It’s a serious problem that everyone will face at some point – you’re at work, but suddenly get the urge to break wind. So this post aims to answer the age old question:
Is it ever OK to fart at work?
Your first reaction may be ‘don’t be f@cking ridiculous’ but you may re-consider after wafting over the points covered in this post. After all, wind is a totally natural bi-product of our digestive systems. Yes, some people suffer much more than others, because of the way they eat, or what they eat, but every-one farts.
Your mum farts, your dog farts, and your boss farts. Christ knows the girl sat next to me at work farts (hence the affectionate nickname Mrs Trumpet-trousers).
I admit, I too am a farter so I know first-hand that this can be dangerous in the work place. The obvious downsides are embarrassment, shame, and in extreme cases you can end up getting burnt, literally, (trying to light a fart without the proper safety precautions in place could end up with burnt trousers, burnt butt cheeks and in severe cases a burnt sphincter) – but is it all bad?…
There’s a plethora of things to consider regarding farting at work, so this is a longer than normal post, but I didn’t want to breeze over such an important topic.
Let’s start with some evidence on the dangers of not farting – did you know that holding it in, whilst polite, can actually be bad for your health?
According to Kobayashi Pharmaceutical Co. 2013
‘When held in, the gas that can’t be expelled from the body is absorbed into the intestinal wall and then mixed into our blood. This can have negative effects on our internal organs. Stomach bloating, abdominal pain, and constipation can all be caused by holding in gas. When the gas mixes with our blood and then enters the lungs, it can even become the cause of halitosis.’
What a shitty thought.
If you are already in tune with your body, you will have a sense of what foods trump others when it comes to your personal gas creation. You may also have a sense of what impact the time of day, exercise levels and daily bowel movements have on your flatus. But if you don’t already have this sense, why not start a fart journal? Yep. I did just say that.
Each time you feel the urge to fart, or actually do fart, pop a note into your journal. Time of day, location, potency, activity at the time, type of fart (see below for more info) etc. Within a week you will be starting to notice patterns and can then make adjustments to your diet, or schedule accordingly. If necessary you can even block time out in your diary for planned fart breaks. Yep. I did just say that too.
There are many different locations in the workplace that need to be considered as part of this serious debate.
- At the desk – Are there other people around? What’s the ambient noise level in the office? What type of chair do you have? i.e. Will it muffle the sound and capture the whiff safely under you, or will it echo loudly and circulate your guff freely around the office?
- Empty lift – Whilst tempting, don’t forget it’s highly likely that the lift will stop and someone else will get in before you get out. Even if you make it all the way, there may be someone waiting to jump straight in at the other end. Poor sod.
- Full lift – None. Don’t do it. Ever
- Meeting room – None. Don’t do it. Ever
- Games room – If you have a break-out room for table tennis, x-box or foosball this can be a great place to 1. Openly fart for the first time in front of a like minded colleague and; 2. Put your opponent off mid-game.
- Corridor – This can be fun to play the ‘drop and run’ game, leave your colleagues a little present and just keep on walking.
- Canteen – My personal favourite place to fart at work. The noise and smells already present make this the perfect place to cut the cheese without anyone noticing.
- Toilet – Anything goes. At the urinal, at the sink, in the cubicle, just let it rip.
Another consideration is that not all farts are the same. There are many different types and some are MUCH more dangerous than others, especially at work.
- The Mouse – small and squeaky, people will often never even notice them. Can easily be disguised with a well-timed cough. Danger rating: Low-Moderate
- The Ninja – like their black clothed namesake are silent but deadly. They appear with no audible pre-warning before assaulting the senses, then disappearing just as quickly as they arrived. Danger rating: High
- The Snart – a combination of sneezing and farting at the same time, you may even be unaware that the later happened (until you notice a familiar smell and that everyone around you is giggling). Danger rating: Very high
- The Machine gun – rapid fire of multiple single shots. The sound is loud and distinctive, everyone will know exactly what they just heard, so be careful before you pull the trigger. Danger rating: Severe
- The Trombone – loud and lengthy, typically lasting more than 3 seconds and hitting between 60 – 90 decibels these come with both high hilarity and danger. Danger rating: Extreme
- The Dinghy – wet and wild, these can, in extreme cases, lead to leaks and a change of clothes being required. Danger rating: Catastrophic
Still wondering what good can come of it?
- It shows confidence, and takes a certain swagger to have the guts to blast one out.
- It breaks down barriers. What better way to let someone know you are relaxed in their company than to initiate a good old gas together.
- It’s funny. One of the best-selling practical joke toys of all time is the whoopy cushion. Why? Because fart noises makes people laugh.
For those that do have serious flatulence at work related problems here are some things that can be done to reduce the regularity and impact of this:
- Increase the fibre in your diet
- Eat charcoal
- Drink more water
- Get dispensation to bring your dog to work (some-one to blame)
- Buy a pair of anti-odour underwear, brilliantly called Farty pants
- Get a desk close to your very own Mrs Trumpet-trousers (some-one else to blame)
- Start a fart journal. Yep. I did suggest it again
So, what’s the answer to the question ‘Is it ever OK to fart at work?’
Rarely, but in the right circumstances, with consideration of location, type, and timing it can either go completely un-noticed, or have surprising benefits, so I encourage you to get to know your but and build the confidence to let em rip.
What’s your experience of farting at work? Please leave a comment and share it with us. If you’ve never commented on a post before it’s really easy, just fill in the boxes underneath. I think now is a great time to drop one.