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Allergic US employee sues to ban perfume at work
Yahoo ^ | July 5, 2007

Posted on 07/05/2007 8:55:27 AM PDT by COUNTrecount

WASHINGTON (AFP) - An office worker for the US city of Detroit is suing for her colleagues to be banned from wearing perfume which gives her such severe headaches, nausea and coughing fits that she must leave work.

Court documents showed Thursday that Susan McBride suffered so acutely from allergy to the chemicals in scents, lotions and sprays that she had to go home sick when a heavily perfumed co-worker shared her office at the city's historic districts department.

Her sensitivity is such that she avoids the detergent sections in shops and cannot sit near perfumed people in a movie theater or on the bus.

The co-worker refused to leave off the perfume, according to the complaint filed at the district court in Detroit, in the northern state of Michigan. McBride needed medical treatment and was off work for some time.

Now she is seeking a jury trial to make the city force fellow employees to come to work un-scented, citing disability discrimination laws. She is claiming unspecified damages for "pain, suffering, humiliation and outrage" suffered.

McBride and her manager have already asked the city authorities that employ her to enforce a "no scent policy as an accommodation to her disability, without success," the complaint said.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: allergies; cranksveto; detroit; fragrances; jerks; liberalagenda; michigan; perfume; workersparadise; workplace
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1 posted on 07/05/2007 8:55:28 AM PDT by COUNTrecount
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To: COUNTrecount

This has been going on for years. Decades.


2 posted on 07/05/2007 8:57:54 AM PDT by RightWhale (It's Brecht's donkey, not mine)
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To: COUNTrecount

“WASHINGTON (AFP) - An office worker for the US city of Detroit...”

I guess that in Washington, they don’t know where Detroit is.


3 posted on 07/05/2007 8:58:59 AM PDT by Brilliant
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To: Brilliant

Like the “female” burqa I heard Laurie Dhue say the other night. Like there’s a male burqa???

24hrs. is a lot to fill.


4 posted on 07/05/2007 9:02:48 AM PDT by bicyclerepair (Sunrise, Florida)
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To: COUNTrecount

Have the city issue the person who is allergic a Breathing Mask which will stop all Oders from entering her Nose.

She is the one with the Disorder.


5 posted on 07/05/2007 9:02:54 AM PDT by chatham
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To: COUNTrecount

Does anyone wonder why Detroit is dying like an AIDS patient?


6 posted on 07/05/2007 9:07:10 AM PDT by shekkian
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To: COUNTrecount

I have been saying for years that this was coming. First they came for the smokers....then for the wearers of fragrance...and next I believe they will go after those who eat meat. That is, if you are a meat eater, you may not eat it on your employer’s property.


7 posted on 07/05/2007 9:12:53 AM PDT by 3AngelaD (They screwed up their own countries so bad they had to leave, and now they're here screwing up ours)
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To: RightWhale
Put her in an office with someone with a flatulence problem.

Both would be covered by the PWD act. Then just let them fight it out until they both quit.

Problem solved.

8 posted on 07/05/2007 9:30:51 AM PDT by Beagle8U (FreeRepublic -- One stop shopping ....... Its the Conservative Super Walmart for news .)
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To: COUNTrecount

Cierra sends me packing. Sure ain’t no love potent. Best, N


9 posted on 07/05/2007 9:33:12 AM PDT by nedlbndr
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To: 3AngelaD

Don’t forget the peanut allergy crowd.

Children are sent away to daycare and public schools where parents can’t protect them from that allergy.

Hence bans on peanut butter in those type settings.


10 posted on 07/05/2007 9:34:10 AM PDT by Nextrush
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To: Brilliant

The article’s from (AFP) Agence France-Presse, which is French. Which explains it. Being French, that is.


11 posted on 07/05/2007 9:37:50 AM PDT by BlessedBeGod
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To: Nextrush

Yea, but peanut allergies are sometimes fatal. Allergies to smells? Not so much I think.....


12 posted on 07/05/2007 9:38:42 AM PDT by bigred41
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To: COUNTrecount

I’m with this woman.

I suffer allergies and have had the same reaction to certain fragrances. It can make you feel like you’ve got the flue. Sure, you can take pills, but they’re not always effective, and they have side effects.

