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Advice | Miss Manners: Can I confront my colleagues about their air fresheners?

Dear Ms Manners: Two new colleagues, who sit on opposite sides of my space, both have a plug-in air freshener. The scents are quite strong and hard to tolerate. I don’t sneeze or to the point that I can’t breathe, but they are unpleasantly unpleasant to me.

I am allergic to many fragrances, and I also have asthma. I’ve discussed this with my supervisor, but he told me it’s not his place to bring it up – that it’s a co-worker issue.

I feel so uncomfortable with the idea of ​​discussing it directly with my colleagues. They would be offended and that would create tension in the office. What is the best way to tackle this problem?

Nose first. Blame it because you are sensitive and ask if there is a milder version of the air freshener that can be used instead. Or bring your own, claiming you don’t want the burden of fresh air (oh, the irony) put on them alone.

And speaking of trouble, Miss Manners marvels at your supervisor’s cowardice for not getting involved. It seems worth pursuing a “neutral smell” office policy rather than risking employees turning maliciously against each other.

Dear Ms Manners: Our family just welcomed a new baby and we received many thoughtful gifts from family and friends, including a check from my uncle and a book from my grandmother. I wrote both thank you cards, but then my mom told me my UNCLE sent the book and my grandmother sent the check.

I am positively offended. What can I do to fix this?

Dear Ms Manners: My boyfriend broke up with me and I haven’t spoken or seen him in months. He tried to call me sometimes, but I didn’t take the calls.

Then he called again and said he would come see me. I said no, I was busy, but he came over anyway. I was going out with friends so he stayed with my parents as they were visiting too.

My friends and I had been out for dinner, then my ex was angry that I didn’t bring him food. Should I have given him something to eat when I didn’t even want him there? He stayed on my couch overnight and left the next morning.

I haven’t spoken to him again. This happened months ago, but I’m still furious.

you too should be. You didn’t have to let this man into your house, let alone provide him with food and shelter. This may encourage or confuse him – as clearly your parents’ strange behavior did.

But Miss Manners trusts that since you said this was months ago, the behavior has ceased. Should it happen again, she recommends enlisting a firmer hand, if not higher authorities, and at the very least get the assurance that your parents will help you get him out the door quickly.

New Miss Manners columns are posted Monday through Saturday at washingtonpost.com/advice. You can ask questions to Ms Manners on her website, missmanns.com. You can also follow her @RealMissManners.

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