Advice needed on office politics.

Sometimes I feel like I’m living in a Dilbert cartoon.

Only instead of a cubicle, i work in a small office. Small as in less than 20’ X 20’.

In this small office, there are three desks and three windows, two of which open. The two located directly beside me and directly in back of me.

The guy that works at the desk beside the window that doesn’t open is obsessed with opening the windows. It’s not a surprise since the windows are far enough away from him that it’s just nice pleasant air, not wind blowing on the back of his neck or dirt covering his desk.

Whenever he’s asked if he could open a window, I’ve said yes. But one day I was sick of it and I said “I’d rather you not. It blows my papers all around and my stuff gets all gritty.”

He pouted, but left the window closed.

I suggested that he work on the window beside his desk to get it open.

He grabbed a screwdriver, chipped up the frame and paint, and it still doesn’t open.

We got him a fan for his desk, but he never runs it.

So now, he doesn’t ask if he can open a window but the moment I leave my desk, even for just a minute to go to the restroom, get the mail or even step into the lobby, he immediately opens it up.

I don’t know how to handle this little battle.

It’s not that I have anything against fresh air. I love fresh air. But I don’t like cigarette smoke from the bus stop or rain coming through.

And now it’s really just about the point of the whole thing. I’m his freaking boss. I asked him not to open the window and he’s sneaking around opening it.

So what do I do?

Do I say something? Explain my position again and ask him to leave the damn window alone?

Do I play the passive aggressive game, say nothing but close the window every time he leaves the office?

Do I lie and say that our landlord has asked us to not open the window because it messes up the air conditioning?

Or do I install an invisible lock so the next time he tries to open it, he can’t? (It sounds like I’m joking, but I’ve seriously thought about doing this.)

I suppose this is small in the scheme of things but I’m about ready to throw him through his open window, so any advice you all can offer is appreciated!

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