Do You Shower?

stinky-peopleNo, I’m not kidding!  This is a legitimate question that I have decided to throw out there to everyone.  Do you shower?  I have decided to ask such a personal question because I have come to notice that a lot people around me don’t SEEM to shower.  I’m not saying they never do, I’m just saying it sure doesn’t smell like they do!

Where is this coming from?  Well, I think you know that I am a surg tech at a rural community hospital.  That means I’m in surgery.  Where it’s clean.  And we use sterile instruments.  And we use cleaners that kill all kinds of germs.  And it’s clean…

There is one lady I work with who smelled so bad the other day I wanted to tell her to leave me alone and I’d do all the instruments!  I could smell her ACROSS the counter from where we wrap all our stuff.  I wanted to cry!  I wanted to run and hide and not come out til she was gone!  The worst part???  She really didn’t help me!  She just stood there and watched me work!  If you’re not going to help, get the hell out of my way!  I tried to be nice and cover my facial expressions.  I think I did well because she never caught on.  How do you tell someone they stink???  BTW, she’s always right.  She knows it all and you can’t tell her anything and if you try, she runs to Human Resources faster than you can say it! 

All I could think was, “Did patients have to smell her today?”  Wouldn’t that be awful!  I hope none of them remember (and they shouldn’t) but what if one does?  I felt so bad for those patients and the other people who had to work with her!  I didn’t know what to do, so I kept my mouth shut, because it’s not the first time she’s come to work stinky.  It’s funny because we have rules about wearing smelly lotion and perfume, but what about BO???  Who do I go to when it’s that offensive?  Anyone else have to deal with this?  A smelly co worker or smelly customer or smelly anybody??!!  What did you do?!

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24 Responses to Do You Shower?

  1. BO is tough to deal with when it’s around you, I agree. I understand and don’t mind when it’s people exercising, for instance – they’ve been running for three miles, they can’t help it and probably hate it themselves, right?
    I do NOT get people who walk around and go to work with BO. You know what? I can understand that once in a while you sleep late and have no time to shower or that you really don’t feel like it or… well, some other excuse not to shower. We’ve all done it – we’ve all been lazy about it once in a while. BUT – there IS such a thing called deodorant, and it at least masks the smell. Or you can use a washcloth to get rid of sweaty bits instead of taking a full shower. I just don’t get how people aren’t AWARE that they smell. I know that if I ever get to that point I feel extremely self-conscious and I run to remedy the situation as soon as possible.

  2. shane says:

    It’s tough to tell someone that they stink. I remember in middle school there was this girl in our class that literally smelt like a dumpster on a 100 degree summer day. We put up with it for about a week, and then we told the teacher and the school nurse came to the classroom and pulled her out. They kicked her out of school intill she had good hygeine. We kinda felt sorry for her because that had to be embarassing but come on. It makes you wonder if they know how bad they smell. If it’s bad enough I would inform someone about it. That’s just gross. I can’t say I shower everyday but I never have b.o. that knocks people out.

  3. pammy wammy says:

    I dont shower,but I love bathes.I love to soak in a tub with nice smelling bubble bath.I can smell when I have bad BO.My problem is my feet when I have worked or been in socks and shoes for a long period.I take off my shoes at home and ewwwwwwww.I cant stand it,so I hop in the tub and scrub.I blame my dad for the smelly feet.I dont think i could tell someone either,i dont like to hurt anothers feelings.But if ya work with a big group of people,you do find that there is someone who is more bold.And Sue if shes the kind whos always right,I guess you got a problem.I work with someone like that,and I have learned to keep my mouth shut.I dont have the energy to fight.

  4. Rhonda says:

    I shower and take baths, twice a day! I can’t help it.

    In high school I had a group of friends and one had BO. We even had a meeting about it. I was appointed to tell our friend she had BO. It was so awkward but I got through it. She was happy I told her and said that she couldn’t smell the BO.

    I also had a co-worker that didn’t shower for days. She would walk around bragging about it. I don’t think she washed her clothes either.

    • Sue says:

      I’m pretty sure my stinky lady doesn’t wash her clothes either. I’ve seen them in the dressing room and it’s not pretty. I guess some people’s prioritys are different than others, but bathing has got to be one of them!

      If I think I smell, I’ll ask someone! Whether it’s my husband or my friends and yes, even my coworkers! I always tell them to tell me if I stink b/c I don’t want to be causing them pain!

  5. I don’t care if I wake up late, or if showering is going to make me late–there is no way I’m going out in public reeking of BO. That’s inexcusable.

    And of all places, a surgical unit! That is nothing short of mind boggling.

  6. nikki says:

    I take a shower every morning and a bath almost every night, especially in the winter. I’m always cold and some times that’s the only way to cure the “cold to the bone” problem!
    If it’s one of my guy friends who smell I always tell them , but not too sure how I would react to a girl smelling. Or a coworker or acquaintance. Maybe if she’s by you say something like, wow do smell that?? Hmm I wonder where that’s coming from??? Maybe if you do that enough she’ll get the hint. But some people just have the funk!!! LOL

  7. Joy says:

    This is such a touchy issue. I used to work with one of the nicest women I’ve even known but she had the worst breath. None of us could bring ourselves to tell her. We liked her so much. We just never got to close to her.

    Smelling like this though is different and I agree with J.W., in a surgical unit, unbelievable. I think you’ll have to go to your superior. It’s really up to them to tell them. This shouldn’t be up to you guys that work with her. Any other problems you have to take to them and this IS a problem. When Paul was reading this this morning he said the same thing. He’s had to tell people this at his plant. He said once he had to literally take a bar of soap to an employee and take him to the bathroom to wash. He did it in private but all his other employee’s couldn’t stand to work near him.

