The woman claimed that avoiding strong-smelling foods is a “common sense” rule when choosing what to pack for lunch.
Taking to Reddit to share their dilemma under the “Am I an a******” forum, the woman’s colleague explained that they had recently started eating more fish for lunch to cater to their “sensitive” diet.
As someone who struggles with IBS and wanted to eat more protein, the forum member admitted that tuna is one ingredient they “enjoy a lot”, and often take it as part of a salad to eat at work.
They wrote: “When I take it to work I prepare it beforehand, so I’m not opening the can at work or anything, just eating it out of Tupperware.”
But despite preparing the food at home, the employee had still managed to ruffle the feathers of a co-worker who can’t stand the smell it causes in the office.
The Reddit user wrote: “One of the newer employees at my work confronted me recently for bringing the tuna salad to work because she can smell it when she enters my office apparently.
“To be clear the smell doesn’t waft into the public spaces, but when she’s dropping off papers or telling me something she can smell it.
“I explained to her my diet changed and apologised for the smell but told her I wouldn’t be changing my diet again right now as my stomach has a hard time adjusting to new food routines and this one has finally started working.
“She got pretty upset and told me that it was common office sense not to bring fish.”
However, the worker’s response sparked debate with an online audience after they admitted they thought the “rule” only applied to heated ingredients.
The Reddit poster said: “I thought that that rule was always about microwaving seafood, not just bringing tuna salad which I feel is a pretty common lunch food. I feel bad that she doesn’t like the smell but I really just need to keep with my routine.”
Replying to the thread, the tuna-lover garnered support from fellow office workers who agreed that the colleague was “overreacting” to the smell.
One person wrote: “You are correct. It’s common ‘office sense’ not to microwave fish at the office, but eating tuna fish is fine. Especially when you have your own office! That just makes her request pretty absurd.”
Another added: “Cooking fish in pubic spaces is gross. Eating your pre-prepared tuna salad is fine. She’s out of line.”
However, others stood their ground on banning “strong smells” in the office that stem from people’s packed lunch ingredients.
One Reddit user admitted: “I don’t tell people what to/not to eat… but smelly lunches are 75 percent of the reason I don’t go in the break room.”
A second person explained: “My ex used to have toasties with tuna and onion, the smell was so strong it’d make me gag, the smell of tuna from a can make me feel physically ill! I’d just do my best to avoid the office around lunchtime if at all possible if it were me. If they’re eating in their own personal office then I’ll still say NTA, but if they were eating it at the next desk from me I wouldn’t be able to sit there.”
Do you agree that fish should be avoided in office pack lunches? Let us know in the comments below.