We’ve all been there. You across the corner to your cubical ready to start the day’s work if you are suddenly accosted by the familiar stench of a co-worker’s bad breath.
“Here we go again…”, you imagine. “Another ‘H’-filled tirade that will not ever permeate my ears because I’m too busy trying to keep it from permeating my nose.”
“So anywahhhhy,” continues your co-worker, “Hhhhank Hhhhenshhhhaaw from Hhhhuman Reshhhhourcess explained ouhhhhhr 401k plahhhhn can be an outstahhhhnding invehhhhhstment optiohhhhhn…”
Somehow, we’d like to think that our forced smile and wilting eyelashes might tell the offending party that there surely is something less than stellar about the way they are sounding. Unfortunately, that’s simply wishful thinking. The thing is that no one knows they have a problem. We seem to be immune to your own stench, and unlike Willy Nelson’s muse, it’s never on our minds.
So how can you tell someone that their breathe is causing you to have a problem differentiating their head from their derriere? Sure, whether it’s someone you know and are comfortable with, you can try honesty. Still, even honesty has it’s own set of problems. Do you play it off like it’s a one-time occurrence you just noticed and hope that mentioning it requires care of the situation once and for all? Do you sit them down and have a serious discussion which could ultimately embarrass them or cause you to look like the bad person? How will they respond to either scenario? You’d desire to be told if you had bad breath, wouldn’t you? Would you feel comfortable being told by this person that you have bad breath? You don’t know them well enough to be discussing this example with them?
These are all important questions whose answers will vary with each unique situation. Still, there are several things it is possible to avoid saying that are universal across all situations. I’ve taken the liberty of listing a few of them below. Remember, honesty is a good policy, but brutal honesty is often unnecessary.
# 1 Gee, is your breath or did I blow my nose right after wiping my ass?
# 2 And now here’s me with the weather: Thanks, me! Well it appears like there is a stank front moving due east from wherever your mouth happens to be. We’re considering a 100% chance of Halitosis throughout the rest you will ever have. Sports is next followed by todayï¿½s lottery numbers. KEEP TUNED IN!
# 3 I don’t mean to be rude but your horrible breath is melting my face. To possess to stand here and listen to you is agonizingly painful. Hey, http://www.igaikousyuu.wg.vu/blog/ see that “Alien” movie where in fact the alien is sucking in Sigourney Weaver’s face and she just cringes as the thing is so scary and because it’s saliva can be an acid that may eat through metal? This is a lot like that because despite the fact that your saliva won’t eat through metal, I’m fairly certain your mouth-stench will which is scaring the crap outta me, my pal. Again, I don’t mean to be rude…
This is why, dear reader, one must choose carefully when approaching a subject this sensitive. Perhaps honesty is not always the best policy. Even better, why not just leave an anonymous note…and a breath mint.