Dear Amy:

I am an employer and have a couple of employees who need to bathe more often.

This is not just some hot summer BO; this is from not bathing.

I have put up a general notice, asking people to be more considerate of their fellow employees and to shower more regularly, but this has not solved the problem.

How can I tell them that they stink? Can I dismiss them if they do not clean up their act? This is very offensive.

What is your advice?


As the employer, it is up to you to provide a healthy and safe work environment for all of your employees. If a couple of employees are stinking up the joint, you owe it to the rest of your workers to do something.

Any time I have encountered this issue in the column, I hear from many people who tell me that they were either unaware of their own odor or didn't know what to do about it until someone thoughtfully and discreetly pointed it out.

You should see the offensive employees (privately and separately), show them the sign you made, and tell them that they aren't complying with this rule. Then you should give them a bag containing shampoo, soap and deodorant. Tell them that they need to wash using soap every day and that they should also use deodorant.

From what I hear from my readers, if you are direct and nonjudgmental, your employees will get the message.

Dear Amy:

I wanted to respond to the letter from "Sexual Healing in Boston."

You really missed it here!

To advise a young man to have sex with someone just for the experience is wrong. I know you didn't actually say go ahead and do it, but you didn't discourage him, either. Making love should be between two people who are married! I have four daughters, and I am talking with them to wait until marriage for the right one! He is out there.

Why do you think there are so many unwanted pregnancies and STDs?


I think there are so many unwanted pregnancies and STDs because people don't use birth control properly and don't practice safe sex, not because people choose to have sex without the benefit of marriage.

And thank you for bringing it up. Planned Parenthood offers birth control, counseling and health screenings. The Web address is

Write to Amy Dickinson at or Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60611.

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