Author Topic: Is it rude to apologize for stinking?  (Read 3028 times)

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jpcher

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Is it rude to apologize for stinking?
« on: January 16, 2013, 06:24:12 PM »
I ran out of deodorant this morning and of course had no clue that DD#1 took both the spare deodorants I had in my closet back to school with her -- without telling me! ::)

I was sitting next to CW today helping with something on her computer. I leaned in a bit closer to the monitor (and to her) so that I could see something I couldn't quite read. CW gave a slight grimace and quickly pushed her chair back. That's when it dawned on me that I probably had a bit of BO going on.

Me: "Oh, I'm so sorry! I probably smell a bit off today. DD#1 ran off with the spare deodorant and I ran out this morning." Then, trying to make lite of the situation, I added "Don't worry, you can keep your distance. I completely understand.:D"

CW (sternly looking at me and with a cold tone in her voice): "Did I say you smelled bad?"

Me: "No . . . I . . . just didn't want to offend you."

CW (still cold): "Don't worry about it." (Pointed to the screen) "Now the next step is?"



So, was I rude for apologizing?

Giggity

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Re: Is it rude to apologize for stinking?
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2013, 06:27:20 PM »
I'm not sure why apologizing would be rude.
Words mean things.

dawbs

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Re: Is it rude to apologize for stinking?
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2013, 06:27:55 PM »
I'd say it probably bordered on TMI.
And if she was trying to be discrete (whether it was odor or something completely unrelated), you pointed out to her that she wasn't.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Is it rude to apologize for stinking?
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2013, 06:29:37 PM »
Her grimace might have been because she felt you were invading her space when you leaned in.  And the deodorant story might have been TMI.

I'm not sure it's rude to offer an explanation, but acknowledging her reaction might have embarrassed her.

NyaChan

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Re: Is it rude to apologize for stinking?
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2013, 06:30:02 PM »
That response was...weird.  I think most people would have laughed it off.  Perhaps she was embarrassed to have been caught grimacing/reacting to the odor if she thought she was keeping a poker face?  Or it could be that she really didn't smell anything and pushed back because you were too close, in which case she may have been irritated that if you weren't worried about the smell, you wouldn't see any problem with being so close.  Ooh or maybe it was because you told her that SHE could keep her distance and she was irritated that you, the person who was having the issue, weren't taking the responsibility for keeping YOUR distance from her?

In the end, though I am curious as to the reason for her behavior, you weren't rude IMO.


Moray

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Re: Is it rude to apologize for stinking?
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2013, 06:33:53 PM »
Well, you weren't rude for apologizing, but it was definitely TMI.
Utah

DottyG

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Re: Is it rude to apologize for stinking?
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2013, 07:24:21 PM »
I don't think you were rude.  I think you approached it very nicely - and with some humor.

In a pinch, by the way, corn starch or baking soda will help some. :)


jpcher

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Re: Is it rude to apologize for stinking?
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2013, 07:31:43 PM »
Well, you weren't rude for apologizing, but it was definitely TMI.

TMI -- good point, but how would one apologize without divulging TMI?



I never thought that she pushed back because I was invading her space. Interesting.



Ooh or maybe it was because you told her that SHE could keep her distance and she was irritated that you, the person who was having the issue, weren't taking the responsibility for keeping YOUR distance from her?

Ooh, another good point! I can see how putting the onus on her was the wrong tack to take.  Trust me, once I realized it might be an issue, I did keep my distance from other co-workers.


(I'll have to remember the baking soda if it happens again. Thanks!)

oceanus

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Re: Is it rude to apologize for stinking?
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2013, 08:22:17 PM »
I'm not understanding the question (or the reason for the thread).
???
Quote
So, was I rude for apologizing?
How could it be rude for you to apologize?

CW was annoyed because you overshared and interjected your family morning drama.  That's why she tried to get the focus back to the work.  However, you shouldn't have said anything other than maybe "Oh.  Sorry for standing too close."
« Last Edit: January 16, 2013, 08:32:48 PM by oceanus »

Sharnita

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Re: Is it rude to apologize for stinking?
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2013, 08:34:32 PM »
I would agree that it probably crossed into TMI. She might have backed off because you were in her personal space.  The implication that you treated her as if she smelled probably was a big jump in addition to the oversharing.

kareng57

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Re: Is it rude to apologize for stinking?
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2013, 11:23:36 PM »
I think that you might have made her feel rather awkward - I have to agree with PPs, she may have moved because of perceived personal-space invasion.

Maybe I'm weird, but I only use antiperspirant every other day, after I shower.  I really don't think that most people who cleanse regularly, and use antiperspirant on a regular basis, would develop an offensive odour after missing only one application.

DottyG

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Re: Is it rude to apologize for stinking?
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2013, 01:14:36 AM »
I think that would depend on body chemistry (as well as the weather/conditions where you are); some people do need something daily.

I guess it could have been a personal space issue. But I'm not positive about that.




Rohanna

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Re: Is it rude to apologize for stinking?
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2013, 01:50:20 AM »
Hah, I wish. Depending on weather, hormones, and what I've eaten, I can tell when I haven't put deoderant on. I'm a hyper-clean person, but while I wouldn't call a single mornings BO hugely "offensive", it's certainly noticeable for what it is. Since most people in Western society are used to people who use deoderant, I could see someone finding it "smelly", even though I am very clean in personal and clothing hygiene.
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cicero

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Re: Is it rude to apologize for stinking?
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2013, 04:58:20 AM »
I agree with others - it is not rude to apologize but I think there was TMI. and you actually don't know if she pulled bag because of the odor, or because you were too close.

(and since the time i once forgot to put on deodorant and spent the day worrying that i smelled, i keep a spare deodorant in my desk drawer at work).

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TootsNYC

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Re: Is it rude to apologize for stinking?
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2013, 09:02:24 AM »
I *do* think it was rude.

I think body odor is like farting--you don't talk about it.

And bringing it up is rude. You brought it up, even if you *did* do it in an apology..