I have a co-worker who stands behind me at work, our desks face away from each other with a few feet between.

For the last month I have heard audible farts at least once per day, and several people sitting near me have smelled them 2-4 times per day.

Having a direct conversation could be awkward because he is not a peer, he is a manager. Any suggestions on how to deal with this?

edit: I think this is different from the hygiene question because the roles are reversed. I am not a manager of the person in question, they are the manager

  • 7
    What do you expect this person to do? Should they quit allowing their body to perform it's natural functions? It's 1 audible fart a day and maybe 2-4 quiet ones. Do you not pass gas?
    – Resistance
    Dec 29, 2015 at 20:15
  • 2
    Might be a medical issue. You may wish to approach HR about it - just be very very polite.
    – AndreiROM
    Dec 29, 2015 at 20:29
  • 4
    @TStauff Do you not leave the room to pass gas be it a work or social occasion?
    – paparazzo
    Dec 29, 2015 at 20:49
  • 2
    Tell him to get a pet dog - usually a good cover and they do not mind getting the blame :->
    – Ed Heal
    Dec 29, 2015 at 21:36
  • 6
    What is wrong with telling him/her to go fart elsewhere? That seems reasonable to me. Politely of course.
    – Kilisi
    Dec 29, 2015 at 22:13

1 Answer 1


I get user1220 may have been kidding about throwing a match but if the workplace allows candles a small candle is effective. Unfortunately a lot of workplaces will not allow candles. If anyone asks why the candle just say "control environmental odors". If that person asks then tell him to "to control your odors".

  • Yes, that was the gist of it. A flame will burn off the gas.
    – user1220
    Dec 30, 2015 at 0:19
  • @user1220: the flame doesn't burn the gas. Our nose is for historic reasons very sensitive for the smell if fire. This is the reason why you only smell the match after lighting it. Not burning away the gas.
    – eckes
    Dec 31, 2015 at 12:20
  • @eckes Uh, methane (as many hydrocarbons) is flammable.
    – paparazzo
    Dec 31, 2015 at 12:24
  • 1
    @Frisbee: correct. But methane doesn't smell :-) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methane says At room temperature and standard pressure, methane is a colorless, odorless gas. But I didn't want to start nitpicking here. Lighting a match works. Doubtless.
    – eckes
    Dec 31, 2015 at 12:39

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