And we all know that many people apply to much of these products— either because they don’t bathe or because of some psychological problem that makes them think they stink. Often thee people are obese, so there is more surface area to transfer the chemicals to the air.

Perhaps she’s going after the wrong people, or for the wrong reasons. Perhaps the office lacks adequate ventilation. Perhaps the perfume makers should be named in the suit. Perhaps individual offenders should be named.

Go ahead and flame if you want, but I say personal rights stop at my nostrils.


13 posted on 07/05/2007 9:43:17 AM PDT by tsomer
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To: bigred41

Allergies to scents can be fatal. There are all types of allergic reaction up to and including toxic shock and respiratory failure.

Furthermore, many allergic reactions get more severe with each subsequent occurrence.

Blaming this woman for her allergy is like blaming someone for their cancer - those that are suggesting she is “the problem” should all be ashamed of yourselves.


14 posted on 07/05/2007 9:50:17 AM PDT by Wil H (Islam - the religion of perpetual outrage.)
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To: bigred41

I think there must be a better way but with government schools and all those children packed in what choices do we have when it comes to worrying about “peanut butter?”

Peanut butter gives the controllers a foot in the door to ban other things.

I think it makes one wonder about the alternative where parents can protect their children from peanut butter allergies and anything else that might harm them in a public school.

I must be talking about homeschooling.


15 posted on 07/05/2007 9:51:44 AM PDT by Nextrush
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To: tsomer

It seems a lot of people don’t understand allergies. Even on TV, people with allergies are portrayed as wussies or hypocondriacs. It’s ridiculous. I’ve even had friends (now ex-friends) who gave me a hard time about my allergies, like I have a choice!

I don’t understand why people wear perfume. I could see wearing it for a date, to appeal to a member of the opposite sex. But why wear it at work? If I came across someone wearing perfume, I would assume they stink and are trying to cover it up, LOL!


16 posted on 07/05/2007 9:56:01 AM PDT by Abigail Adams
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To: COUNTrecount
I have same problem with perfume. I just tell the offenders that if they took a bath they wouldn't need to spray on that "BLEEP".

They usually stay away after that.

17 posted on 07/05/2007 9:58:33 AM PDT by BallyBill (Serial Hit-N-Run poster)
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To: COUNTrecount

Plant a sandblasting hood on her head and feed it with an outside air source.

She can either live with the inconvience, maintain production, or go find somewhere else to work.


18 posted on 07/05/2007 9:58:35 AM PDT by dalereed
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To: bigred41; 3AngelaD

This is indeed dibiliating. My Mom had this problem for a few years. However, we lived in a small town where her employer (City School System) made allowances, and her co-workers were nice enough to help her.

She could get violently ill from only a few moments of someone’s strong perfume. Migraines would put her to bed for a couple of days. She took the 50mg Benadryl tablets when they were still prescription. Knocked her out so she could deal with it.

This ain’t like second-hand smoking, where people just get mad because they don’t like the smell, and it’s popular to gripe about it. This is a genuine allergic reaction, and these people cannot even think about going places where there are strong fragrances.

Fortunately for my Mom, the doctors were able to help her out by treating some of her other allergies, and the fragrance reaction got less easy to trigger, but it still can be trouble.

If this woman just jumped to a lawsuit, I’m against her. But it sounds like they just wouldn’t work with her.


19 posted on 07/05/2007 10:06:46 AM PDT by HeadOn ("Socialism['s]...inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery." Winston Churchill)
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To: tsomer
"Go ahead and flame if you want, but I say personal rights stop at my nostrils."

The business owner is the only one who should be making the decision about whether or not to ban perfume (or smoking for that matter) in his or her business. At least, that is the way it should be if our society were truly free.

Don't like it? You are free to quit and seek employment at a "perfume-free" business, or start your own.

Now, if you were the business owner, or worked from your home, and the neighbor's perfume was so overpowering that you could smell it in your office, the I agree; Their rights do stop at your nostrils.

20 posted on 07/05/2007 10:08:00 AM PDT by 10mm
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To: 10mm

Amended to add that for the public sector, where this woman was employed, the policy should be that which puts the least burden on the taxpayers. In this case, a ban on perfume in the office.


