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How do you NICELY tell a co-worker they need to shower? adult content

I have a co-worker who came to work smelling a little "ripe". We all avoided getting too near them and hoped that the next day would be better and the smell gone. Instead the smell was worse and they must have known because they also had a strong smell of body spray trying to mask the smell. One of us needs to mention this in a way that wont offend them. I don't want to intentionally hurt their feelings, they're a very nice person, but this is not the first time we've encountered this problem with them. Any suggestions?

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Asked by BriannaJeanM at 10:43 PM on Feb. 21, 2011 in Health

Level 3 (23 Credits)
Answers (16)
  • Maybe this person is having money issues and isn't able to spend the money of hygiene products. Maybe this person is depressed, on medication that causes excessive sweating and body odor. Maybe take this person aside and ask if everything is ok and gently tell her that you have noticed an odor and if she or he needs anything.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 10:45 PM on Feb. 21, 2011

  • You need to speak to their manager or supervisor. My mom had someone in her department like that and she did have to have them in her office for a tough conversation about hygiene, but you know what thats what she gets paid the "big money" <--- LOL because its only big relative to the woman's coworkers, for.

    Answer by jamesonjustines at 10:45 PM on Feb. 21, 2011

  • Complain to management.

    Answer by Simplicity3 at 10:46 PM on Feb. 21, 2011

  • maybe you could give them a basket of soaps and stuff for their bday, or have a raffle for different items and that's just the one they know a little nudge. i have no idea how i would tell someone that. gl

    Answer by angevil53 at 10:47 PM on Feb. 21, 2011

  • You dont. Its not your place to. Tell managment or something

    Answer by MomNbabyGirl009 at 10:47 PM on Feb. 21, 2011

  • I'm not sure I would complain. See, it may lead to

    Answer by mrskrisher at 10:50 PM on Feb. 21, 2011

  • I agree that it's something you turn over to management

    Answer by admckenzie at 10:50 PM on Feb. 21, 2011

  • The same way you'd tell a "ripe" teenager: privately and with compassion. BUT be aware that this person might have circumstances that exist outside the realm of personal bathing habits. He/she might be of a culture that doesn't share our habits, might have an abusive partner, or might have troubles paying for water or electricity... Regardless of the circumstances, do be supportive...

    After you've pulled the person into a private room, you can begin by saying, "This is as akward for me as it is for you, but I'm telling you because I enjoy working with you. Sometimes it smells like you aren't able to shower regularly, and I just wanted to let you know that people are noticing and are concerned for you. Is there anything wrong?" Be prepared to offer a suggestion, like, "I'm sure you can shower at the office if you explain your situation to the manager" or "why don't you come over to my house for dinner and a shower?"

    Answer by GoodyBrook at 10:54 PM on Feb. 21, 2011

  • Problems. But you should take her aside and say something. Make sure its one on one, and as gently as possible. Start by asking if everything is ok. Then mention the smell. Her shower may be broken, and she may be unable to fix it, or something else equally unexpected. Understand, everyone goes through difficult times. Good luck!

    Answer by mrskrisher at 10:56 PM on Feb. 21, 2011

  • I would try a little more of an indirect route. Maybe mention a new body wash and deodorant that you like to them, and see where the conversation leads.

    Answer by JeanetteRene at 11:00 PM on Feb. 21, 2011

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