I work very hard and am attending college to obtain my degree in the Human Service field. Writing makes me feel alive and gives me the opportunity to touch those whom I would not be able to otherwise. Last but not least, I have been blessed with two amazing daughters who love me completely and support my dreams. Feel free to contact me with questions, concerns or feedback.
I wonder when The Police decided to sing this song if they initially wrote it about a particular issue or if it really had to do with what I am planning on covering today.
Have you ever in your life had the experience of being too close to someone who had less than perfect hygiene? If you have ever worked in an office setting I am sure you have. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't plan on naming names here, but, to be honest, once in a while something hits me. A smell, an odor, a funk so to speak. Someone within your personal space, needing to talk. Silently, you sit and smile, wishing you had the words (or a noseplug). Yet, you don't, because you would't want to offend someone although you are the one being offended.
Yes, we all know that one guy or gal who has not had a lesson in personal hygiene. The cat lady, a smoker or the one who is allergic to soap. How about the gal who insists on using the strongest perfume? You know, her cubicle is attached to yours and when she sprays it comes your way. The guy or gal who is parting the room faster than the Red Sea each and every time they walk through. Chances are, believe it or not, they have come from a long line of offenders and are unaware of the situation. Yet, when it comes to the rest of us, what is the proper way to handle the situation? Is there some type of training we can obtain so that we can sympathize yet obtain results?
I had a particular instance a couple of years ago. I worked in an office setting. We had cubicles. Behind me was a girl, a really nice girl at that. Yet, at least three times a day she would spray this God aweful perfume. It wasn't the expensive kind either. Nope, Ralph and Vera were not "in da house". To be honest, had it been twenty years ago, it probably would not have bothered me. Yet, after the birth of my first child, my smelling senses have been magnified by 1000 so aromas hit me sooner than most everyone else. Initially, I attempted to talk with this woman about the issue, but she persisted. It moved on to emailing my manager, yet it still failed to cease. Up until my last day, the problem continued.
Another situation comes to mind. Most of us have encountered this person. The dreaded Cat Lady. She lives alone, 20-30 cats (or so) and has no idea Fluffy has used her hair as restroom for the last year or so. This person's odor is so strong you almost feel like calling the U.S. Army for a gas mask in order to stay alive for one more minute. She has little or no family. What do you do? I know what I have done in the past. Absolutely nothing. Why, you ask? Because it is her life and I only see her once a month. She appears happy enough and without her cats, she would die.
My last and final example occured last year. I met a guy, we hit it off. Yet, when he opened his mouth, it appeared as if he had been hit with a baseball bat which caused his teeth to go every which way but loose. He got close, closed his eyes and moved in for the kiss. Oh my gosh (and that is stating it lightly), the odor was overwhelming. Wanting to cry, especially for myself, I pulled back and stated I had a cold. I eventually told him that because of my heightened sense of smell, it would be really difficult to get close to him in that way. I suggested he stop by the dentist to ensure he didn't have periodontal disease because it could end up affecting him in other ways. He stated that not one person in his life had ever mentioned he had an oral hygiene problem. In a rebuttal, I stated that it was probably because they loved him and didn't want to hurt his feelings. I haven't heard from him since.
When you are in a situation where you have to be within a certain proximity to an offender on a daily basis, what is your recourse? How in the world does a girl like me handle the guy who refuses to use soap? Maybe he is allergic. Or, maybe, just maybe, he can't afford hygiene products. How do I protecct myself from him? Do I go to management, H.R. or call a fumigator? I would prefer to do all of the above, but there has to be something less humiliating. I mean, if I were the guy or gal who others ran from, how would I want to be approached? I guess with love, kindness and a bar of soap. Maybe if someone suggested that it could possibly be an internal issue which has caused an external odor, I might be open. I don't know about you, but if I had a strong smell and it kept others away, I would really want to know. I would want to know sooner than later so that I could actually fix the problem.
So, how about you guys? How have you dealt with these types of situations? What is the best and most professional way to handle the situation? Or, if you have been told that you have body odor, what has it been like? How have you felt? Please feel free to put your comments below. It's time we solve this issue once and for all.