21 posted on 07/05/2007 10:12:04 AM PDT by 10mm
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To: HeadOn

There are a number of perfumes that give me a splitting headache, sometimes to the point of nausea. I cannot be in the vicinity of a perfume counter in a department store ever. But I have found that a little dab of Vicks Vapo Rub on my nostrils works like a charm to protect myself from unwanted perfume molecules. Mentholatum works, too. I haven’t had a problem now in several years because I keep a jar of Vicks in my desk. That way I don’t have to impose my weaknesses on the people I work with.


22 posted on 07/05/2007 10:12:52 AM PDT by 3AngelaD (They screwed up their own countries so bad they had to leave, and now they're here screwing up ours)
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To: COUNTrecount
There is in many cases a middle ground solution. I too suffer the same problem of nasty headaches at work and flu-like symptoms from perfume and cologne. I have to use fragrant free deodorant/.antiperspirants.

I don't expect the world to put Old Spice out of business on my account. That being said, I work in a very large office area and I have narrowed down 99% of my allergic reactions to two people that seem to think they must bathe in perfume before they come to work. Even people who do not suffer from allergic reactions comment on them. If these two women (out of 200) would just put a drop behind each ear they could smell sweet and I wouldn't feel nauseated everyday at work.

The problem then is how does a person deal with women like these without making a federal case out of it or embarrassing or alienating them...
23 posted on 07/05/2007 10:13:46 AM PDT by Proverbs 3-5
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To: 3AngelaD
I have found that a little dab of Vicks Vapo Rub on my nostrils works like a charm to protect myself from unwanted perfume molecules.

Hmmm... I'll have to give that a try!! Thanks!!!
24 posted on 07/05/2007 10:17:05 AM PDT by Proverbs 3-5
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To: 10mm; tsomer

Well, I agree with you to some extent, but c’mon - if she is a good employee making a reasonable request, she ought to have some kind or recourse.

Age, race, & other discriminations are taken seriously, why not medical?

By the way - if you can name me a “fragrance free” employer in the Detroit area, who confirms it on a web site, I’ll agree with you. Can’t find one, can you?


25 posted on 07/05/2007 10:18:09 AM PDT by HeadOn ("Socialism['s]...inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery." Winston Churchill)
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To: Eric Blair 2084

Ping


26 posted on 07/05/2007 10:19:56 AM PDT by Despot of the Delta ("Never argue with an idiot. They will bring you down to their level and beat you with experience")
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To: 3AngelaD

Glad you found that remedy. Unfortunately for people like my Mom, she was also allergic to petroleum produts, even having trouble sometimes eating things out of plastic containers... So Vick’s and Mentholatum would not help...

Allergies are bad stuff, if they get severe. I still say if her co-workers and employers had a little more consideration, there would be no lawsuit.


27 posted on 07/05/2007 10:22:22 AM PDT by HeadOn ("Socialism['s]...inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery." Winston Churchill)
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To: HeadOn
I suffer from migranes due to bright colors.
Everyone in my office must wear drab grey.


I suffer from migranes due to loud noises.
Everyone in my office must whisper and tip toe.

< /sarcasm>
28 posted on 07/05/2007 10:25:31 AM PDT by IronKros (Soylent People are Green)
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To: IronKros
I suffer from migranes due to bright colors. Everyone in my office must wear drab grey.

Valid point, but you don't have to look at someone's offending bright colors all day. Unlike colors you can smell perfume two dozen cubicles away and never see the person all day. Plus the other persons perfume gets in your own clothes, so just leaving doesn't completely alleviate the problem.
29 posted on 07/05/2007 10:31:42 AM PDT by Proverbs 3-5
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To: COUNTrecount

Smokers told you so. Enjoy your intolerant nanny state.


30 posted on 07/05/2007 10:32:53 AM PDT by mysterio
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To: Proverbs 3-5
I just want to know where does it end.
I work for a very large international company and have "diverse" employees.
I start gagging every time some decides to nuke yesterday's shrimp and fish-anus sandwich for lunch.
I sit near the kitchen area and sometimes I have to get up and leave the area.

