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This is Difficult to Resolve

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Boss asked my advice today. How does he tell an employee that they smell and co worker has complained? The only suggestion I could make was that the co worker gave her a gift of toiletries saying they were surplus Christmas gifts.

Lame I know, but how would you deal with this very real problem?

Lynibis
1 month ago
What do you think of this?
MrsCraig
MrsCraig1 month ago

Unfortunately I think that perhaps honesty might be the best way forward. Or say that there is a certain standard at your workplace and their hygiene isn't reaching it and that it doesn't give a good impression to people and could affect their working relationship with them. Perhaps ask if there is any reason for this issue (such as a broken washing machine so clothes can't be cleaned, a broken shower erc).

I certainly wouldn't want to be in that situation but it can be handled delicately. I would try your idea first and then go down the tougher route if I was your boss!

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Glitterandgold
Glitterandgold1 month ago

The problem with that is they might not take the hint....

Difficult but I think you just have to be honest & upfront. They might not even be aware they smell... might be a medical issue?

A polite discreet word probably needs to be had as awkward as it's going to be. I think it's the only way!

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Lynibis
Lynibis
Original Poster
1 month ago

MrsCraig and Glitterandgold you are both right and I agree. However I am not going to get any further involved as it is between the two involved. We all have driver/PA partners and luckily neither me or my partner stinks lol. It must be awful if one of you does though when stuck in the confines of a car or front of a mini bus!

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Lynibis
Lynibis
Original Poster
1 month ago

Wow thanks for that, I have forwarded it to my boss!

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Ann1984
Ann19841 month ago

Lynibis it's very awkward how to put things to someone today

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davidstockport
davidstockport1 month ago

It could be tackled in conversation. (Easier to demonstrate than explain):

Opener from non-smelly person (NSP)

NSP. Do you know that many people who suffer from BO (body odour) don't realise it?

SP (Smelly person) I had heard that.

NSP: it must be terrible not to realise and difficult for their friends to tell them in case they're offended.

SP: Nods head in agreement.

NSP: I would prefer to be told so may I ask you... do I smell?

HOPEFULLY

SP Replies ....No you don't (But if the answer is YES NSP mustn't get offended - they did ask)

NSP. Thanks I'm so relieved ... would you prefer to be told by a friend If you smelled and didn't know?

SP. I'd be very grateful.

NSP: I am so pleased to know that... because you do!... I'm so glad we can remain friends... and as token of my friendship may I give you this deodorant and some bath salts.

'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

I hope that gives you some idea of how with tact and diplomacy this problem can be tackled.

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angemski
angemski1 month ago

What an awful task to undertake! It's really important for your boss to find out whether or not the employee has anosmia. (it could explain the unrecognised personal odours) There's close to three and a half million people in the UK that suffer. This may make the meeting easier.

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KimEwbank
KimEwbank1 month ago

I think the boss should not be discussing things like this with employees, totally unprofessional. Take them aside and have a general word with HR there

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Lynibis
Lynibis
Original Poster
1 month ago

I think if you read all my above comments you will see that this is a small group of people who work for a contractor and there is no such thing as HR. We are all self employed and I should have made it clear that he is a friend who I often socialise with. Because the person is female he wanted a woman's perspective on how to handle it. I have not been told who it is so the woman is not being discussed by anyone else and only the boss and complainer know who it is.

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Lynibis
Lynibis
Original Poster
1 month ago

It has also occurred to me that if we were a company with HR and the boss went to them, it would open the person up to more ridicule as it would soon get round no matter how professional they are meant to be. So far it is contained saving the poor lady embarrassment. I think in the end her co worker will have to be the one to say something but the children on her bus have made comments too but she doesn't seem to have realised.

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KimEwbank
KimEwbank1 month ago

Lynibis I see now x wrongly assumed it was a large company, I think she needs kindly told, no one wants be know as smelly and it you’ve noticed surely everyone has too ☹️

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Lynibis
Lynibis
Original Poster
1 month ago

KimEwbank hi I feel the need to explain as you do not seem to understand. I haven't noticed, I don't even know who she is, my boss has been very discreet and just asked for advice. He and the complainer are the only two who know so no one has been talking behind her back and I am not getting involved any further. I feel it is for the complainer to deal with. As I explained earlier we work in twos so other employees are not involved.

Thank you for your input though.

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KimEwbank
KimEwbank1 month ago

Lynibis good god I don’t seem to be doing very well lol surely if you haven’t noticed and others aren’t commenting they can’t be that.. erm... pungent. What a sticky situation for your boss/friend to be in aren’t you glad you don’t have to be in THAT meeting x hope they sort it x

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Lynibis
Lynibis
Original Poster
1 month ago

KimEwbank lol no one else has noticed it because she doesn't work with anyone else. There are just two people per vehicle....driver and PA.

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dholly39
dholly391 month ago

agreed.. they may not take the hint,you may just have to be gently honest in this case..

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Dani1
Dani11 month ago

Hi, I really feel for your boss having to have this conversation with him/her. It must such a difficult subject to broach. Even asking if there's a medical reason will be awkward. I hope everything goes ok 😍

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davidstockport
davidstockport1 month ago

Despite a few wrong words being used (order for odour & take for use etc.) this seems to give some very good advice https://content.wisestep.com/talk-employees-body-odor-polite/

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