A German etiquette group has called for a total ban on work colleagues kissing one another in the office, claiming a peck on the cheek is a form of 'terrorism'.
The German Knigge Society - which translates as etiquette or correct behaviour - said the practice has flourished in offices in recent years.
Women kiss men, men kiss women, usually once, but sometimes twice in the way of the French.
But in a society with more rigorous rules than most, sensibilities have become deeply offended.
At school, they are taught to keep a respectful distance when greeting a stranger, to shake their hand and to bow the head just ever so slightly.
Now the Knigge Society has ruled on the issue of office kissing and says it must go.
It claims it has reacted after worried callers who have enquired over recent months about what to do if someone should attempt to kiss them in a greeting.
Hans Michael Klein, chairman of the group, said: 'This is valid immediately. There should be no kissing, at least not in the office.'
Mr Klein said enquiries had flooded into his offices from varied cities including Berlin, Munich and Duesseldorf.
'Kissing simply gets on the nerves of many at work. It is a form of terror.
Any closer, he said, would injure a 'socially defined distance zone'.
He added that while he had respect for the French habit, and that in Russia where men also kiss each other in greeting, this was not the German way and it was an affectation of the 'Schickimicki' set - or the 'in-crowd'.
(Read by Nelly Min. Nelly Min is a journalist at the China Daily Website.)