When will we start banning the nuking of broccoli!?
31 posted on 07/05/2007 10:45:05 AM PDT by IronKros (Soylent People are Green)
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To: COUNTrecount

This type of ban would be unenforecable. Deodorants, cosmetics, and skin creams all have aromas that linger; shampoo, soap, and detergents also leave scents. (I know someone who can detect if a woman uses a certain brand of shampoo.) How can businesses prevent people from washing their hair or using deodorant? Further, how can businesses prove whose pleasant smell is due to Chanel No. 19, versus Secret Antiperspirant? I feel sorry for people with allergies, but it is unrealistic and unfair for them to expect the world to conform to their needs.


32 posted on 07/05/2007 10:49:29 AM PDT by utahagen
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To: tsomer

I like Andy Rooney’s take on the wearing of perfume and/or cologne.”If somebody else can smell it, you’re wearing too much”.


33 posted on 07/05/2007 10:52:27 AM PDT by tal hajus
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To: IronKros

Yeah. I know. Believe me, I get your point. But you deal with what you have to. I think ADA is a crock, mostly, but why would any business refuse to TRY to make accommodations for someone in a wheelchair? Or someone who has some other trouble? If this woman is just a trouble-maker, I’m with you...

Like I’ve said in every post, if there were just SOME effort to work this stuff out, these dumb lawsuits would disappear. But you know, women have a RIGHT to smell like a hooker if they want to and nobody with allergies can suggest they calm it down. Unheeded requests often become demands, which causes rude responses, which in turn ends in a lawsuit...


34 posted on 07/05/2007 10:52:49 AM PDT by HeadOn ("Socialism['s]...inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery." Winston Churchill)
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To: HeadOn

My health food store sells a Vicks-like product that does not contain petrolatum, put has the same consistency and the same “vapo.” I think it is based with a vegetable oil product like safflower oil, or one of those alternatives. Try Whole Foods market.


35 posted on 07/05/2007 10:54:02 AM PDT by 3AngelaD (They screwed up their own countries so bad they had to leave, and now they're here screwing up ours)
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To: IronKros

You would have appreciated one of my former colleagues, who kept tuna sandwiches and Fritos open in his desk drawer and I had to run, gagging, from his part of the office. Another nuked product that doesn’t smell very good is popcorn.


36 posted on 07/05/2007 10:56:25 AM PDT by 3AngelaD (They screwed up their own countries so bad they had to leave, and now they're here screwing up ours)
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To: tal hajus

That wasn’t Andy Rooney, that was my Mother!


37 posted on 07/05/2007 10:57:37 AM PDT by 3AngelaD (They screwed up their own countries so bad they had to leave, and now they're here screwing up ours)
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To: utahagen; COUNTrecount

Good point. And that is precisely the point. If it were skunk scent, or tear gas, we would all be agreeing. The decision is where to draw the line, and when the government should get involved or stay away.

These things often remind me of little kids running to Mommy when big sister made a face at them. But, if big sister has a butcher knife, Mommy needs to get involved. The whole idea is: where is the line?


38 posted on 07/05/2007 10:58:19 AM PDT by HeadOn ("Socialism['s]...inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery." Winston Churchill)
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To: Abigail Adams
We certainly don’t a choice. People who don’t have allergies or have no experience with family members who do, can certainly think that we allergics are faking it or at least exaggerating our discomfort.

If I could make my allergies go away it would be the happiest day of my life.

39 posted on 07/05/2007 11:03:42 AM PDT by Ditter
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To: IronKros
I just want to know where does it end.

My Vietnamese coworker eats some pretty fragrant lunches next to me but it don't make me nauseous and the smell dissipates relatively quickly, unlike perfume that permeates for days. There is a difference between not liking an oder and being made physically ill by it.

Like I said in an earlier post, I have no interest in shutting down Old Spice and most problems could be solved without a lot of fanfare if these people would show some consideration and just use a drop or two and not bathe in it. I have no interest in creating an organization of Perfume Nazi's.
40 posted on 07/05/2007 11:06:24 AM PDT by Proverbs 3-5
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To: Proverbs 3-5

I had jury duty on Monday and there was a man there who had eaten something really powerful for breakfast. His smell gagged me. I kept trying to get away from him but he kept showing up close enough for me to smell him. He was wearing a turban, do you think that is what I was smelling?


41 posted on 07/05/2007 11:17:35 AM PDT by Ditter
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To: COUNTrecount
I can't believe this thread.

