We’ve all been there. You round the corner to your cubical prepared to start the day’s work when you are suddenly accosted by the familiar stench of a co-worker’s bad breath.
“Here we go again…”, you think. “Another ‘H’-filled tirade that won’t 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 is an outstahhhhnding invehhhhhstment optiohhhhhn…”
Somehow, we’d like to believe that our forced smile and wilting eyelashes might tell the offending party that there’s something less than stellar concerning the way they are coming across. Unfortunately, that’s simply wishful thinking. The thing is that no one knows they will 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 making you have a problem differentiating their head from their derriere? Sure, if it’s someone you know and are comfortable with, you can test honesty. Still, even honesty has it’s own set of problems. Do you play it off like it is a one-time occurrence you just noticed and hope that mentioning it requires care of the situation once and for all? Can you sit them down and have a serious discussion which could ultimately embarrass them or make you appear to be the bad person? How will they respond to either scenario? You’d want to be told in the event that you had bad breath, wouldn’t you? Can you feel safe being told by this person who you have bad breath? Do you really know them well enough to be discussing this example with them?
These are all important questions whose answers will change with each unique situation. Still, there are some things it is possible to avoid saying that are universal across all situations. I have taken the liberty of listing those hateful pounds below. Remember, honesty is the best policy, but brutal honesty is often unnecessary.
# 1 Gee, is your breath or did I blow my nose immediately after wiping my ass?
ブレスマイルウォッシュ And today here’s me with the weather: Thanks, me! Well it appears like there’s a stank front moving due east from wherever the mouth area happens to be. We’re considering a 100% chance of Halitosis throughout the rest you will ever have. Sports is next accompanied by todayï¿½s lottery numbers. KEEP TUNED IN!
# 3 I don’t mean to be rude however your horrible breath is melting my face. To have to stand here and pay attention to you is agonizingly painful. Hey, you ever note that “Alien” movie where in fact the alien is sucking in Sigourney Weaver’s face and she just cringes because the thing is so scary and because it’s saliva is an acid that may eat through metal? This is the lot like that because despite the fact that your saliva won’t eat through metal, I’m fairly certain your mouth-stench will and that is scaring the crap outta me, my friend. 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.