Being Forced to sit by Someone at Work who Stinks..

@Jshean20 (14362)
Canada
August 7, 2012 12:26pm CST
I'm not a mean person, but when someone smells to the point of giving me migraines on a daily basis thus affecting my work performance, what can I do? We have a seating arragement at work and someone has already complained about this person to Human Resources and still nothing has been done. I would feel too bad saying something to this persons face and I refuse to do that. Have you ever been in a situation like this, what did you do or what would you do?
3 people like this
12 responses
@BabyCheetah (1913)
• Australia
8 Aug 12
We hada person at work, he would be on night shifts but liked to sit at our desks. Each morning we would have to see who the unlucky person was and then get disinfectant wipes and wipe down the keyboard and mouse etc. It was so disgusting and we complained but nothing got done or the person didn't care
@Jshean20 (14362)
• Canada
8 Aug 12
Oh wow, I would hate having to share a desk with this person. It's bad enough sitting close but touching what they've touched and smelling them within the fabric of the seat your sitting in would be even worse! So were you "lucky" enough to share a desk with this person a lot? I hope not. Thanks for commenting.
• Australia
8 Aug 12
I was lucky most of the time but I had the odd occassion unfortunately. My friend wasn't so lucky though, she got it the most the poor thing
@Jshean20 (14362)
• Canada
8 Aug 12
Poor thing for sure! Did showing up early for your shift give you the assurance that you wouldn't have to sit in that gross spot? If so, I would've shown up early every day, it'd be worth it in my opinion.
@ARIES1973 (9535)
• Legaspi, Philippines
8 Aug 12
I also experience the same thing when I ride public vehicles and I really admit it, my head is terribly aching for that reason. But as to my place of work, I am lucky that I never experience the same. Perhaps you could make friend with that person and talk to her/him about it in a nice way.
@Jshean20 (14362)
• Canada
8 Aug 12
Well I'm already nice to him, I don't see any nice way of putting it to be honest, even if you are friends. Thanks for the suggestion though.
• United States
21 Aug 12
That is an awful feeling. Yes, I have been in your shoes before both at work (at a previous job) and at church. It makes you uncomfortable and neither times have i said anything to that person or persons. The person at my previous job was a woman who, when she got her monthly, never bathed while on it. I mean, first of all, I had never ever heard of any woman not bathing while their monthly was on. And I have to endure bad breath at church and I mean really bad breath. It's several people in my church (older people) who suffer with bad breath to the point where it makes my stomach hurt. I do wish you the best Jshean.
@Micmac (6938)
8 Aug 12
That's unfortunate since you have to sit near someone who smells at work. When I am travelling or shopping, I have smelled some people who smell worst than a skunk. It is nauseating! Even some women put on the most foulest smelling perfume that can knock me out. Some people sweats alot and don't bathe and they don't realize that others need a gas mask just to be next to them. When I happen to get ill from someone's body oder, I carry with me a small bottle of Chinese oil or Canadian oil, it has camphor in it and I rub in on my nose so all I can smell is the oil and it blocks out the surrounding bad smells. Sometime vicks vapor rub works to or a nice cologne can diminish the bad oders in the air. Maybe you could get your boss to write notices and handed it to the employees that stated the proper way to prevent body oder is by bathing and using a soap and deoderant.
@Jshean20 (14362)
• Canada
8 Aug 12
I think it's necessary for some kind of notice to be given to him, the thing is he's already been talked to and he took a bath but it was short lived and he went back to old disgusting habits again. Thanks for commenting.
@singlemommy (2952)
• United States
8 Aug 12
At my former employer we did have this problem with a couple co-workers. I chose to take the silent route as you have. Other people complained to the Human Resources Manager and while she did talk to them about it, they still didn't change. Other people I worked with weren't too nice about it, they would buy deoterant, soap, etc and give it to the people. The sad thing is that it still didn't help. I don't know what makes people not want to bathe or keep up with their hygiene.
@Jshean20 (14362)
• Canada
8 Aug 12
The only thing I can think of is a deep form of depression where they are just feeling numb and not caring about themselves. If this is the case, it's actually sad. I have to wonder if maybe it's just a lazyness issue, it's hard to say really unless the person who stinks explains it to us and I don't think we should ask them that.
