BY AGENCY REPORTER
It’s summer. It’s sweaty. And sometimes that means people are trailing some pungent body odours that their colleagues can’t help but smell. But how do you tactfully inform co-workers that they stink and need to address it? As Cath Ludeman-Hall will tell you, it isn’t easy.
She was just out of college and a newbie at a staffing firm when she was asked to gently talk to an older worker in a retail warehouse after his colleagues complained that he stank.
“The company loved him and wanted to hire him permanently,” she remembers. “However, he did have a pretty strong body odor issue.”
The man was a recent immigrant, Ludeman-Hall remembers — hard-working and earnest. Twenty years later, she still remembers the details. She brought a kit of deodorant and soap to offer him. In addition to overcoming her own mortification, she says, she also had to bridge a difference in how his culture regarded sweat.