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Woman wants to anonymously tell her supervisor how bad she smells. AITA?

Woman wants to anonymously tell her supervisor how bad she smells. AITA?


When this woman wants to confront her coworker about her smell, she asks Reddit:

"WIBTA if I (26F) anonymously tell my supervisor (40sF) how bad she smells?"

My (26F) supervisor (early 40s, I think, F) smells absolutely terrible. It's not normal (or even extreme) B.O., though. She smells like rotting flesh or decay or something like that. It is the worst smell I have ever smelled in my life. Her smell is so pungent that she leaves a trail of stench everywhere she goes.

I work in a building with many long hallways, and the second I step into any of them, I immediately know if she's been there in the last 10 or so minutes because of her terrible smell. I am not exaggerating. She smells so awful that I have literally gagged when she's in the same room as me (not to be mean.

I sincerely had no control over it, and I felt awful after even though she didn't see). She disclosed to a former coworker that she doesn't bathe (apparently because she has a claw foot tub, has claustrophobia and doesn't like the way the curtain wraps all the way around, and has a hard time stepping in and out because of her size, but I don't know how honest any of that was).

The shared office (not shared with her, but she comes in all the time) I work in is a relatively small room. As soon as she walks in, the place smells so bad and like nothing I've ever smelled before.

She is also a very big woman, and she has no regard for personal space (I only mention the part about her being big because given the tight office space, it is very hard to move away from her when she's in your personal space). If she needs to look at the computer I'm using, she will be nearly on my lap reaching over me to use it. She does this to everyone.

It is so bad that I don't know if I can work here anymore. I have been here for a year and a half and am truly at the end of my rope. It is absolutely miserable.

I want to be mindful of her feelings (and she is my supervisor, so I have to be careful because of that too), and I don't want to quit if I don't have to. I'm thinking of typing an anonymous note bringing her smell to her attention and leaving it under her door. WIBTA?

ETA: I work at a college and am technically a graduate assistant and not a faculty/staff member. I am not aware of any HR department that I have access to in the particular position I'm in. My supervisor has a supervisor, but they are very close.

Let's see what readers thought.

creedthoughts0823 writes:

I don't think you're an AH and neither is she, but do you have an HR department or something like that? Does she have a supervisor? I think it's fair that she should be informed about this issue but I'm not sure that you're the right person to do it as her employee.

stroppo writes:

NTA. Telling her anonymously is a first step. I suppose after that you could speak to her supervisor. If she has one; I see so many people here saying "Talk to HR" but what about places that don't have such a dept? I've worked for numerous small companies where there is no HR.

timberjacktip writes:

Hmmm. That's tough. If you tell her anonymously, she might ask if it's you. She very well may have a medical condition that causes this. But what if it's because she doesn't shower, or what if it's because she eats raw garlic?

I knew a woman who literally ate raw garlic regularly. She smelled horrible. I finally had to ask her if she was eating raw garlic (or something like that) and I carefully let her know that the odor is seeping through her skin - I don't remember what I said. It was awful. You could ask her if she eats raw garlic? Maybe? Maybe it's just time for you to get a new job.

Any advice for this employee?

Sources: Reddit
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