Breaking wind in the office hits the headlines again

Letting rip in the office is back in the news again.

The Telegraph has reported that Maria Auma, whose aunt is President Obama's step-mother, is seeking £400,000 in damages after claiming colleagues deliberately tried to humiliate her in the office. 

According to the newspaper, amongst her claims are that two colleagues would deliberately break wind near her desk at Southwark Police station in a bid to humiliate her and destroy her esteem.

This reminds us of possibly the most amazing banking yarn ever.

In 2003, Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet reported a right ripping yarn of a Swedish banker who was awarded around $100,000 compensation after he was sacked for telling off a colleague who broke wind in his office.

The incident happened at 7.30am one morning when computer technician Goran Andervass, who worked at Sweden's national bank, the Riksbanken, called an unnamed subordinate into his office for a business discussion. The wind was really taken out of the computer technician's sails, however, when his colleague let rip in his office.

According to the newspaper, Andervass felt 'provoked' by his colleague's untimely action and was heard by other employees to really dress-down his subordinate. Clearly annoyed at the affront, Andervass kicked up a real stink.

Andervass is quoted as saying: 'My colleague was absolutely aware of the awful smell. It was pure provocation'. The unnamed worker subsequently complained to bank bosses over the severe dressing-down he got and, soon after the head honchos got wind of the affair, Andervass was let go. Although the bank claimed that he was let go for unspecified 'personal reasons', Andervass thought the decision stank, took legal action and won his $100,000. 

A bank spokesperson said at the time: 'We do not have a specific fart ban, but we have ethical guidelines and, naturally, farting is not done here'.

Andervass was glad that he didn't let the matter drop, and was last heard of savouring the sweet smell of his legal success.

image: © Patrick Finnegan

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