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Old 06-22-2007, 02:50 PM   #1
orcoastknitter
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Need some advice about a co-worker
Ok, this is absolutely driving me nuts! My co-worker has horrible breath. I can't stand to even work close to her. There is a part in our daily routine where we have to open the mail. We usually sit/stand by each other and have small talk while opening the mail. When she turns her head to talk to me I just kind of back away. I have tried to offer her mints but she doesn't like anything minty. I don't want to be rude and just come right and say it. Any suggestions?
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Old 06-22-2007, 02:59 PM   #2
GinnyG
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Whew!! What a tough one!! I believe that honesty is the best policy. You need to just be upfront with her. Bad breath can be a sign of a serious health problem, dental problems or just poor hygeine. As embarressed as I would be if someone told me I had bad breath I would be MORE embarressed to find out later that EVERYONE noticed it but me. I would be kind but honest.

Reminds me of something someone said to me once....... if someone offers you a breath mint NEVER refuse, they might be trying to tell you something!!!
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Old 06-22-2007, 03:26 PM   #3
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I admit I'm a chicken and would rather do something anonymously.

www.annoyingcoworker.com

If that doesn't work, leave an anonymous note on her desk when she steps away. Let her know that it's a common problem but everyone notices and you just want to help.
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Old 06-22-2007, 03:34 PM   #4
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I've never had a problem like this but I've heard that HR is supposed to deal with problems like this. You may want to talk to someone in your HR department and see if they can deal with the situation since hygeine is very important when working so close together.
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Old 06-22-2007, 04:57 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Kaydee View Post
I've never had a problem like this but I've heard that HR is supposed to deal with problems like this. You may want to talk to someone in your HR department and see if they can deal with the situation since hygeine is very important when working so close together.

Good point. I completely forgot about HR.
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Old 06-22-2007, 05:01 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Silver View Post
I admit I'm a chicken and would rather do something anonymously.

www.annoyingcoworker.com

If that doesn't work, leave an anonymous note on her desk when she steps away. Let her know that it's a common problem but everyone notices and you just want to help.
Oh noesss, Silver. Why, why, WHY did you post this type of temptation for a eeevil mortal weakling such as myself??
(evil cackling)
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Old 06-22-2007, 05:17 PM   #7
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I would (and have) just come right out and say it. I try to be as nice and all as I can but I won't hesitate to tell them.

I would want someone to tell me.
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Old 06-22-2007, 05:21 PM   #8
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Well I do know that she doesn't go to the dentist, at least since I have been here (4 years). And she also doesn't go to the doctor unless it's a life threatening emergency.

I have discussed it with the office manager and she didn't seem to notice.

I would think me jumping back everytime she talked to me, she would get the hint.
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Old 06-22-2007, 05:44 PM   #9
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Maybe offer the mint again and say in a low voice something about needing it, maybe mutter "lunch" or "garlic"...

Years ago I worked at a place where there were children and teens - there was one particular teen that never brushed her teeth and had dreadful breath - I walked in on a group of teens, all of whom admired this girl, and they were offering each other breath mints and were talking about toothpaste, sorta like it was something people just talked about. I think it went over her head, though, and eventually we had to have an adult talk to her. She's an adult now - I hope she brushes her teeth now!

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Old 06-22-2007, 06:51 PM   #10
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Well I suppose if you want to be anonymously obvious, you could leave her a trial bottle of mouthwash on her desk. Though I would just be upfront and honest with them about it. They might not like the honesty, but rather you than somebody who is TRYING to be malicious.
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