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How to handle 6 awkward office conversations like a boss

Not sure what to say to a coworker in an awkward situation? We’ve got some helpful tips.

The food in your cubicle mate’s beard… for two days

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Beards are all the rage now with guys, but the trouble is that things can get stuck in them. It’s gross enough on the first day; on the second day it might be time to have a conversation. You could always turn it around to your advantage. Bet him you can guess what he had for breakfast two days ago, and he’ll be shocked when you know the right answer.

The walk of shame

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We’ve all done it, though most of us haven’t had to do the walk of shame since those wild days of college. If your coworker shows up to work in the same clothes she wore at last night’s birthday party, let it slide. If it happens more often, maybe you should suggest that she start keeping spare clothes in her desk — you know, in case the boss calls her into a meeting and notices she’s wearing the same blouse, again.

The coworker who doesn’t bathe

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Taking a shower every day should be a requirement to work in an office environment, yet there are people who get away with not taking care of this simple duty. Got an office mate who stinks to high heaven from a lack of bathing? Try subtlety first, and maybe make it all about you by apologizing if you have to come straight to the office after walking your dog or some other innocent excuse. Your coworker will probably tell you there’s no issue and then open the conversation to ask if he or she has ever offended you. Score!

The office farter

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What’s a girl to do when the person sitting at the next desk won’t stop floating air biscuits? Start out subtle, and make it clear that you notice the smell but not where it’s coming from (even when you know darn well who the culprit is). If that doesn’t work, try broadcasting it every time it happens. You’ll find that one good “Oh my god, what is that smell?!” will have the farter thinking twice before letting off a bomb at his or her desk again.

That gross thing in your boss’ teeth

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Some people just can’t seem to eat something without getting bits and pieces of it lodged in their teeth. You answer your boss’ call to talk about that important account and find yourself trying not to stare at the gross thing that seems to be protruding from his or her mouth. If delicately picking at your own teeth doesn’t work, don’t be afraid to let your boss know about the offense. Just be sure to wait until all shoptalk is over and no one else is around. Trust us — your boss will appreciate the honesty and the fact that you kept him or her from walking around looking like an idiot.

The interoffice affair that happens in the office

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Image: Giphy

Guy meets girl at the office and sparks fly. It’s a tale as old as time, but when sexy times make their way into the office, things have gone too far. If you take a stroll into the copy room and see more than you want to, it’s best to just step out and not say a word. Chances are the offenders will never do it again. But if they do, feel free to just go on ahead and leave that copy room door open. The next person who walks by could be the boss and if so, problem solved.

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