We’ve all been there. You round the corner to your cubical ready to start the day’s work when you are suddenly accosted by the familiar stench of a co-worker’s bad breath.

“Here we go again…”, you think. “Another ‘H’-filled tirade that will not ever permeate my ears because I’m too busy attempting to keep it from permeating my nose.”

“So anywahhhhy,” continues your co-worker, “Hhhhank Hhhhenshhhhaaw from Hhhhuman Reshhhhourcess told me ouhhhhhr 401k plahhhhn is an outstahhhhnding invehhhhhstment optiohhhhhn…”


Somehow, we’d like to think our forced smile and wilting eyelashes might tell the offending party that there surely is something less than stellar concerning the way they are sounding. Unfortunately, that’s simply wishful thinking. The thing is that no one knows they will have a problem. We appear to be immune to our own stench, and unlike Willy Nelson’s muse, it’s never on our minds.

So how can you tell someone that their breathe is making you have a problem differentiating their head from their derriere? Sure, if it’s someone you know and so are comfortable with, you can try honesty. Still, even honesty has it’s own set of problems. Can you play it off like it’s a one-time occurrence you merely noticed and hope that mentioning it requires care of the situation for good? Do you sit them down and have a serious discussion which could ultimately embarrass them or make you look like the bad person? How will they respond to either scenario? You’d desire to be told in the event that you had bad breath, wouldn’t you? Would you feel safe being told by this person who you have bad breath? You don’t know them sufficiently to be discussing this situation with them?

They are all important questions whose answers will change with each unique situation. Still, there are a few things it is possible to avoid saying which are universal across all situations. I have taken the liberty of listing a few of them below. Remember, honesty is the best policy, but brutal honesty is frequently unnecessary.

# 1 Gee, is your breath or did I blow my nose right after wiping my ass?

# 2 And today here’s me with the elements: Thanks, me! Well it appears like there’s a stank front moving due east from wherever the mouth area happens to be. We’re considering a 100% potential for Halitosis throughout the rest you will ever have. Sports is next accompanied by today�s lottery numbers. KEEP TUNED IN!

# 3 I don’t mean to be rude however your horrible breath is melting my face. To have to stand here and pay attention to you is agonizingly painful. Hey, キラハクレンズ note that “Alien” movie where in fact the alien is sucking in Sigourney Weaver’s face and she just cringes as the thing is so scary and because it’s saliva is an acid that may eat through metal? This is usually a lot like that because despite the fact that your saliva won’t eat through metal, I’m fairly certain your mouth-stench will and that is scaring the crap outta me, my pal. Again, I don’t mean to be rude…

This is why, dear reader, one must choose carefully when approaching a topic this sensitive. Perhaps honesty isn’t always the best policy. Better yet, you will want to just leave an anonymous note…and a breath mint.