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A Skunk is Near

January 19, 2009
They are out there. I am not sure why, but they are out there and they either know and don’t care or maybe they just don’t know. I am talking about people with very bad body odor. At a previous position and I am not going to elaborate on where, when or even what this company did because the point of this column is not to hurt anyone, there were at least two real bad cases of this.

The first was a woman in a management position. She smelled like she was carrying around a decaying squirrel that was sitting in a vat of rotten mayonnaise. I guess it is possible that this mixture was in her pocket and that was what everyone smelled, but that is a long shot. Now if this woman had this smell only once, I could imagine that maybe she was having a bad day or forgot to bathe, but the odor was always there. You did not have to see her, if she was within twenty feet of you, the vomit would be hard to hold in.

This woman was not a bad person. She seemed to do her job well and treated people nicely. I believe she is even still in this position and even still has this same putrid odor. The point though is, do these people really not know about their problem? If you stink really badly, do you get used to it, to the point that you cannot tell you stink? If that’s the case, I guess I could stink. I do not think I stink, if I did I would hope my big nose would tell me.

So is it possible that this woman and others like her have been making people sick for decades without being told how wretched their odor is? My guess is that someone would have told them. There must be someone close to them that would tell them or they would have to notice people holding their noses or maintenance people being constantly called to clean the puke stains out of the carpeting near them.

If they do know, and I have to doubt they do, can they possibly not care? Is their odor so bad that even a better soap and a couple of showers a day cannot cure it? There must be a medication they could take. Could someone really have such a bad odor that no matter what they do, they smell like a zoo? I hope not, but if a doctor wants to respond and say that some people just stink and there is nothing they can do, then I apologize for this entire column.

If they don’t know, what does that say about us? Would we rather have people walking around making our plants die like in the cartoons, than telling them in a nice way that they are making us gag, so they could get the help they need? A friend of mine and I ran into this predicament with another friend at this same job. This woman was an equal. She smelled like a combination of mothballs and old fish. One day we couldn’t take it any more so we hid an air freshener in her desk.

I am not sure if we actually did this to try to let her know gently or if we did it just so we could breathe easier. Either way I think our intentions were not to hurt this woman. So did the woman get the message? Of course not, what actually happened was she got sick from the air freshener we had hidden in her desk. Then she found out it was us and wouldn’t talk to us for weeks. I really did feel bad. I bought her a plant to apologize, but that made her more upset, so my friend took the plant and put it on her desk. That made her even angrier.

So what is the point of all this? The point is find out if you smell. Maybe you stink and don’t even realize it. Ask someone if you stink, tell them you want the truth. If you know someone who stinks, tell him or her in a nice and responsible way. If I stink tell me, I want to know so I could fix the problem. If someone you know tells you that you stink, thank them, ask someone else to make sure they are not joking with you and if it is true fix the problem. If I have helped one person out there then my column has been worth it. Come back soon for another column that will change your life.