    I also think one more thing about this. I know 2 people REALLY well and love both of them dearly. Neither of them come to the blog so don’t say “was it me you were talking about” because NO, it’s none of you but these 2 people do bathe and shower. They don’t wash their clothes often enough. They will wear something over and over and shower and put on the same shirts because “they weren’t dirty.” Sometimes I think, people think that unless they spill something on their clothes or they don’t “look” dirty, they will keep wearing the same clothes. How they can’t smell it is another issue. I’m wondering how you can’t smell it if everyone else can.

    Good luck.

  8. starlaschat says:

    I really like my Showers! That’s a tough situation Sue. It’s difficult when you work with people and they have distracting issues. Sounds like on the inside and outside it can make it tough on you especially if you feel you have to bite your tongue. I have no advice on this I hope things improve with your co worker and maybe she will make some changes inside and out. That’s a tough on hope it doesn’t get worse.

    • Sue says:

      There’s no changing her! I’ve been at my job for almost 6 years and she’s stunk all 6 of them! Not every day, but more than 3x a week. Saddest part? She has a son that gets his hygiene from his mother.

  9. Gary says:

    Yeah, that’s a tough one. How do you tell someone they stink? I figure if you don’t really like them, just tell them they stink. Otherwise, go to HR maybe? Luckily, I haven’t had to deal with anything like this.

    P.S. I shower once a month whether I need it or not. 😉

  10. SKL says:

    First, yes, I shower!

    Second, I agree this is a very touchy subject. I used to have a coworker whose deo and toothpaste only lasted up to a certain hour and then it got BAD. I think some people are just made that way. I tried to just adjust to it because I don’t know that there was anything he could do about it. I did try to get things done early with him though!

    I guess if I really couldn’t stand someone’s BO, I might start a casual conversation, not about that person but in his/her presence, about some aspect of personal hygiene. Something benign that makes them realize that I personally am very careful about how I impact the immediate environment, which would hopefully trigger the thought in his/her mind: what about me, do I stink??

    Luckily I’m able to adjust to other people pretty well. I feel sorry for people who have really sensitive noses. My dad is like that. He can’t stand being around people who have eaten onions and garlic and such.

  11. mssc54 says:

    Some days I take one in the morning AND at night.

    Now if I worked with Ms. Ode I Feruss I would leave her gifts wrapped with her name on it about twice a week.

    An EMPTY deodorant container.

    Bath soap (complete with hair stuck in it).

    Empty bottle of perfume.

    You get the idea.


  12. Michelle says:

    I think this is one time I would beat her to HR or at least your superior. Mike leaving EMPTY not the answer. Why not leave NEW instead? She might get the hint. I lived somewhere once where a couple had a house full of cats and dogs. You could smell the stench outside but they seemed not to notice. I can’t “wake-up” in the mornings without a shower and most of the time rinse off before bed each night. Good luck with it.

    • mssc54 says:

      I figured by leaving EMPTY containers that would make her think what the heck was going on. Then maybe she would get around to understanding that SOMEONE used those products and she may want to consider it too! 😉

    • Sue says:

      I’ve thought about the supervisor, but stinky has her wrapped around her finger! Stinky plays the woe is me card ALL the time and for whatever reason, sup buys it. Ugh, does that mean I have to go to HR?!!!! Oh no.

  13. odette says:

    my gag reflex is very quick to catch up on anything and everything stale. i used to work in bank, on the frontline, and i’ve had my fair share of bad smells almost on a daily basis. because i couldn’t hide my wince however i try, i would pretend to think out loudly, within the hearing of the smelly culprit, “ugh, what is that smell?” over and over and over again, hoping he or she would somehow get it. ^-^

    hot showers are glorious! i can’t retire at night without it, even in the middle of the winter. because i am originally from a tropical country where temperature is 31degrees everyday, my mind is programmed to take a shower before i leave the house, and i had my regular night shower at that. it has become a habit difficult to shake off.

  14. joanharvest says:

    I shower. I don’t like to take baths. It just takes too long. Jeebus, I hope I don’t smell. I think if I did my daughter would tell me. I certainly always wear clean clothes and I do shower daily. I take showers at night. I have to go to bed clean plus it’s warmer in the house at night in the winter.

    I can remember a few people coming into my store who reeked. One was so bad I took an essential oil off the shelf and then pretended to spill it just so I could get a whiff of it. I think I grabbed pine. It sure smelled better than that poor lady. I certainly couldn’t tell her.

  15. Tony says:

    A shower a day keeps the BO away.

    A shower a week makes you really reek

  16. JavaQueen says:

    You have a co-worker that “knows it all” too? I thought it was just my co-worker *snort* Mine also runs to HR every time she feels violated, which is every other day- LOL!

    What a hard predicament. I know you have to do something… but how to go about it?

    I’d write my supervisor stating my concerns. Especially if you are working in a sterile environment. I’d also say, you overheard a patient complain and that’s when you knew it was time to take action. If that gets me nowhere, I’d write to HR. For sure.

    How can someone NOT know they stink? I am extremely conscience of how I smell. Everyone gets stinky… that’s why everyone showers/bathes. This woman sounds HORRIBLE.

    But, yeah, you are in a very bad predicament! I don’t envy your situation…. it’s very uncomfortable.

  17. Archie says:

    Well, if you are mean enough you can gift wrap a bar of soap and put a card on it that reads “Thought of you when I saw this” and maybe anonymously leave it on that person’s desk!

  18. goldenamber says:

    I have often thought about doing a public health service by carrying around with me cans of deodorant for just those people and giving them out for free.

    It is the grossest thing ever when people have B.O. Gawd!

    I shower and Bathe each day…. I use deodorant and brush my teeth too…

    People who have such low self esteem to allow themselves to stink…. they are just NASTY!

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