One of my employees always wears too much perfume. There are days when it makes my eyes water. Some of her co-workers have complained to me privately about the scent and I have talked to the employee several times. She says she is not breaking any rules and she is not going to stop wearing so much unless I can document that someone has a “true allergy”. How can I convince her to go easy on the Chanel to make the place more pleasant for the rest of us?
— Supervisor Stuart
Have you tried begging and saying “pretty please”? That might work – in an alternate dimension.
If you are truly the supervisor why are you letting this employee boss you around? It is letters like this that make me wish there were Supervisor Licenses so I could cut yours into tiny pieces.
You are a supervisor. So supervise. It is the only thing that makes scents.
— Evil Skippy
P.S. If you can’t handle a direct communication, turn in your Supervisor Badge and try one of these approaches:
Evil Skippy’s Top Ten Ways To Deal With An Employee Who Overdoes Perfume
- Say, “That’s the new scent from Costco isn’t it? Did you know you are not supposed to use the entire supply at one time?”
- Issue gas masks and wear them.
- Mutter softly and woefully, “My nasal passages! They’re burning. . . burning . . .” as you slowly sink to the floor in a dramatic swoon.
- Say, “I hate to think what smelled so bad that you needed so much perfume to mask it.”
- Liberal use of Fabreze, applied directly to the employee.
- Tell her, “Your scent reminds me – do you know the status of our efforts to become a Superfund clean-up site?”
- Light scented candles near the employee’s work area. It might take a few hundred. If you accidentally burn the place down, don’t worry. You will eradicate the perfume smell at the same time.
- Move everyone else to another building and don’t tell the employee where you’ve gone.
- Get some strong potpourri in a scent you can tolerate. Use it to plug both nostrils.
- Find a canary that has succumbed due to natural and painless causes (since we do not want to encourage animal cruelty in any way). Place the deceased feathered friend in a cage and set the cage near the employee’s desk when she is away. When she returns, “find” it and tell her that this proves she has to stop wearing so much perfume for safety reasons. (This should work even if your workplace is not an underground mine).
I agree with ES that since you are the supervisor, you need to start supervising. Tell Smelly Sue that she has to tone down or stop using perfume. Period. It is not a request or a hint. It is a directive. Be sure to warn her that if she fails to comply, she will be fired.
Many noses will thank you.