July 01, 1999
Meetings & Conventions: Short Cuts July 1999 Current Issue
July 1999

Dear Answer Lady,
I work in a cubicle, and the person who sits across from me wears a perfume I can't stand. It makes me sick and is affecting my work. What can I do?

Dear Noseplugs,
An unpleasant reality of office life is someone will offend one or more of your senses. Alas, you have to share space with them, anyway. It's quite likely, in fact, that while you suffer, someone else is losing his religion over the way you move stuff in the refrigerator. But there's a point where an annoyance becomes a business problem: when it truly affects your work. Then, you might consider getting your manager involved, although there's a fine line between going through proper channels and letting others do your dirty work. If you're not one to pass the buck, determine whether your co-worker would be more receptive to tactful honesty or mild deception; if the latter is the case, tell her you love the perfume, really, but you're allergic to it.
Live to help&
The Answer Lady

Got a work-related problem that requires attention from an expert or a friendly, disinterested third party? The Answer Lady is both. Write to Answer Lady, Meetings & Conventions, 500 Plaza Dr., Secaucus, N.J. 07094, or send e-mail to

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