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What's that smell: Foul odors in the workplace

(WEAU) - "The wind carries right into the cubes and you can smell all kinds of different smells," said Cathy Gardapee, Wipfli worker.

Whether it’s in cubicles at Wipfli LLP or in the small quarters of Codi Insurance and Limousines,
smells are all around us.

"We have smaller workplaces, we have multipurpose rooms that are being used for many different reasons now, and I think with that, and the cubicle aspect, smells have gotten to be more of an issue,” said Amy Lane, Director of Career Services at UW Stout.

I asked both businesses to show me around to get a better idea of their work situation. Cathy says her cubicle is only a few feet away from the smells of the lunchroom.

"Sometimes a real strong smell will give me a headache, or make me feel kind queasy inside and that can be distracting when I'm trying to think really hard about what I'm working on,” said Gardapee.

"Broccoli as good as it is for you and even broccoli lovers will tell you that stuff has a very offensive odor when it’s being cooked,” said Tom Monson of Cody Insurance & Limousines.

Meanwhile Career Services at UW Stout says to avoid wearing a lot perfume or cologne.

"If you can smell yourself, or someone smells you after you leave the room, it’s probably too much,” said Lane.

I even did a little investigating into businesses refrigerators, because they also give an odor.

“Sometimes the containers will have mold growing in them," said Gardapee.

You can even choose someone to clean out your workplace refrigerator week to week. That way certain smells in your fridge doesn't end up in the office.

One thing workers can agree on is it’s hard to tell a co-worker they smell.

"It's an awkward situation to tell one of your co-workers that they smell too much, or that their food stinks,” said Gardapee.

"Body odors, you just got to bathe, use a little deodorant, and you know that stands for us and cliental that walk in,” said Monson.

Amy also recommends if you smoke, don't cover it up with perfume or cologne because it can be worse.

If you have bad breathe from coffee or smoking keep mints with you.


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