• United States
7 Aug 12
I will never forget the girlin our class who smelled bad. It was secret santa time and someone bought her personal items like soap,toothe paste and the rest you can imagine. we all opened our gifts not knowing who sent them to us. she opened hers and was so shame. The teacher yelled at thewhole class and said it was not rightto give such a gift. we all laughed at him because he sounded like a darn fool. That girl is lucky I was not the one who bought itI would have boughtmore stuff. the whole classroom was funky with her b.o...I worked with someone funky and I said real loud someonehere needs to wash thier azz. There is no reason to be smelling like shitt so early in the morning. someone took a bath that night.
@Jshean20 (14362)
• Canada
7 Aug 12
Well this guy has been approached about his hygiene and he will bath that night and then never again until he's given a second complaint. I have to wonder if it's lazyness, depression or a financial issue, it's hard to say.
@doroffee (4228)
• Hungary
7 Aug 12
I think I would try to bring an air freshener to the room, it might help (just not something really strongly and harshly scented, that could mix with body odors so bad)... and after that, it may be rude, but I would tell the person they smell less than perfect... or at least try to talk to them about that. Because... well, if he/she just stinks because the bathroom isn't their friends, they deserve being told off. If not, I'd try to go to HR again and complain again about my working conditions.
@Jshean20 (14362)
• Canada
7 Aug 12
It may come down to me having to do that as much as I don't want to. I think I'm hoping for a new seating arrangement more than anything else.
@mensab (4204)
• Philippines
7 Aug 12
yeah, i imagine it is quite difficult to concentrate on your job if the smell you smell is taking your mind out of your work. it is always difficult to confront someone who has this smell. it may be cultural or physical hygiene. but it is important because it distracts people from working properly. i am also not sure on how to approach the person.
@Jshean20 (14362)
• Canada
7 Aug 12
Yes, it's a tough one. No matter what I think of, there is always risk of feelings being hurt which is what I'm trying to avoid.
@Heradog (33)
• United States
7 Aug 12
I have been in this position before and it is awful.. I tried breathing throw my nose then I was afraid of tasting the smell.. This is really a no win situation. But I have found if I know this is going to happen a head of time.. I take some vic's vapor rub and put under my noise.. I would rather smell that than the nasty person.. I don't like it when a person man or woman wheres to much perfume.. Maybe you could get some really smelly potpourri or flowers if you can.. I know a candle is probably out of the question.. maybe an batteries powered scent candle.. or the room freshers.. Then that person will complain because it will smell good. LOL LOL LOL
@Jshean20 (14362)
• Canada
7 Aug 12
Haha, yes someone will always complain about something! Even by making the place smell good, someone would complain of it being too strong and going against the "scent free environement" rule.
@SomeCowgirl (32256)
• United States
7 Aug 12
I don't believe I've ever been in that situation at work. It makes me think that either they aren't aware of their stench... or they are depressed. It may sound off but people who are depressed sometimes won't bathe because they just don't have the willpower to.. I don't think I'd want to tell anyone either, but Human Resources... well I'm not sure they can do much. Unless it severely effecting a person's work.. Maybe you could bring an air fresherner to work. The gel kind that you pop open and it can help?
@Jshean20 (14362)
• Canada
7 Aug 12
I've thought of this but I'm nervous of hurting someones feelings and I'm sure he would know the purpose of the air freshener. I'm not complaining about the hygiene to be stuck up, I'm complaining because it's making my head spin and my stomache turn.
@romzz05 (572)
• Philippines
7 Aug 12
im glad i havent been in your situation. does this person stinks because of bad hygiene or maybe because of health issues? I wonder if he/she is aware that he/she stinks so bad. My mom had a similar problem i mean their janitor stinks so bad so what they did is they gave him deodorant. He got the hint and after that improvement on his smell was evident.
@Jshean20 (14362)
• Canada
7 Aug 12
This person smells due to hygiene, after being approached about it before they took a bath and smelled fine but then stopped bathing again.
@riyauro (6427)
• India
7 Aug 12
oh that's something..you are suffering at work because of the bad odor. I think you should take some deodorant and spray it around you. Maybe it can help. Or does this person know about that his odor is bad? I think some one should tell him in a friendly way so that he does not get offended. hope this problem of yours will be sorted soon. have a good day.
@Jshean20 (14362)
• Canada
7 Aug 12
From what I've heard, he was told in a friendly way and he took a bath that night but then stopped completely after that. I don't want to hurt anyones feelings but how can I function feeling so sick all the time because of the offensive odor?
@sixclix (677)
• Philippines
23 Aug 12
wear a shirt that says I'm with mr. stinky....