(Closed) How to deal with a stinky co worker???

posted 8 years ago in Career
Post # 4
1057 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

I have a person like this I work with as well. However, the person I know is very clean and presentable. She just smells awful. I try to avoid her. The smell is almost sweet, like not sweet in a good way but sweet as in she eats too many carbs/ sugars so her body sweats them out. It’s GROSS. 

Post # 6
46681 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Who hired this person? Perhaps she cleaned up for the interview and they were not aware of the problem, but it’s their problem now.

Speak to your boss and have them speak with her.


Post # 7
8353 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2011

Have any of you tried going to your supervisor and talking to them about the situation? The supervisor should be the one to take the employee aside for a talk about this. I find myself wondering why she was hired in the first place, if this is the way she normally is….

Post # 9
1331 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2016

I would ask your supervisor to talk to her discreetly about proper work-place attire and personal hygiene requirements.  My first reaction was she sounds homeless, and maybe she has no access to a shower.  In that case I would be much more sympathetic, but I can’t understand how and why someone would intentionally neglect their grooming habits.  Thankfully I’ve never been in this situation, but I hope it gets resolved quickly for everyone involved.

Post # 11
529 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

Maybe if your supervisor doesn’t want to sound mean, mention that customers have mentioned it. I work in retail as well and come in contact with a LOT of people on a daily basis, and some smell absolutely horrid. We actually even had an employee who noticably smelled bad and wasn’t very clean, customers even mentioned it along with fellow employees, so a supervisor had to pull him aside.

Post # 13
3295 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

we had a girl like this where i worked, and my manager just got out the handbook where it clearly stated that you must show up to work clean and presentable (which she was not) and he sent her home that shift and told her to fix it. well she didnt fix a thing and came back in for her next shift and got fired. she had her warning… i really dont think there is any nice way to tell her to clean up, but it has to be done, that is totally unsanitary and probably not healthy for your or your other co workers (esp if cat pee or god knows what else is involved)

Post # 14
529 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

I’m sure that once enough customers complain, someone will have to say something. It doesn’t have to be in a mean way, just in a professional way. If it’s affecting the work place and customers’ satisfaction, that doesn’t look the best. Maybe if she has any friends at your work (even though she’s new), talk to them and have them talk to her in a way that won’t embarrass her but still will make her clean up a little bit.

Post # 15
379 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

A superviser needs to say something.  When ever I get my hair done I am always impressed with how clean hairstylist are and they always smell good.  Their hair is always perfect and their makeup is perfect. Their armpits are never sweaty, you know they are washing your hair with their pit in your face.  My armpits sweat after like 10 minutes.  I couldnt be a hair stylist I guess.

Someone should say something and it should def be a supervisor.  Maybe you should say sometihng like “oh is that a dirty shirt you are wearing?  I would never wear a dirty shirt to work here.  I get so sweaty and stinky after a day of work and I wouldnt want my stinky armpit in a clients face while washing their hair.”  I mean, it is kinda passive, but really, someone needs to say something for your sake and for the sake of the clients.  As the last resort, leave her an annonymous note.

Post # 16
475 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Perhaps she is facing a personal crisis? Living out of her car b/c she has been kicked out of her house? I mean, I would think someone that is presentable at an interview knows to carry that in their daily work routine.

Does she have a birthday coming up where you can give guys can give her a basket of bath soaps and lotions an such? Maybe she’d get the idea subtly?

The only other thing I can think is to pull her aside and say “I/We are concerned about your health. We’ve noticed some changes in your appearance/hygiene since you were hired/first started and I know it might be a sensitive subject – but we all want to work in a safe and comfortable environment”

It really should be your supervisors job to do this. But you certainly don’t want to threaten to leave. You also want the poor girl to know she’s disrupting the work atmosphere. My concern would be with the kid. If she’s living in squalor, what about that poor child that doesn’t have a choice.

Ugh. Not jealous of this situation.

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