Farting at work is a bigger taboo than discussing pay.
The polite, who usually have crippling gas anxiety, will excuse themselves and let rip, but not before ensuring the toilet is empty and unlikely to have any additional guests while the deed is done.
The brave will go through a series of anal acrobatics to stealthily slip out an air biscuit and hope that the silent but violent expulsion is subtle enough not to be pinned on them (very risky).
Then there are the old-school butt trumpet pros who just don't give a toss – to the disgust of any and all caught in the blast zone.
One Aussie engie has allegedly found himself fighting a weaponised form of the latter as he seeks to appeal against a ruling that rejected trouser coughs as a form of workplace bullying.
According to the AAP newswire, 56-year-old David Hingst last year attempted to sue his ex-employer Construction Engineering for AU$1.8m (about £966,732 at current rates) over allegations of bullying, but was slapped down by a Supreme Court judge.
The Melbourne engineer claimed that his supervisor "thrusted his bum" [sic] at him as part of a "complex conspiracy" to "marginalise him and terminate his employment" – resulting in, Hingst alleged, psychiatric injuries.
In plain English, the former colleague was said to be intentionally exercising the meat nozzle directly on to Hingst in what he believed was a campaign of harassment.
Taking the ruling before the Court of Appeal today, Hingst told a panel of judges that Greg Short "was a serial farter" and his bottom burps constituted "a form of bullying".
Citing law journal Lexology, PerthNow quoted BAL Lawyers' John Wilson as noting: "Intentional farts are in fact frequently cited as sources of workplace grievances and evidence of bullying. Not only are accusations levelled that a colleague farted in their general direction, it is often the case that someone farted in their specific direction."
The Court of Appeal judges will deliver their ruling on the appeal on Friday, the newswire said.
Incredible. In an industry with stereotypically poor diets and worse hygiene, have you, dear readers, come across a colleague who exercised their right to free speech in a manner equally as foul as the type alleged? Perhaps you yourself are a confessed booty bomb bandit. Share your tales below.
After all, though US founding father Benjamin Franklin insisted that we "fart proudly", he probably did not intend that we do it on our friends and acquaintances. ®