Now brooches are on the banned list! Baffled woman is asked to remove a Zara spider accessory at work because ‘distressed’ colleague has a phobia

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  • Woman was asked to remove her spider brooch to avoid causing ‘distress’
  • Colleague complains to line manager who told ‘derogatory’ woman
  • The post sparked outrage from fellow users who said the woman was ‘precious’

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A woman is stunned after asking her to remove her sparkly spider brooch because one of her colleagues has a phobia.

The £14.99 Zara accessory is made from shimmering rhinestones and metal with a safety pin-style fastening, but apparently that was enough to cause ‘distress’.

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Writing about the incident on a UK-based parenting website mumsnet, the unidentified woman explained that following a complaint from an angry colleague, her line manager had asked her to remove the brooch containing the jewellery.

The £14.99 Zara accessory (pictured) is made from shimmering rhinestones and metal with a safety pin-style fastening, but was enough to cause 'crisis'.
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A woman is stunned after asking her to remove her sparkly spider brooch because one of her colleagues has a phobia. The £14.99 Zara accessory (pictured) is made from shimmering rhinestones and metal with a safety pin-style fastening, but was enough to cause ‘crisis’.

Writing about the incident on mumsnet, the woman reported that her line manager had asked her to remove the bejeweled brooch following a complaint from an angry coworker.

Writing about the incident on mumsnet, the woman reported that her line manager had asked her to remove the bejeweled brooch following a complaint from an angry coworker.

She noted that she had worked with a colleague for ‘many years’ and that the issue of severe arachnophobia had never come up before.

The story left readers divided, with some questioning why the ‘clothing police’ were allowed to run rampant at the place of work.

One posted: ‘You know I would have been bloody minded here. People never have the right to move around without inconvenience/hurt/crawling. It is a brooch.’

Another wrote: ‘Surely they couldn’t see it? Are the clothes the police going to catch at the workplace? What about the birds on the scarf? Butterflies on a blouse? Leather Shoes Offensive to Vegetarians? No more coffee with milk..and they say DC is making bloody snowflakes?? !!’

The story prompted outrage from other users who questioned why the 'clothes police' were allowed to run rampant at the place of work, pictured

The story prompted outrage from other users who questioned why the ‘clothes police’ were allowed to run rampant at the place of work, pictured

A third said: ‘What if you were wearing a shirt or blouse that had spiders on it? Would they have asked you to remove it??

Others said that while wearing the brooch was not ‘inappropriate’ at first, she should now respect her colleague’s wishes and refrain from wearing it again.

One argued, ‘It is not inappropriate to wear it, but if someone has a phobia it is fair to ask you to remove it, which you did and you put it somewhere else.’

Although many said it was not 'inappropriate' to wear the brooch in the first place, she should now respect her colleague's wishes and avoid wearing it again.

Although many said it was not ‘inappropriate’ to wear the brooch in the first place, she should now respect her colleague’s wishes and avoid wearing it again.

Another agreed: ‘You weren’t unreasonable to have it in the first place and you did the right thing in removing it. Yes, some people’s phobia can extend to just images or even referring to the thing they are afraid of.’

Some users shared their own experiences with phobias to testify to how a co-worker felt upon seeing the spider.

One wrote: ‘My colleague has spider phobia. There’s no way she could have spent days looking at that brooch. Just knowing that would have been enough.

‘Phobias are not rational and go far beyond not liking them.’

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