How do you tell a co-worker NICELY that they have a B.O. problem? (please read)

by Joliette 29 Replies latest jw friends

  • FirstLastName

    In my hall growing up there was a young sister that moved in - she was maybe 18. We smelled so awful - she truely did not use deodorant. Pretty soon EVERYONE was talking about how bad she smelled and that they were going to mail her a random box of deodorant. I do not think anyone ever told her, she got married and I never saw her again.

    Truth is ....I never told her either. So was as bad as everyone else!

    I am not sure how I would tell someone this - I can only say that is it was ME that was stinky - I would hope that someone would tackfully tell me somehow.

  • chickpea

    there was an elder at the KH i attended who had said
    that the society's training of elders taught to always
    find something to commend and then offer counsel

    seems the way to proceed.... as well as CLAIM
    the reality that the situation is uncomfortable
    but that it needs to be tackled

    "your supervisor says your job performance is
    commendable and i agree, so thank you for your
    diligence in performing your job requirements...
    we really do appreciate a hard worker like yourself...
    additionally, as uncomfortable as i am in having
    to bring a different matter to your attention, there
    is an issue about personal hygiene that has not
    gone unnoticed, and i hope that there are remedial
    measures you can take to correct that matter... we
    think highly of you and want to help you excel in all areas"

    of course, if they suck at their job... whole otha story!

  • snowbird
  • aquagirl

    I worked at a place where a woman had a bad odor.It got to wher eot was nauseating.One dy I walked in from break and said"Hey,whats that smell? Is something burning?"and I walked around to all of the desks and pretended to smell them.When I came to her's,I said,"Oh Tracy,I think you might have gotten something on your sleeve"! It didnt work,but was good for an experiment.I dont think there is a subtle way to do it.Its either suffer or risk a bad reception of your observation...Good luck!

  • wasblind

    ROFL a bag of onions !!!!! that's not as harsh as callin' her a "stinkin' ass"

    Joliet Says: " When I was a young girl I worked in an office with an old woman who smelled like a dead whale."

    Good Gawd

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    I volunteered at a mental health program. One client smelled horribly. He was highly educated and just seemed the fastidious type in every other way. It smelled even after he left a room. He wasn't schizoprehnic. None of the schizophrenics smelled. He was brilliant yet he could not land any job in his field. It certainly was not my place. I wondered though why he wasn't stopped from attending the program. The schizoprhrenics would have been. It is possible that he had a medical condition. What if he was just lazy with hygiene and no one on staff talked to him? Maybe his life would have been demonstrably better.

    Knowing him, I am surprised he did not wear a fancy men's cologne.

  • Jadeen

    I used to work with a guy that had horrible body odor. It turned out that he had a medical condition that made him reek. He would take a shower and use deo before coming to work, put on more deo at break, go home and shower at lunch time (with more deo), and reapply at afternoon break. Once we found out that it was something that he couldn't help and was doing his best to stop, people were pretty understanding.

  • Joliette

    Wow, what great replies.

    UPDATE: Our general manager and housekeeping supervisor couldnt get the nerve to tell her that she stinks, so our first shift front desk person told her! . I was thinking maybe her supervisor would tell her, but it ended up being another person in another department (WTF!)

    T H A N K

    Y O U

    A L L

  • FlyingHighNow

    In the words of Emily Litella: Never mind.

  • Palimpsest

    I've seen this one come up a lot in advice columns, and the consensus seems to be that you should only bring it up if it's significantly impacting the person with the odor. Is it impacting their job performance? Are customers complaining? Is smelling good part of their job description? Does your company actually have a hygiene policy?

    If not, then the solution starts with you. How can you avoid it? Can you learn to just live with the smell? Is it really so disruptive that it's impacting your job performance, or are you just being sensitive/picky? I had a coworker who was from another country and constantly had an overpowering smell of certain spices, but I learned to just cope with it. I turned my desk a bit so that it wasn't right in my face all the time, I opened my window when possible, and I held my breath briefly whenever he got up or walked by. It was still annoying, but I adjusted.

    If it really is a problem and not just an annoyance, then it's your manager's responsibility to talk to the person in question. They need to be careful to consider that the smell might be due to a medical problem. Most people who have odor problems aren't oblivious to them; they just don't quite know what to do. A skilled HR rep or manager will be able to help them out. But it should never, ever be a peer worker counseling them on it unless you're very close friends outside of work.

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