We all have them in our office.  The obnoxious co-worker eating at their desks or other places where no matter how hard they try, the noises and smells will be there.  And to some, lunch time may be the only get away from the daily grind. And to only have the (quiet) time interrupted by sandwich papers being wadded up or the smell of yesterdays tuna or even worse some smell of food that you could not even identify.

More than half of full-time employees in the U.S. eat at their desks at least once a week, according to a survey last year of 4,498 employees by jobs website CareerBuilder.com. And in their quest to be super-productive, never-missing-a-beat workers at their desks, office havoc can erupt. Seemingly otherwise normal, perfectly mannered, even buttoned-up executives can slurp, lick their lips or leave grubby plastic ware around the office.

How do you approach the coworker and let them know tactfully that their lunch is offensive to you?  Well there is the kind way by gently letting them know that the smell or noises that com from the cubical next to you are not good.  But if that does not work, let HR know.  They can handle it through their channels.

Fortunately for us here most of the staff heads out of the office for lunch.  However, we have had an occasion or two where something has been cooked in the microwave or even on the stove top that smells awful.  And the smell lingers for hours.  And certain salad dressings can turn a stomach.  Blue Cheese comes to mind.  And then there is the microwave popcorn that gets burnt and that is the worst smell that can linger.  And no one will take the blame.

Now how many are going to be looking around next time some one starts to eat at their desk?  Are you going to be looking over your shoulder before you take a bite?

WSJ.com