News: IMPORTANT UPDATE REGARDING SITE IN FORUM ANNOUNCEMENT FOLDER.

  • May 21, 2018, 12:56:16 AM

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: Your B.O. is putting me off my food...  (Read 4031 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

LadyL

  • Member
  • Posts: 3437
Your B.O. is putting me off my food...
« on: October 28, 2013, 03:44:44 PM »
I ran into a tricky situation at brunch this weekend. LordL and I went to a very popular diner type restaurant. There is a small waiting area that will often have 10-20 people crammed in during the weekend. The table turnover is fast so the wait is rarely longer than 15 minutes.

After waiting for our number, we were seated at the table closest to the waiting room, also near the register where you pay on your way out. We were therefore within a few feet of most of the crowd that was waiting, either for a table or to pay for their meal. At one point, a man leaned against the glass booth divider behind LordL. I kept noticing an odor that was getting stronger and stronger and finally I realized, it had to be this man's body odor. He was probably 5-6 feet away from me and I could smell it quite strongly.

As time went on, and the smell got more and more powerful and distracting, I started to realize that I couldn't imagine eating my breakfast while smelling that smell.  Asking for another table would have guaranteed another 15 minute wait, and by then he would probably have been seated elsewhere, so I waited it out.Thankfully, the man's number got called before our food arrived, and the smell dissipated pretty quickly. But here are my questions:

Let's say he was still there when my food arrived. Is there any polite way I could have changed the situation? Made up a ruse to get him to move further away maybe (i.e. say the glass booth divider seemed unsteady so he might not want to lean on it)? Said something to the host or our waitress (they are VERY busy so I would hesitate to bother them)? I can't imagine saying anything directly to the man himself.

In general - if you encounter someone with distracting odor - say you are seated next to them at a dinner party, or in close quarters when you can't leave easily or at all - how do you usually deal with it?

lorelai

  • Member
  • Posts: 589
Re: Your B.O. is putting me off my food...
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2013, 03:57:55 PM »
In general - if you encounter someone with distracting odor - say you are seated next to them at a dinner party, or in close quarters when you can't leave easily or at all - how do you usually deal with it?

I usually try to get as far away from the odor as possible. I suffer from nausea triggered by certain smells, so I wouldn't be able to just take it. I think in this case I would have spoken to someone who worked there, and if nothing changed, left or packed up my food to eat elsewhere. I would never approach the person myself though!

sweetonsno

  • Grammando and Cupcake Lady
  • Member
  • Posts: 1775
Re: Your B.O. is putting me off my food...
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2013, 05:04:10 PM »
I suspect that from an etiquette perspective, it's exactly the same as strong perfume and it's up to you to move yourself. It's unfortunate, really.
You have just begun reading the sentence you have just finished reading.

doodlemor

  • Member
  • Posts: 2387
Re: Your B.O. is putting me off my food...
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2013, 07:32:25 PM »
Let's say he was still there when my food arrived. Is there any polite way I could have changed the situation? Made up a ruse to get him to move further away maybe (i.e. say the glass booth divider seemed unsteady so he might not want to lean on it)? Said something to the host or our waitress (they are VERY busy so I would hesitate to bother them)? I can't imagine saying anything directly to the man himself

I think that this would have worked. 

Promise

  • Member
  • Posts: 402
Re: Your B.O. is putting me off my food...
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2013, 08:11:24 PM »
This is a tough one. Some people have BO because cultures are different around the world regarding the use of deodorant. Some people have physically demanding jobs...and well... sweat a lot. Some have medical issues that no amount of showering or antiperspirants can control. And perhaps some don't care. It would be rude to tell a stranger that they smell. The best course is to leave yourself if it's too much.

Curious Cat

  • Member
  • Posts: 253
Re: Your B.O. is putting me off my food...
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2013, 08:48:23 PM »
If it was as awful as all that I'd probably just get my food boxed up to go.  I tend to be a bit oversensitive (ha) about that sort of thing though and most likely wouldn't have wanted to eat for another couple hours.  It wouldn't have bothered me if my companion still wanted to eat I just wouldn't have been able to.

delabela

  • Member
  • Posts: 562
Re: Your B.O. is putting me off my food...
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2013, 10:53:12 PM »
To some degree, this is just part of being out in the world.  If it was me, I would have done exactly what you did and assumed he would be seated soon.  If it was not a situation where he was likely to move soon (such as seated near me) and it was truly intolerable, I would probably have my food boxed up.  No really ideal solution in that case.

------

  • Member
  • Posts: 912
Re: Your B.O. is putting me off my food...
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2013, 05:26:36 AM »
I think you would have been fine to have your food boxed up or if you had said something to the server.

I once was boarding a 5+ hour non-stop transcontinental flight, and to my chagrin, found that the couple seated adjacent to me had extremely strong body odor and were wearing tank tops with no sweater or anything between their (very stinky!) perspiration and...well, me, being that we were basically pressed next to each other in tight quarters. Normally I would have tried to ignore it, but I was not prepared to essentially not breathe for more than five hours. So, during boarding, I found the nearest member of the cabin crew and explained the situation, and ask that either they or myself please be re-seated as the odor was intolerable. So, she found me another seat several rows away which was much better. However, I still felt bad for the other people in their vicinity. I thought airlines had the right to refuse boarding to people with obvious odor and/or hygiene issues, but I guess they must have passed that airline's smell test. Either that, or I'm way too sensitive. It could be either one. I'm pretty sensitive, but either way, if you can't breathe, you can't breathe. Really no other way around that one. And yes, I, too, can be made nauseous by noxious smells.

Zilla

  • Member
  • Posts: 6506
    • Cooking
Re: Your B.O. is putting me off my food...
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2013, 08:25:19 AM »
When I clicked on this, I was thinking of a different scenario... ???


If he was still there when the food came, I would have all the food boxed up to go as I am sure with both of you noticing this awful stench, how could either of you eat.  And if it wasn't busy, then I would have asked to move.  But not in the scenario you described.  And I wouldn't ever ask a hostess to do something so uncomfortable as to approach the man to tell him to move.  Only for the man to see others lean in that spot and wonder why "he" couldn't wait there.  Plus they are usually staring in the direction of the hostess to wait for their names to be called.  He would have seen you walk up to her and walk back to your table since you were so close to him and then have the hostess approach him.  It doesn't take much to figure out that you had an issue with him for some reason. (if she was not going to tell him he stinks)


Yeah, glad he left before the food came!  What an icky situation!

fountainof

  • Member
  • Posts: 928
Re: Your B.O. is putting me off my food...
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2013, 10:01:03 AM »
I think you can only ask to move tables or leave.  I don't think you can ask the person with the odor as it would be hard to discern if it is just you who disliked the odor.  People give off pheromones, etc. and some people like a person's smell and others don't.  I think if the person looked unclean like pants were soiled or something that is one thing but if the person just smells like him or herself then you have to deal with it.

For me I know I prefer people's body odor like sweat to artificial smells like perfume.  If I were really sensitive to smells I would make sure I carry around some vapour rub so I could put a tiny bit in my nose to mask odors.