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Employee's fragrance too much to handle? Don't sweat over it

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Employee's fragrance too much to handle? Don't sweat over it

Dear Harriette: My assistant came to work wearing a fragrance that's so strong it's making me sick to my stomach. I had to leave the office for a while in order to get a breath of fresh air.
I don't quite know what to say to her, even as I'm sure something must change in order for me to be able to coexist with her. How can I broach this sensitive topic?
-- Laura, Cincinnati

Dear Laura: I experienced the same thing recently. Being pregnant, my sense of smell is supremely amplified, and I literally get sick when in the company of strong fragrances or odors. Very kindly, I simply explained the situation and asked the employee in question not to wear fragrance to work because I'm currently allergic to it. She happily agreed.
Don't blow this out of proportion. Simply talk to your assistant and explain your sensitivity to fragrance. Ask her to support you either by wearing no fragrance or something far subtler.
For more information on this topic, write to Working Fragrance Free, P.O. Box 460461, San Francisco, CA 94146-0461.

Dear Harriette: I would like to comment on your column about African-American women who think their sons are the "man of the house" and how you mentioned he might be having an affair. I've been married to a German-Irish man for 21 years. He also has an obsessive mother who thinks my husband should do all the upkeep on her house, including major home improvements. My husband jumps at her calls, and I'm certain he is not having an affair since her home is not very far and I know he is there, so I would not be so quick to jump to that conclusion.
We lived near my mother-in-law for seven years, and it nearly broke up our marriage. We moved three miles away, but now that his father passed away she has created a to-do list for him that is not even within reason.
My conclusion for mothers of sons: Let your sons live their lives with their own families. Yes, a son is obligated to help, but let him live his life like a man -- and husband -- should.
-- Linda, Colorado
Dear Linda: Thank you for your comments that underscore the reality that many mothers exercise unfair control over their sons. This selfish behavior does cause tremendous hardship for their sons' family life and is a sentiment echoed across the country. Perhaps some controlling mothers will see this discussion and reconsider how destructive their unbridled requests are on their sons' families.
Although demanding mothers are often the sole issue here, my concern regarding the husband's fidelity is another serious consideration for some. Husbands and wives do sometimes invent work scenarios when they are actually engaging in extramarital activities, particularly when the duty involves rushing off at all hours of the day and night to tend to someone else's needs.
My intention was not to inspire doubt. I want women to be proactive as they discover how to manage their family lives.

Full credit for this news article goes to: Salt Lake Tribune, UT

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