handling it one way, dealing with it compassionately could mean that this person stops it AND isnt made to feel like a freak (if its a compulsion). Just because you havve experience with ASD doesnt mean you know whats going on here.

#31 Caribou

Posted 11 July 2019 - 12:27 PM

View PostSelceLisbeth, on 11 July 2019 - 12:04 PM, said:

No one is saying it is ok. What some are saying is that there could be a reason and rather than handling it one way, dealing with it compassionately could mean that this person stops it AND isnt made to feel like a freak (if its a compulsion). Just because you havve experience with ASD doesnt mean you know whats going on here.

Seeing it’s a workplace hr can deal with it compassionately. The OP doesn’t need to do that

#32 JAPNII

Posted 11 July 2019 - 12:29 PM

Have you spoken to your manager? are you managed by the same person? If not, they could speak to his/her manager.

#33 BurningBright

Posted 11 July 2019 - 12:48 PM

Now that I have geared myself to have gentle chat , she is in a training meeting. Will try tomorrow when it happens. Am a non confrontational person by nature so it’s not easy.
I don’t want to speak to HR, I will just try again one on one then go from there. Many thanks for your help.

#34 Luci

Posted 11 July 2019 - 01:28 PM

“hey colleague, I am sorry to be a pain but when you sniff my things it makes me feel a bit gross, and when you sniff my food I don’t really feel like eating it after that. I know you don’t mean any harm with it but I would be really grateful if you could give the sniffing a miss”.

Anyway just a suggestion, good luck OP it is a delicate situation to navigate.

#35 Silverstreak

Posted 11 July 2019 - 01:46 PM

Not appropriate at all and the hair sniffing would concern me the most.

I would escalate it to HR and they can deal with it.

#36 Freddie'sMum

Posted 11 July 2019 - 05:29 PM

OP - I had to re-read your post because I didn't understand when someone else mentioned "your hair" - this person sniffs YOUR HAIR ?  Amongst all the other sniffing - food / hand cream etc etc.  That would completely freak me out.  

Please talk to HR about it.  You've asked them politely to stop and they haven't - take it to HR.

#37 José

Posted 11 July 2019 - 05:35 PM

View PostCaribou, on 11 July 2019 - 12:27 PM, said:



Seeing it’s a workplace hr can deal with it compassionately. The OP doesn’t need to do that

sure, but being compassionate could be referring it to HR and refraining from saying ef**** off

#38 José

Posted 11 July 2019 - 05:38 PM

View PostMurderBritches, on 11 July 2019 - 12:02 PM, said:

If they're not doing it to others then it's not a "disorder".

you cant rule out a disorder just because they dont do it all the time to all people under all circumstances

#39 Chocolate Addict

Posted 11 July 2019 - 05:54 PM

View PostLuci, on 11 July 2019 - 01:28 PM, said:

“hey colleague, I am sorry to be a pain but when you sniff my things it makes me feel a bit gross, and when you sniff my food I don’t really feel like eating it after that. I know you don’t mean any harm with it but I would be really grateful if you could give the sniffing a miss”.

Anyway just a suggestion, good luck OP it is a delicate situation to navigate.
Um, NO. The OP has nothing to be sorry about, she isn't the one making others uncomfortable.

Being an adult, if there is sensory issues at play they should have that sh*te firmly sorted. I am so sick of excuses being made 'because SPD/ASD" etc..  She is an adult, she should have things in place do deal with the issue.

*yes, parent of ASD/SPD/anxiety/AFRID child

Edited by Chocolate Addict, 11 July 2019 - 05:58 PM.


#40 Luci

Posted 11 July 2019 - 06:36 PM

View PostChocolate Addict, on 11 July 2019 - 05:54 PM, said:

Um, NO. The OP has nothing to be sorry about, she isn't the one making others uncomfortable.

Being an adult, if there is sensory issues at play they should have that sh*te firmly sorted. I am so sick of excuses being made 'because SPD/ASD" etc..  She is an adult, she should have things in place do deal with the issue.

*yes, parent of ASD/SPD/anxiety/AFRID child

I agree 100% that the OP doesn't have anything to be sorry about, far from it. Perhaps I should have included that in what I wrote.

Anyway I was just giving a suggestion of something that might be easier for the OP to say, as she mentioned that she found confrontation difficult and that she likes this person and gets along fine with them otherwise.  So even if the wording was perhaps not ideal it could work as a means to an end if that makes sense.

#41 magic_marker

Posted 11 July 2019 - 07:40 PM

My first thought is lack of boundaries on her part.
And when confronted acts like it's normal and you have a problem. NOPE. I think l would ask her to cease and if it continues, take it further.
Good luck!

#42 2bundles

Posted 11 July 2019 - 08:40 PM

I would probably turn into a friendly “you’re sniffing again” as a friendly but casual reminder. Easier than a formal approach and an immediate reminder.

Edited by 2bundles, 11 July 2019 - 08:40 PM.


#43 WaitForMe

Posted 11 July 2019 - 09:20 PM

I think you need to say it a few more times. Not just a once off and then ignore it when it starts again, you need to say it as soon as it happens - even if you don't get a chance to stop it, say it after the fact.

