How do you tell a shopkeeper that his store* smells like armpits?
Do you do it delicately, all wink-wink nudge-nudge, utilising euphemisms befitting the situation? Such as “My sinuses are acting up”, or just by being more blunt and saying “Something or someone is a bit on the nose in here”?
I have struggled with this dilemma since last week. Last Wednesday marked my third trip into the store-that-shall-not-be-mentioned.
What I expected, from a scent perspective, was the delightful aroma associated with the particular food-stuff* sold at the store.
This is normally a pleasing smell, an invitation to purchase a plethora of the delights that groan from the well-stocked shelves.
I expected that my previous two unpleasant visits were attributable to being flukes, mere aberrations. Anomalies, if you will.
I did not expect that, on my third visit, my nostril hairs would be assaulted yet again with the pervading stench of body odour one usually associates with hot afternoons on a school bus, or poorly ventilated footy change rooms.
But they were.
In fact, my eyes were watering. I even dry-wretched a little amid the pong.
So it wasn’t a customer who had recently vacated the premises, leaving behind their stench.
It was the shopkeeper. He was the source!
I felt sad for him.
I left the shop ranting to my 7-year-old that this nice shop owner must be told, but so as to not upset him.
“But how do I do it?” I asked my bemused looking daughter.
So I put it to you, intelligent and avid Orange Post readers, what would you do?
I ask because I really feel for this store owner. I expect he doesn’t realise that his bodily smells are causing me to breathe only through my mouth between his aisles.
I don’t think he is aware that his B.O. could be why customers tend not to linger long in his otherwise pristine establishment. Or why they don’t come back, unless under duress.
He couldn’t know – otherwise he would have done something about it by now.
So, Orange Post readers, would you:
A) slip a politely worded note under the shop door after 5.30pm, explaining the issue delicately?;
B) talk to the shopkeeper in person, suggesting politely that perhaps he should shower a little more often, and maybe wear deodorant?;
C) comment loudly whilst in the store that “Geez, it’s a bit whoofy in here!” whilst gesticulating in a manner befitting the situation?; or
D) doing something else, such as … (insert your idea here), to make it abundantly clear to him that the shop’s profits will increase exponentially once the off-putting smell is dealt with appropriately?
I really want to tell this poor man that it’s a simple fix, but I struggle with the “how”.
Your assistance in this matter, dear readers, would be appreciated.
PS: the only prize offered for your help is the knowledge that you stopped the financial ruin of an otherwise friendly and helpful person.
*store, and foodstuffs sold, not named, for reasons of common decency and concern for a fellow human, just trying to make an honest living.