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I write to you today as a very distressed manager. I have a co-worker that for the last month literally smells like a trash can. Everyone has complained about her and frankly I do not blame them. I always thought people were being a little over dramatic but today I had the "pleasure" of sitting down in a strat meeting with this woman. One on One. By the time the meeting was finished I had gagged twice and felt queezy.
I have no idea how to deal with this. The employee has a history that shows her to be quite a sensitive human being so the situation has to be approached with a certain amount of social tact and sensitivity.
My question to you is: Have you experienced something like this? What would you do to get her to go back to her non-smelly ways?
In that case the woman was being abused at home and was only able to get herself ready once a number of "chores" had been completed, this did not allow her time for personal hygiene. However once she admitted this to someone, she was able to remove herself from that relationship.
Please don't send her an anonymous email, it could be seen as bullying and could get you into trouble in the long run. I think she needs a sympathetic ear mpre then a "slap in the face" and you need to be very aware of that. If your company has some sort of counselling dept you may want to refer it to them, and make sure you talk to HR before you do anything, and if necessary have someone from HR there when you discuss it with her.
This sounds like the correct coarse of action.
Be very poite but firm with her, warn the other employees not to poke fun at her, its a horrible situ but it needs to be dealt with quickly
If so, just walk right up to her and tell to go home and shower and that Jerry Garcia is indeed dead for 13 years now.
<i love the Dead, saw them many times, but cant stand hippy stink, ruined many a good show>
Although the condition with your employee is new, it may be something medical that she can't do anything about. You do need to open a dialogue, although I don't know that there's anything that can be done in an office situation other than move her and isolate her, which may not be possible.
Start with this:
"you smell bad, is your shower broken, are you trying to win a bet?" "please do something about it because I find it offensive and I imagine everyone else does too"
Before you know it the problem will be solved. Be forward, say it with a smile and a little humour. Do it today!
My first run in with it was at an upscale eatery, this smell came floating in the room, I could have sworn some homeless bum with horrendous hygiene issues had snuck in when this women wearing about ten grand is jewelery walked by. My wife mentioned a name of a well known perfume that I can't recall and said it reacted with some people's body chemistry in a wild way that they don't notice.
I've run into this several time since, all from well dressed women that smelled exactly the same way, but have avoided creating a scene by letting them know their expensive perfume smells like garbage.
I once worked with someone who smelt very "off", and after a year or two they found they were being eaten away by cancer inside. Once that had been treated the smell also went away. There are also some kidney and liver conditions that can make some people stink rotten.