By all means go to HR or a manager if you feel better doing it that way. You could also talk to them about no longer sitting next to them.

#44 Dr Dolly

Posted 11 July 2019 - 09:28 PM

View PostBornToLove, on 11 July 2019 - 09:37 AM, said:

depending on if your employer has an HR on staff, I’d just take it to HR. It’s part of their job, they have probably had more awkward conversations with people to stop doing gross and inappropriate stuff, this is nothing.

If your employer is smaller, and no HR, I would ask them once more in a frank and matter of fact tone. Just ‘hey, please stop smelling my food/stuff/whatever.’

If they continue after your second request, I would take it to management and ask that they speak to them more directly. Again that’s their job, but I think being able to say I have asked more than once shows that you have tried to resolve on your own to no avail.


Born to love - I am keen to understand more about why it’s HR’s role to have this conversation.  When did having difficult/ adult conversations default to HR or management? I am not having ago, so to speak, I am genuinely curious.

#45 Tokra

Posted 11 July 2019 - 09:29 PM

I know it's really gross, but I have to admit that I laughed when I read this. Has to be one of the weirdest things I've read lol.

Sounds like you have the right approach, so good luck!

But we simply must know what happens lol.

#46 CallMeFeral

Posted 11 July 2019 - 09:32 PM

View PostBurningBright, on 11 July 2019 - 12:48 PM, said:

Now that I have geared myself to have gentle chat , she is in a training meeting. Will try tomorrow when it happens. Am a non confrontational person by nature so it’s not easy.
I don’t want to speak to HR, I will just try again one on one then go from there. Many thanks for your help.

View Post2bundles, on 11 July 2019 - 08:40 PM, said:

I would probably turn into a friendly “you’re sniffing again” as a friendly but casual reminder. Easier than a formal approach and an immediate reminder.

I like the idea of once again having the gentle chat, and then from that point onwards consistently but politely reinforcing EVERY SINGLE TIME with a brief phrase as above. Whatever the reason, it seems like they either have difficulty restraining the compulsion or else it's become such a compulsive habit they are struggling to remember to stop it. So like any training, repetition is key. You've done the explaining, you're going to do it again just to make sure, after that all you need is to help them notice the urge at the point where they can stop it. So whatever brief reminder you can call out when you see them approach, even if it's in a lighthearted/joking way, eg.
- "no sniffing" (and cover your cup/move it out of the way as a visual cue)
- "STOP"
- a hand up as they approach
Or whatever else you feel comfortable with. Don't feel shy to do it, because consistency will be needed. It's not you doing something wrong, and you are doing a massive favour by alerting them to the behaviour and helping train them to resist the urge, because it could get them a lot worse consequences than that in future. Remember to think of it that way - you really are helping them.
-

#47 PabloS

Posted 11 July 2019 - 09:36 PM

Hi, why are you sniffing my food.....etc etc. deal with your own issues initially.

#48 Phascogale

Posted 11 July 2019 - 09:47 PM

View PostDr Dolly, on 11 July 2019 - 09:28 PM, said:

Born to love - I am keen to understand more about why it’s HR’s role to have this conversation.  When did having difficult/ adult conversations default to HR or management? I am not having ago, so to speak, I am genuinely curious.
I am wondering whether it's because to keep it professional.  If the OP starts to continually tell this person off, it can be seen as bullying.   A one off being told to stop isn't, but if you keep doing it then it might be construed as that.

It may be about following the chain of command.  HR is a step away from the workers.

But it's lose/lose sometimes.  You can get the 'why didn't you speak to me and why did you go to HR' angle as well.  As well as if you tried to deal with it yourself - 'why didn't you go to HR?

#49 MessyJ

Posted 11 July 2019 - 09:53 PM

View PostDr Dolly, on 11 July 2019 - 09:28 PM, said:

Born to love - I am keen to understand more about why it’s HR’s role to have this conversation.  When did having difficult/ adult conversations default to HR or management? I am not having ago, so to speak, I am genuinely curious.

Surely the one benefit of being an adult and having to work (in a professional environment) is that for once there is someone else who is paid to do the dirty work of a difficult conversation for you!! :rofl:

In general though I think HR will always be involved if a work relationship turns sour (which can start from a difficult conversation) so they are often happy to be involved from the start to try and ensure that doesn't happen. Or in this case where there's some 'unusual' behaviour already, conversations can backfire and if HR are already on top of it there's less chance of negative ramifications or of it turning personal.

#50 gettin my fance on

Posted 11 July 2019 - 09:54 PM

View PostDr Dolly, on 11 July 2019 - 09:28 PM, said:

Born to love - I am keen to understand more about why it’s HR’s role to have this conversation.  When did having difficult/ adult conversations default to HR or management? I am not having ago, so to speak, I am genuinely curious.

Because the OP has already had the difficult conversation and asked that the person stop and explained why.   The sniffer has disregarded the OP's request and continued the behaviour.

How many times should the OP  feel uncomfortable having the difficult conversation only to be ignored and then continue to be made uncomfortable with the hair sniffing and have her food contaminated by having someone's nose stuck in it .

What makes you think the sniffer will take OP seriously this time?




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