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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 2, 2013 8:20 AM. The previous post in this blog was Food, glorious food. The next post in this blog is Breaking news: Hanky panky in Oregon prison system. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Portland City Hall to workers: Don't use deodorant

Our spies within the City of Portland's juvenile bureaucracy pass along this e-mail message, received yesterday:

From: BHR Communications
Sent: Friday, March 01, 2013 2:17 PM
To: Citywide All Employees Distribution List
Cc: City Elected Officials; City Elected Officials Exec's
Subject: HRAR 4.03 - Dress, Appearance, and Fragrance in the Workplace

ON BEHALF OF ANNA KANWIT, HR DIRECTOR:

Good afternoon.

In 2011, City Council adopted a very important policy. Human Resources Administrative Rule 4.03 was revised to include a section on workplace fragrance. Please remember to refrain from the use of scented personal products in the workplace, where the sole purpose is to produce fragrance, and to avoid the use of strongly-scented personal hygiene products such as powder, hairspray, and deodorant. Except in limited circumstances, the use of air freshener products should be avoided as well.

Thank you for your attention to this policy. Employees who are sensitive to perfumes and chemicals may suffer potentially serious health consequences from exposure to scented products.

Please do not "Reply All' if responding to this message.

A ban on shaving can't be too far off. And remember, toenail clippings go in the green bin.

Comments (16)

Tic Tacs are doomed.

Addendum: Employees who rarely visit their shower or bath for personal hygiene should increase the frequency of your bathing rituals. A station will be set up at entrances to assure that you pass the smell test before entering the building.

Portland City's new motto for their city vehicles.

"We stink, so must you"

We have a similar policy at my place of employment.

The last line caught my attention. The sender apparently don't know how to use the bcc field to stop "Reply All" from causing an email storm.

"...a very important policy..."?

At least we know now where their priorities are.

"Very important policy"....right,... more important than building sidewalks so 5 year old kids don't get run over and killed, or policing the police so they don't shoot unarmed crazy people, or trying to do something about the budget deficit, or any of the countless other dysfunctional things in which the city of Portland participates.
Stink...it's for the children!

Portlandia's writer must giggle a little every trip to the bank.
Although I hear the dirt people are not their biggest fans.

Mandatory Grooming Rules- City of Portland
Issued: March 2, 2013
Effective: March 4, 2013

From: Nanny

Here are the new grooming rules:

1. Men can wear sweater vests.
2. "Mommy Jeans" will now be known as "non-fabric wasting pants."
2. The pairing of socks and Birkenstocks is
strongly encouraged.
3. Axe body spray caused the previous mayor
to make out with a teenager in a bathroom.
Therefore, and scents denoting masculinity
or feminity are prohibited.
4. The ban against wearing white after Labor Day has been extended to a year round ban.

By the way, Fancy Pants, you should not make light of the serious problems at City Hall.

As you know, whole bureaus (BPS, PBOT, BDS) have been acting erratically. There may be an environmental trigger for their lunacy. The city needs to look at all possible triggers- burritos, axe body spray, visits from lobbyists- and eliminate them.

If eliminating hygiene does not work, more drastic measures must be undertaken. In a worse case scenario, the mayor could order the removal of LSD dispensers from break rooms.

It doesn't say don't use deoderant, just to avoid using strongly scented ones.

This is one where I have to agree is a good policy. I don't think people who don't react to the cheap perfume carriers will ever understand. If I have to go down the detergent aisle, I hold my breath, go really quick, snag what I need off the shelf and speed out of the aisle. If I take my normal aisle leisurely pace, I'll have a headache before getting out the other end. Putting a box of dryer sheets in the car with me should be against the Geneva convention. Not only do I get a headache but start itching everywhere.

These things seem to run in families and luckily I'm not as bad as my father. He can break out in hives.

I said carriers above, been told it's not actually they scent causing problems but the carriers used.

It's all relative. I used to work in the same room with a woman who used Avon Hawaiian White Ginger -- liberally -- and eventually when others confronted her about it, she didn't think she'd overdone it at all. Such a person would not consider that their "personal scent" was problem and continue to use it. Like anything else in a workplace this is best handled on a case by case basis. If someone is offending with some kind of scent and co-worker hints have not worked, then the department manager should deal with the problem.

This used to be a a personal gripe for me in the workplace and the working response of lazy managers. They'd send out a department email warning that such and so forth shall not happen any more, suggesting that any or all department members were guilty of the offense, but wouldn't bother to go directly to the known culprits to straighten the problem out privately and on a personal level. What do companies pay managers for if not to handle this dirty work?

Sending out boilerplate admonishments yields about as much success as sending out a boilerplate solicitation for volunteers. You've got to approach people individually.

Come on, gummint employees, hit Reply All!

Hairy legs and armpits for the women and shaggy beards and dreadlocks for the men will be the order of the day.

This kind of crap is way too HR'ed for me. I have plenty of allergies, but that's why God made Zyrtec. I take that; I have no issues.

I am not in favor of telling my coworkers what fragrance they can use. This nanny state stuff is going way too far.

My midwestern work place also is starting to make these kind of noises.

I have allergies so bad I basically retired at 32 (I'm 34 now). It's horrible. My breathing is so bad I have passed out in the middle of grocery stores, vomited because of unexpected cigarette smoke and am basically dying.

It's horrible. But I still think these regulations are ridiculous. I realize I am very much in the minority.

So as not to be such a downer, since quitting wheat and dairy I've made an almost full recovery and am going back to work this month! Yay!

How 'Portlandia' is that? I can just see Fred Armison saying to his lady friend, "Well I was on disability for sandle wood allergies but now I've cut out gluten and am totally ready to apply to work at Starbucks." :-)

If you have problems with a co-worker, just come in early and spray some Drakkar Noir all over their cubicle. Make sure somebody shops them. Wait a few weeks. Repeat until they are terminated.

And that's how office ninnies (both public private sector) become passive-aggressive martinets: Enough rules to hang every man thrice a day.


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