Something Fishy!


I am writing in connection with a bad smell that has suddenly appeared in the workplace. We are a 3 story office building with a central hall housing the lift shaft. On each floor the lift doors open up onto a hall way and on the ground floor and 1st floor there are air con units in the roof directly outside the lift – but not on the top floor. I have checked the drains, the gutters and under the reception desk but cannot find the source of the smell. Air freshener disguises this smell for a short time – but it is really resilient. To describe the smell – fishy, musty, like stinky feet.

Please give me some suggestions of what it could be and what I can do to get rid of the smell. My boss won’t spend money to call in a contractor, so it’s down to me to solve. Thank you


Up To Me


DearĀ Up To Me:

Have you called any business that services air conditioners and heating? That is one place to start. Possibly you might get some idea of the cause this way, and also get an estimate of what it would cost to hire some firm to investigate. The problem might be a decaying animal in the system or mold and mold can be a health hazard–something for which your company could be held responsible should employees’ health be harmed. If I had such a problem in my workplace, I would describe the problem both in writing and in person to the maintenance supervisor and if that did not solve the problem, I would persist, and if a second try did not find the source of the problem, I would tell my boss that I must go to those higher in the organization, and I would enlist his support.

You say it is up to you because your boss won’t hire an investigation or contractor. Unless you are qualified and your job description lists this as your responsibility, do you really have to take on this as your job? I think not. But since it does trouble you, it is your responsibility to voice your concern that the problem is solved. Voice is given you so that you might express your needs and concerns. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes courage, and when you voice firmly and professionally what needs to be done, there is a good chance that you will enlist the decision makers in problem-solving. Please keep me posted in what you elect to do and how this problem is solved. Think WEGO.

William Gorden