Here is a perfect example of a society with its poles reversed. Once upon a time, when the world was right side up, those who suffered allergies and other “sensitivities” bore their misfortune with dignity, and expected nothing extraordinary from others.

Now those with allergies no longer expect to adapt themselves to the wider world. They expect that world and everybody in it to adapt to them – just as those who “don’t like” smoke expect the entire planet to be “smoke-free”. This inverted/perverted mentality, which has become so pervasive, is demonstrated in the opening and closing line of this piece: “An office worker for the US city of Detroit is suing for her colleagues to be banned from wearing perfume which gives her such severe headaches, nausea and coughing fits that she must leave work.” And: “McBride and her manager have already asked the city authorities that employ her to enforce a ‘no scent policy as an accommodation to her disability, without success’ “. Perfectly natural, don’t you think?.. As McBride cannot stand scents, there must be a law that forbids everyone from wearing it; and as some cannot stand the scent of tobacco, there has to be a law that forbids everyone from smoking it – and screw those who want to enjoy both scents because they are "normal" people.
This is the reality. An employee so disabled by common chemical residues should be seeking special medical attention, trying to make arrangements for telecommuting, or otherwise attempting to reduce exposure. Even if her office goes scent free, air fresheners used by cleaning staff will be wafting through the hallways, scents will be encountered when people visit the office or when she rides up in the elevator with people from other offices…the list goes on. Unless there is an International Treaty to Ban Chanel No. 5 with the United States as a signatory (don’t bet against it), this woman will get exposure to some of what ails her in proportion to the number of people and places she encounters. It’s just an unfortunate fact of life: she will (and should) seek to adapt herself to it. Otherwise, we get set to embark on a regulatory micromanagement of EVERYTHING we do that has no end.



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