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Man asks if he was wrong to throw out colleague's 'putrid sweater.' Updated 2X.

Man asks if he was wrong to throw out colleague's 'putrid sweater.' Updated 2X.


Ah, the office. It's not just the name of a sitcom — some people still go to one! And it seems that for every open office, there's some petty drama brewing. In this case, it's festering. In one small office, one guy's smelly sweater got so pungent that another coworker felt drastic action had to be taken.

The reaction to their Reddit post has been passionate and truly all over the spectrum. Here's what they wrote...

My coworker (55m) has a sweater that he wears everyday at work and leaves in the office overnight. He NEVER takes it home to wash and over the last month it has developed a distinct smell. At first I tried to make innocuous comments to him ('Do you smell something musty?' etc )

But he didn't catch on, so last week I said to him 'Hey that sweater is starting to give off a stench, could you take it home and wash it?' He replied 'Nah, that's not my sweater that smells' and walked away, which effectively ended the conversation.

After he left one night I went to his desk and smelled the sweater and confirmed its nasty stank and it was so putrid up close (I have no idea how he lives like this)

So I took the sweater on my way out and threw it in a dumpster out back.

The next day he was looking around for it and asking everyone if they had seen it. I just shrugged and said 'Nah haven't seen it today' (which was technically not a lie)

I feel kinda bad but I can't live like that. We work in a 7 person office with no HR and our boss is not effective at dealing with issues do I felt like this was my only option. AITA?

EDIT: I see a lot of people suggesting that I had other options, and the ideas being brought up are frankly asinine.

'Just spray some Febreeze and call it a day!' Have you ever sprayed febreeze in a bathroom where someone took a dump? Then you know it just combines with the bad smell and almost gives it a sort of power up. Next!

'Tell HR about it'

Some people have trouble reading it seems. I already said it's a small office with no HR. And our boss is incapable or unwilling to

address situations like this. I did in fact bring it up to him and he said to 'find a compromise' such as allowing him to wear the sweater 3 days a week. Not a problem solver this guy

'Take it home and wash it for him' I don't think this one even warrants a response. I suppose I should ask the rest of the office if they have any laundry for me to take home so I can do it all at once?

Edit 2: I see many people bringing up the legality of this and the police being called or this going to court. May I remind everyone we're talking about a sweater? I'd love to hear how that 911 call goes. 'Officer! I need to report a missing sweater! Please send your forensics team out ASAP and track this lunatic down before the sweater thief strikes again!

Or God forbid I get taken to sweater court! I hope the honorable Judge Cardigan takes pity on me and offers a reduced sentence if I do people's laundry while in prison.

Get real people. Were talking about office squabbles, not grand theft sweater

From the comments:

Swirlyflurry writes:


I felt like this was my only option

How? How was this your only option?

EmeraldBlueZen writes:

Everyone sucks here. Throwing stuff out that's not yours is sh*tty, even if your boss is ineffective — this is something you should have attempted to bring to them.

swishystrawberry writes:

YTA - You should have put it in a plastic bag and later spoken with your manager about it.

You don't throw away people's belongings.

CakeZealousideal1820 writes:

YTA. You can’t steal someone’s property, period. It may have felt satisfying in the moment, but that’s an actual crime. If he finds out it was you and this goes before HR, they’re absolutely not going to accept “I thought it smelled bad” as an excuse.

gcot802 writes:


You say you work in a 7 person office. Maybe ask around and see if anyone else has the complaint, and if multiple complaints could convince him?

It could have had sentimental value or something, but more so it just wasn’t yours. Your stole and destroyed his property that was clearly somewhat important to him.

You asked him directly one time and then went nuclear

LRGinCharge writes:

ESH. You’re far too passive aggressive. You should’ve given him a final chance - “I know you don’t smell the sweater but I do and it’s really affecting my mood at work. Can you please do me this favor and bring the sweater home and wash it before you bring it back?” Because now he’s just going to get a new sweater and wear that until it stinks.

Dangerous_Ad3801 writes:

YTA: You don't knowingly destroy or throw away other people's property. We learned this in kindergarten. We don't touch things that are not ours. You could have just fabreezed it subtly if you were so offended by the smell.

imhere4blkpeople writes:

NTA. It's an office not his home. He has to be considerate of his fellow colleagues. This was slowly becoming the colleague who doesn't shower.

drunkbeautyqueen writes:

NTA what's with this sub and defending stinky ass people 😭 he basically left something putrid smelling in a public space and refuses to take it home and clean it, that's offensive

It took a while, but the anti-smell cavalry always arrives eventually.

Sources: Reddit
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