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We work in a small office with only male developers, so it's not such a major issue if someone lets one rip every now and then. Big deal. However, there is one work colleague who has taken this to a whole new level.

Please, I am being serious about this. He can literally fart the whole day and I am beginning to wonder if he has the ability to fart at will. Oddly enough, it does not stink that much and sometimes I wonder if he is just using a phone app, in some weird joke that only he gets.

It has not been bothering me that much until recently. Seriously this did happen and I am kinda pissed off about it. So everybody had left the office and he was preparing to leave. I was in the middle of something with my headphones on but noticed in my peripheral vision, him making a fart gesture (he moved his body into a fart type position ) and then waved the air that he just let rip into my direction. I was so shocked, I literally just sat there thinking .. "wtf just happened?"

Then just last week after a few hours of farting he gets up and walks out the door (my desk is near the door) and lets one go as he is leaving the office right by my desk.

This is seriously not a joke. This is happening and I don't know how to deal with it. I am not one for confrontation and he is the lead developer on our team. We don't have an HR department. I have actually talked to him about, I told him he might have a problem and should go see a doctor. I said he might be lactose intolerant. Now, every now and then when we lets one go, he saids "oh it must be the 'lactice'"

I think he is a fan of Terrence & Philip from South Park. This is getting to the point where I actually want to leave this job completely, Although I am not qualified and was kinda lucky to get this job in the first place.

  • No , its a small company, no HR. I feel if i did talk to our manager things will get very tense, and it is already tense with project deadlines and clients – user22633 Jun 28 '14 at 9:21
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    In some jurisdictions, this seriously could be considered harassment in the workplace, and your company could be held responsible, but you should raise the issue and make sure he knows that you're actually offended and not amused by his behavior. – Spehro Pefhany Jun 28 '14 at 15:13
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    If you don't want to talk to him again and you don't want to talk to your manager then it's difficult to know where to go from here. There's no magic "1 weird trick to stop others farting in the office" that we all know about but just aren't telling you. – Rob Moir Jun 28 '14 at 19:03
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    I cried with laughter reading this. +1 – James Jul 11 '14 at 21:30
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    The answer is blowing in the wind. – EleventhDoctor Apr 14 '15 at 13:14
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Have your wind powered colleague see a doctor since he is open to the idea. Like ASAP.

Request to him specifically that he not fart in your direction. On the other hand, do your part and don't look in his direction unless you have to.

You're willing to bend backward and overlook his problem to the extent possible to you, but he needs to do his part to make the problem manageable and that means, see the doctor. ASAP. Same day appointment if that's possible. And that he stay away from whatever it is that he is intolerant to that's causing him to fart.

  • I have suggested it, but i dont think he cares, I think the next time though i think i will suggest it loudly when I manager it there. – user22633 Jun 29 '14 at 10:26
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    seriously? this is the selected answer? Where does it say his colleague is open to seeing a doctor? sounds like the colleague is laughing about it to me ... Also the problem isn't this guys, its the serial farter that's got the problem, i've seen people fired for much less!! I got pulled in to an office with my line manager once because "i had bad breath" after a night out with friends i slept over and hadnt brushed my teeth ... that was 1 day this is far worse and should not be tolerated or justified in any way !! – War Jul 1 '14 at 13:18
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    Mine does normally ... it was a particularly bad binge drink the night before. His "failure to push back" in a sarcastic manner implies he doesn't care what others think and that he finds his humour amusing. This is isn't the behaviour of someone "open to" anything other than getting peoples backs up. – War Jul 1 '14 at 15:32
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    @Warby I am not going to overthink it, I am not going to speculate. My answer is based on the presumption that he is cooperating. If he is not cooperating, then escalation to the manager is the next step - No need to get all shook up about this. – Vietnhi Phuvan Jul 1 '14 at 16:07
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    @VietnhiPhuvan I'm not getting shook up ... just playing devils advocate so to speak lol. gerdi sounds like you aren't happy there anyway so it could be a pointless problem to try and fix, so the real answer is "sod it, i'm off" lol. – War Jul 2 '14 at 9:49
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If you're not willing to talk to your manager and don't have an HR department, your options are probably limited to living with it or moving on. I don't understand why you aren't willing to talk to your manager, though, these are exactly the sorts of things that managers sign up to deal with. Sure, it won't be a fun discussion to have. But I'm sure your manager will be more tense if you quit because of the behavior rather than airing your concerns.

If you're really adamant about not involving your manager, your long-shot options are to have another conversation with your coworker or to try to organize the other folks in your group to have a collective conversation with the coworker. If you were at all unclear in your discussion with your coworker that you were seriously bothered rather than being concerned about his medical status, you could try having another conversation with the coworker. If others are bothered, you could all have a conversation but that involves more confrontation than simply bringing the matter to the attention of your manager.

You're already wearing headphones so that, presumably, takes care of the noise. You've said that there isn't an aroma problem. So it seems all that's left is learning to ignore whatever a "fart type position" is.

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    "airing your concerns" haha – grasshopper Jul 11 '14 at 14:48
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Seriously? Is this a workplace or a primary school?

He needs to grow up, go to the manager about it, if they do nothing I would leave the company as working for such idiots is just as bad IMO.

In our line of work a reasonable level personal hygiene is expected is it not?

At the very least he should be told he aint funny!

EDIT: Because my alternative option got deleted but here it is ...

Every time he farts spray him with air freshener.

After a couple of hours consistently large numbers of farts the whole office will smell great and our serial farter will be so annoyed by being sprayed all the time he will likely give up finding farting funny.

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    He is a really good programmer though, like really good. I would like to learn from him but i think he is one of those people who doesn't suffer fools gladly. Im not that bad but im not that good either. – user22633 Jun 29 '14 at 10:23
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    @gerdi - He can't be that good. Even if he is that good, its not worth it, to have this type of behavior in the office. He needs to be given a box and esorted to the door. – Donald Jul 1 '14 at 10:40
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    @gerdi - I promise you. Somebody without he ability to communicate isn't that good and can easily be replaced. You are new in this business you will soon understand that being able to communicate is a great deal more valuable then being able to do a task 30 minutes faster. – Donald Jul 2 '14 at 10:43
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    +1 to that, communication and teamwork are definitely more valuable in this industry as technical skill can be taught but attitude is just something others have to deal with for the most part, and if that attitude is a problem for the team then you aren't the right fit ... its that simple! I've worked with guys that are technically useless before but had great personalities and could "talk the talk" which meant i got all their "complex work" off-loaded on me so i know it can be a problem both ways. – War Jul 2 '14 at 10:54
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    I have to agree with @Ramhound. There is no way this guy would stay on my team. He disrespects other people and no one is worth keeping that behaves like a five-year old. Plenty of people with technical skills who can also work with others without harrassment and juvenile "humor". – HLGEM Jul 11 '14 at 18:07
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Well this answer is most likely going to be downvoted for being unfriendly, but I think anger exists for a reason and it is to protect yourself from tolerating other people treating you badly.

It is the driving power behind standing up for yourself.

So get angry at him. Next time he does it, tell him to stop. Do some yelling.

This is generally the way to solve problems when there is no HR.

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    Agree completely. Anger is a very good tool when used at the right times. Get angry with him, don't scream and shout, just get angry and confront him on it. Balanced anger :) – Thorst Jul 1 '14 at 11:03
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Assuming he has any kind of sense of humor himself, which if he really can fart on demand, he does:

  1. Print out this question
  2. Tape it to his monitor after he goes home
  3. Buy a package of "Bean-o"
  4. Let shame do its thing.