Body Odour

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about BO:

I have been recently accused of having body odor issue by my manager. She told me that somebody observed that and that’s how she got to know about it. I have joined this place only a week ago, and I was shocked to hear something like this for the first time in my life. I am someone who would never compromise on personal hygiene and professional appearance. I have never been accused of something like this ever before. I feel very humiliated and insulted and I don’t know how to react to this situation. Please help.

Signed, Insulted

Dear Insulted:

You are stressed by this news that someone reported you have body odor. It’s difficult to adjust to a new job without an unexpected jolt to your self-confidence. Perhaps that individual was wrong; perhaps right. We’ve received questions such as yours more than a few times. Your manager did the right thing to bring this complaint to you. If you had been manager and someone brought this kind of complaint to you, you would have had to deal with it in a similar way. Now it’s up to you not to take this as an insult, but to reflect on whether the complaint has any substance. You say you “would never compromise on personal hygiene and professional appearance.” Yet there was this complaint. Therefore, like a detective check your clothing and body so that you come to work with clean and fresh. Consider changing perfumes and deodorants. Perhaps choose those that is odorless. That might have been the problem. Then come to work holding your head high and go about your new job duties.

Also you might meet with your manager and tell her how embarrassed and humiliated you are and state that you are making a special hygienic effort so that there is no lingering scent. Ask her help. Request that she does a “smell test” of you over the next few days so that you will know if you are okay as far as body odor. Rather than repeat advice that is much more extensive than mine, I’m referring you to several questions on this topic, most that have been answered by my associate workplace doctor, Tina Lewis Rowe. I’m sure you will find these helpful Other Personnel Matters Hygiene Guidelines Perfumes & Odors Co-Worker With Body Odor Perfumes & Odors What Can We Do About Body Odor? Perfumes & Odors Person With A Bad Odor Perfumes & Odors Suggestion About Fragrance In The Workplace Perfumes & Odors When the BOSS has the BO? Perfumes & Odors My Bookkeeper Stinks!! Bad! Perfumes & Odors Horrific Feminine Odor!!! Perfumes & Odors Sleeping, Smelly Co-worker! Perfumes & Odors BO In School? Perfumes & Odors A Religious Reason For No Deodorant? Perfumes & Odors Find No Lasting Solution To My BO! Perfumes & Odors Another Co-worker With B.O.!

Don’t be obsessed with this and don’t gossip about it. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS. Sometimes we are distracted from work by our noses, and it is a boss and bossed mutual responsibility to clear the air. I predict you will survive this humiliation.

William Gorden