I work with a wonderful older woman. She is smart, funny, and comes to work with a positive attitude. Unfortunately, she smells of cat urine. It’s really bad — to the point I have moved out of our shared office, and there are plans to move her into her own office. However, that may be months off. How can I kindly address this with her? I don’t want to hurt her feelings, but something has got to give. I have let management know, but they are reluctant to address this.
From Knoxville, Tennessee
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To be in the area of someone smelling awful for eight straight hours makes me wanna gag! If management won’t do it, then I feel you should be obligated to indirectly tell her how much she reeks with the stench she radiates. Ok, here are some of my suggestions. Encourage other co-workers that have the same issue with her, to bark like an angry pitbull whenever she’s near, and hopefully she’ll have a flashback that will make the appropriate psychological connection. Or, you can try to get a plumber to remove a toilet in the women’s bathroom, replacing it with a litter box that has her name on it. And this idea might even work. When you know you’re going to be around her, shortly before she shows up, put some onions near your eyes. When she asks why your eyes are tearing-up, tell her you have a rare medical issue that makes you allergic to liquids that have been in the interior of house cats. But if none of those ideas work, then you should amplify the issue with some potent feline urine, that so bad, she reports you to management, and then you can explain why you did it. But first of all you have to find someone who works at a zoo that cleans up after lions, and will enter their den… carrying a bucket and a sponge. I hope this helps.