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Concerns About CoWorker
Old 09-30-2018, 04:56 PM
 
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I work with someone who is very scattered and disorganized. Very forgetful. Lately I noticed that she will wear the same clothes 2 days in a row and does not smell like she bathes some days. Thoughts?


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Old 09-30-2018, 05:37 PM
 
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I have needed to remind myself of this a lot lately. I have also been the extremely scattered person at times. I have had a lot going on that no one knows about. Is there a chance she’s homeless or fighting an addiction?
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Old 09-30-2018, 05:42 PM
 
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I don't think you are being judgmental. I would try to find out if she needs help in any way if she will open up to you. It sounds like something is definitely wrong. It could be physical or emotional. It sounds like she needs help.
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Old 09-30-2018, 05:49 PM
 
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I wear the same pants everyday because I only have one pair that fits and I refuse to buy another pair. I sure hope no one is judging me.
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Old 09-30-2018, 05:54 PM
 
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I would honestly not notice if every co-worker wore the same thing every day.


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Old 09-30-2018, 06:06 PM
 
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Is this new behavior? I don't know if there's a way to ask her or to surreptitiously find out.
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Old 09-30-2018, 07:48 PM
 
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A) I hope no one is watching what I'm wearing.

B) Be kind. You're worried about her, so ask her how she's doing and listen.
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Old 09-30-2018, 08:08 PM
 
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I'm glad you couched this as concern. I'd be concerned, too- especially if this is new behavior from her. I'd try to check in and see how she is doing in a friendly but direct way. I wouldn't push it unless I was really concerned about the safety of her students, but I'd want to offer some help if she needed it. It's a fine line, but I think checking in with others isn't a bad thing. Maybe just connecting with a friendly face would be a blessing for her right now.
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Old 10-01-2018, 05:55 AM
 
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Are you normally somewhat of a friend to her in general already or would your concern be coming from a person who never really talks to her? I'm sure she'd be more offended and maybe even tell you to mind your own business if it's coming from a person who's never really talked to her before.

I'd just mind my own business myself, not say a thing, and let the principal eventually handle it. Again, you don't know what she's going through and the last thing she probably wants is someone she feels she has to explain anything to...even though you're coming from a kind, genuinely concerning place.

For all you know, her loved one's been in the hospital these days and she only has so many clothes to make it easier because she's been at the hospital with the person 24/7.

(By the way, logically, I would think that dark-colored clothing is more forgettable, but if someone wore a colored or some patterned top 2 days in a row, people would tend to remember that more.)
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Old 10-01-2018, 01:32 PM
 
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Not to make this off topic, but it really annoys me when people make threads about smelly children. Sometimes, it's not their fault. When teachers, who want to be seen as professionals, are smelly and dressing unprofessionally (wearing your dirty clothes over and over again is not professional) it's ok. I would email an admin and discuss how certain teachers aren't being hygienic nor dressing professionally. If you get a reply, I would cc the person and discuss my concerns with a name. I would frame it in the professional issue/role model issue. Not in a "Ms. Summer is smelly and I think she drinks" manner. More of a "Ms. Summer is in charge of shaping X year old minds. Part of that is dressing in professional clothes and modeling proper personal hygiene".

Yes, I complained about a former colleague who smelled. She had an unclean smell and a distinct feminine odor. I approached her in a kind way because she was new, despite being older, and she refused to change. I took it to admin.


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Dementa?
Old 10-01-2018, 03:06 PM
 
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Could the problem be dementia? Different forms of dementia show up at different ages and with different signs.

We had a teacher with some major issues. Turned out to be dementia.
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I have 2 pair
Old 10-01-2018, 04:44 PM
 
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I have 2 pairs of long pants that fit. One is a pair of dress jeans. I have 3 or 4 pairs of capris but it is past capri season. I have no appropriate fall shirts. I have sleeveless tops or long sleep tops. I need light-weight 3/4 length sleeve tops. I need to sub more to earn the money to get those, though.
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hmm, if a friend....
Old 10-01-2018, 07:31 PM
 
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could it be dementia? Mental health sometimes or going through personal trauma can drain the brain from normal functions and the last thing on someone's mind is doing the laundry.

I had a really good friend (young) that had a psychotic break and it turned out to be schizophrenia, it was so sad. Erratic behavior, smelly clothes, etc.

If the co-worker were a friend I'd ask them out for lunch or other events and see if they open up. If they aren't open, then send a card saying you're thinking of them. Sometimes that's all you can do.
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Always Summer,I have to speak up
Old 10-02-2018, 05:03 AM
 
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You've always been kind to me. I have a question, why did you approach the collegue then why did you report this to the admin?
I ask because the professional ettiqute for smelly co-workers is one of the most difficult to address.
You should not be saying anything to anybody unless you are really good friends. The principal knows, that is their job. You could have opened yourself up to a lawsuit, discrimination, harassment. Look it up, a lot of lawsuits come from commenting on hygiene. Some people eat different foods like curry which makes a different smell. There is precedent. Also, maybe she has diabetes, again discrimination lawsuit. I would have carried fabreeze around with me and befriend her to see if there was something more. Policing each other sucks, and erodes and good will. I know you meant well, but we live in a litigious society.
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Old 10-02-2018, 02:36 PM
 
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midwestread, you're right. You're right you can get in trouble. I guess I never thought of what could happen. I felt compelled to do so, because I felt she made the profession look bad. I've said before, I don't think we can ask for the respect other profession do if we don't hold ourselves to professional standards. It's not hygienic.
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not judgmental
Old 10-02-2018, 03:32 PM
 
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I do not think that OP was being judgmental. It is very unusual for a professional adult to wear the same outfits two days in a row and to be smelly. Many people will notice. Wearing the same pants, or having only a few outfits that you rotate through is not the same as wearing the exact same outfit and not bathing. It may not be OPs place to say anything to the person, but it raises red flags about the person's well being.
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Old 10-07-2018, 06:34 AM
 
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I wish the OP would return and post about her thoughts now that people have posted.
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