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Clean air - assistance please

Our receptionist who is a very nice person has a terrible odor about them. It is not your typical body odor, but just as bad if not worse. Some days are worse than others. On the really bad days the smell goes upstairs to the second floor of our building. Seeking advice on how to discuss the issue with the employee. Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Submitted by: Shannon


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Wow the second floor?that must be a very strong odor that is radiating perhaps from her clothing as suggested in the previous post. However, it could also be something that is coming from within her body. Foods heavy in garlic, curry, or other spices release sulfur-containing gases when your body breaks them down and these smelly gases are released through your pores, leaving you with body odor for a few hours after your meal. Some medications can make you sweat causing body odor. Response to stress causes the smelliest sweat because it comes from an apocrine gland that when mixed with your skin?s bacteria it causes a pungent body odor. This sweat is different than the sweat from heat or exercise. To help with stress sweat, your doctor can prescribe a prescription antiperspirant. Drinking too much alcohol the day or night before can also cause body odors the next day. Determining where and how the smell is coming from will help in deciding how to proceed with addressing the issue. I feel that having a written statement discussing reasons for body odor and how to combat them would be helpful for those who may not even know how to deal with their issue. Perhaps a brainstorming session with your boss or other colleagues about the best way to bring the problem to light and not single out any one person. A private discussion with this person about the odor and the possible causes is necessary for everyone?s best interest. You would not want to offend the receptionist and give her the benefit of the doubt that she may not even know how bad the odor is or that she does not know how to stop it. good luck and get a policy written for your office/company. Anonymous on 12/4/2017 1:28:27 PM
This has to be without a doubt the most difficult topic to have to discuss with a co-worker. Unfortunately, this should fall to her boss to address and not her peers. Talk to her direct supervisor about addressing this issue. Her supervisor should speak to her in private and address her personal hygiene issues. In our company, personal hygiene is part of our dress code. It addresses bathing and deodorant and such. Debbie on 10/10/2017 3:02:03 PM
Shannon, I suggest running the situation by your HR department. They will be able to guide on how to best handle this. Debra Debra Porter on 10/6/2017 5:02:34 PM
Hi Shannon, Does your receptionist, by any chance, have a cat? We had a similar problem with one of our employees and as it turned out, she had a number of cats and not all of them were using the litter box. Instead, they were using her clothing as a litter box. Even though she laundered her clothing, cat urine is really difficult, if not impossible, to get rid of. The odor is terrible but usually the cat owner is immune to the odor and doesn't smell it. It was a very difficult conversation that HR had to have with this employee but once she realized there was a problem, she found out that it was a medical issue with the culprit cat. She had her clothing professionally cleaned and the problem was resolved. I hope that your problem gets resolved quickly also. Mama Becca on 10/6/2017 3:21:10 PM

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