Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Foot Odor, Nosy Co-Worker Make For Uncomfortable Office Environment

Dear Tazi:

I have a terribly embarrassing problem. I have horrible foot odor. Even though I wash my feet daily; wear thick, absorbent socks; and use powder to absorb any swear my feel still smell rank. It think it is very noticeable to others, even when I am wearing shoes, although no one has ever said anything about it - until now.

I recently started a new job, and the woman in the cubicle next to me must have a very sensitive sense of smell because she keeps telling me she smells "a dirty foot kind of smell" and that she cannot figure out from where it is coming. She has asked me if I can smell it, too, or if she is going crazy. Our co-workers say to ignore her, that she is always smelling something; but I can't help but wonder if she is smelling my feet. Should I say something? Apologize? Pretend not to notice? I just don't know what to do, Tazi!

Smelly Paws

Dear Smelly Paws:

Have you talked to your doctor about this problem? Generally, foot and other body odors are harmless, caused by a combination of excessive sweating and the bacteria that feed on human sweat. If you have tried all of the over-the-counter methods to combat foot odor - such as Gold Bond medicated powder or Odor Eaters products for your shoes - and you are still not getting relief, perhaps it is time to try a prescription-strength deodorant and antiperspirant. I hear that Drysol - or any other brand of aluminum chloride hexahydrate (AlCl3*6H2O) based product - has a wonderful success rate for humans with your exact same problem.

In the meantime, if you are not comfortable revealing to your co-worker that you are the source of the foot odor, do not feel obligated to do so. The next time your co-worker complains, suggest that she try using a small, desktop air freshener to combat the offensive "phantom odor" that only she can smell. Soon enough your problem should be solved - and so, in turn, will hers - until she finds another smell to bring to the attention of everyone in the office.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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