Tia Juana will cheerfully provide advice for anyone that asks. Just mail your questions to “Ask Tia Juana” at PO Box 8, Van Horn, Texas 79855. All questions will remain anonymous unless there is a chance for extortion. Disclaimer: Tia Juana is not a licensed counselor or therapist and none of the advice should be considered professional.
I am writing at the request of several of my co-workers who are at their wit’s end. We have another coworker who, to put it mildly, does not believe in bathing regularly, or even brushing his teeth. There are also certain signs that he may not even wash his clothes regularly because we can tell what he’s eaten the last week by the stains on his clothes. By the end of the week, the smell is overpowering and no one wants to get within 20 feet of him, much less have him breathe anywhere near us. How do we get the message to him that his smell is offensive? Does he have a clue that he brings us to tears with his toxic body odor and breath? Please help!
Holding our noses
Believe it or not, some people are totally oblivious to their own body smells and some even believe that there is a certain attractiveness to their “pheromones.” Since this is a group concern, it is better to let your boss earn his/her pay and have him/her tell Mr. Smelly, since you have to work with him. No one should have to work in a toxic environment and you may have grounds for a workers’ comp claim for damage to your nose! If your boss is reluctant to confront your malodorous coworker, maybe an anonymous note left on his desk will do the trick. If you don’t notice an improvement, your group needs to insist that your boss take care of the problem. Good luck!