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#24505 - 04/15/03 07:07 PM How do you tell somebody they stink - BAD
Electric Eagle Offline
Registered: 04/20/02
Posts: 914
Loc: Alpharetta, GA
I'm a little bummed today. I had to fire a guy for stinking. That wasn't his only problem, he wasn't up to speed. But his main problem was constant, every day body odor. It was embarrassing to send him into customers homes, he was hired for service work. Maybe I should taken him aside and told him to take a bath, but a 47 year old man should know that. Also, the other guys would make wise cracks like "smell you later".

Have any of you ever had an employee or co-worker that had a serious odor problem? What did you do? BTW, I took the easy way out and told him his truck wasn't proffitable rather than that he stunk. It was true, but not the whole story.

[This message has been edited by Electric Eagle (edited 04-15-2003).]
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#24506 - 04/15/03 07:58 PM Re: How do you tell somebody they stink - BAD
George Corron Offline
Registered: 05/16/01
Posts: 717
Loc: Lorton, Va USA
You're probably right, I've worked with guys like that before, one comes to mind that simply refused to bathe, and NO ONE wanted him around, it was just down right offensive. I could not imagine having to deal with the public with a guy like that.

He could have had a medical problem, and that would have made getting rid of him likely some sort of legal offense. One of the guys I've worked with had severe problems with his teeth, as soon as they all figured he needed false teeth, and did it, he was a great guy and a valuable employee, but see above for prior to that.

From a private employer perspective, I'd say you probably handled it right.

On the other hand you coulda taken the George Carlin method "Geez, Marge, I ain't saying you've got a problem, but you could knock a buzzard off a s@#t wagon"

#24507 - 04/16/03 04:46 AM Re: How do you tell somebody they stink - BAD
Redsy Offline
Registered: 03/28/01
Posts: 2056
Loc: Bucks County PA
Who's there?
P, who?
Peeeee You.!
#24508 - 04/16/03 07:39 AM Re: How do you tell somebody they stink - BAD
wocolt Offline
Registered: 12/06/02
Posts: 110
Electric Eagle
Thats a tough situation.
there is a medical glang problem that some people have and they flat out stink. My sister-in-law has/had the same problem, whenever they would visit I would have to go outside.
As far as bathing went she was clean but it didnt matter, but maybe thats why my brother divorced her, I didnt ask.
The upside is they can be treated, where as years ago it just had to be tolerated, but on a hot summers day thats asking too much.

#24509 - 04/16/03 08:37 AM Re: How do you tell somebody they stink - BAD
txsparky Offline
Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 552
Loc: Magnolia,.Texas U.S.A.
I have ran into this Stinking Problem on more than one occasion. Each time, I called the person aside and brought it to their attention and they took care of the problem. Of course the boss told me that I shouldn't be so blunt, but he don't have the displeasure of spending 8 hours a day around someone like that in an area where the heat index is upwards of 110 deg. all summer.

[This message has been edited by txsparky (edited 04-16-2003).]
#24510 - 04/16/03 04:02 PM Re: How do you tell somebody they stink - BAD
Electricmanscott Offline
Registered: 01/12/02
Posts: 1457
Loc: Holden, MA USA
What if it is the boss that stinks? I worked for a guy who smelled like a goat. Everybody made jokes anout it behind his back. We couldn't fire him but perhaps we could have dropped hints at Christmas time.
#24511 - 04/16/03 05:41 PM Re: How do you tell somebody they stink - BAD
Electric Eagle Offline
Registered: 04/20/02
Posts: 914
Loc: Alpharetta, GA
Well, this morning one of my lead men decided to "raid" Stinky's truck to see if he had any equipment that should be on another truck. He found about $250 worth of tools and accessories that I did not tell him to purchase. This explains some of the reason his truck wasn't making money.

As for the gland problem, I was aware that that could be a problem. Therefore I didn't want to bring it up for fear that a legal problem could arrise. If odor was the only problem and he was a top notch worker, I would've tried to keep him.
#24512 - 04/16/03 07:39 PM Re: How do you tell somebody they stink - BAD
arseegee Offline
Registered: 01/28/02
Posts: 324
Loc: Statesboro, GA USA
Been there, done that. Had one that smelled like a budwieser all day. The poor boy sweated about 10 gpm due to all the alchohol from the night before. Nobody even wanted to ride in the same truck. Well that became a issue so i had to let him go in the same fashion as you did. Aint it great to be the boss. Boy i miss being an electrician, perhaps i'll send everyone home one day and do it all myself.
#24513 - 04/16/03 09:33 PM Re: How do you tell somebody they stink - BAD
Bjarney Offline
Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 2527
Loc: West-Southern Inner-Northeast ...
EE — As an employer, although you never may need them, you might want to keep dated notes of what you did and said to the employee—and possibly what other lead personnel said, too.

Long shot, but any chance the local health board would have some advice?
#24514 - 04/17/03 06:06 AM Re: How do you tell somebody they stink - BAD
Zapped Offline
Registered: 10/01/02
Posts: 482
Loc: Huntington Beach, CA, USA
Have the same problem with a helper that gets assaigned to me on occasion. The kids alright, but his arm pits could melt paint. We tried everything, like a stick of Right Gaurd in his work order slot, subtle hints, etc., but nothing worked. Finally, one day he was up on a ladder holding a stick of EMT up while I was strapping it right below him and I just stopped, dropped my tools, and said "dude, did you die last week or do you need to take a shower?". Sure, it wasn't pretty, but I'm the hero around the shop now that he pays more attention to his personal aroma.

Niceness isn't always the answer...
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