The govt should pummel her co-workers until they change to accomodate one person. The employer should change the whole business model to accomodate one employee. The co-workers should all change in order to accommodate her.

If she don't like her job, LET HER GET A NEW ONE! Why should however many people or the company change in order to accommodate her???

The responses in this thread remind me of the lib stance on 'universal healthcare'. 37 million people without insurance! Of course, it's never 263 million people WITH health insurance.

Same thing with this thread. 1 person with an allergy! Never 25 people WITHOUT an allergy.

Sheesh

42 posted on 07/05/2007 11:22:38 AM PDT by HeartlandOfAmerica (The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.)
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To: COUNTrecount
Allergic US employee sues to ban perfume at work

Susan... Susan...

Be careful what you wish for. The cure could be tons worse than the affliction.

Just saying.

43 posted on 07/05/2007 11:27:18 AM PDT by Publius6961 (MSM: Israelis are killed by rockets; Lebanese are killed by Israelis.)
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To: 3AngelaD
I have been saying for years that this was coming. First they came for the smokers....then for the wearers of fragrance...and next I believe they will go after those who eat meat. That is, if you are a meat eater, you may not eat it on your employer’s property.

You forgot the beached whales. It's glandular, you know.
Under the mandates of the ADA, all doors in the United States must be widened 12 inches...

Just saying.

44 posted on 07/05/2007 11:30:49 AM PDT by Publius6961 (MSM: Israelis are killed by rockets; Lebanese are killed by Israelis.)
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To: tsomer
Go ahead and flame if you want, but I say personal rights stop at my nostrils.

Careful what you wish for; wear a personal rebreather.

45 posted on 07/05/2007 11:34:03 AM PDT by Publius6961 (MSM: Israelis are killed by rockets; Lebanese are killed by Israelis.)
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To: Wil H
Blaming this woman for her allergy is like blaming someone for their cancer - those that are suggesting she is “the problem” should all be ashamed of yourselves.

People who truly believe that an individual's "problem", real or imagined, should control the lives of everyone else should be ashamed of themselves.

Opinions. Differences.

46 posted on 07/05/2007 11:36:37 AM PDT by Publius6961 (MSM: Israelis are killed by rockets; Lebanese are killed by Israelis.)
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To: Ditter
I had jury duty on Monday and there was a man there who had eaten something really powerful for breakfast. His smell gagged me. I kept trying to get away from him but he kept showing up close enough for me to smell him. He was wearing a turban, do you think that is what I was smelling?

Nah, I doubt if it was his turban, probably curry...
47 posted on 07/05/2007 11:49:14 AM PDT by Proverbs 3-5
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To: Wil H
Allergies to scents can be fatal. There are all types of allergic reaction up to and including toxic shock and respiratory failure.

Happened in Bloomingdale's----a shopper was sprayed by an employee hawking perfume. Shopper had to be rushed to the hospital. Musta been horrendous----expensive perfumes usually have "fixatives" to make the scent last.

Another horrendous peanut allegy story: a woman in a RI restaurant ate chili. She was highly allergic to peanuts and began to have symptons that she overlooked since in her mind she had not consumed peanuts.

However, she did not know the eatery used peanut butter in its chili (as a thickener). It cost her her life.

48 posted on 07/05/2007 11:51:23 AM PDT by Liz (It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong. Voltaire)
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To: HeartlandOfAmerica

Amen!


49 posted on 07/05/2007 12:36:57 PM PDT by elephantlips
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To: Publius6961
People who truly believe that an individual's "problem", real or imagined, should control the lives of everyone else should be ashamed of themselves.

I'm not suggesting anything of the sort, but some accomodations have to be made in society, especially to assist those that are afflicted.

The wearing of perfume is an arbitrary choice, it's not a necessity, and if your co-worker is rendered physically ill by your wearing it to work it's reasonable that you stop wearing it.

If you were suffering from emphysema and carried an oxygen tank around and, I as you co-worker, came in every day and blew cigarette smoke all around and stank up the office don't you think you would get ticked?

And a smoker could claim a better argument than the perfume wearer, smoking is an addition, perfume wearing is not.

50 posted on 07/05/2007 12:59:51 PM PDT by Wil H (Islam - the religion of perpetual outrage.)
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