Stinky Student..

A place for students to post their questions and concerns.

Moderator: squash_blsm

Post Reply
lzbth
Fresh Hands
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2011 11:08 pm

Stinky Student..

Post by lzbth » Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:14 pm

I did some searching on the board and I couldn't find an answer. There is a student in our class that has VERY poor hygiene. I'm not talking about a little sweat or a little BO from that day. It is BAD. His breath is so bad that people can't sit around him anymore and those that do are breathing into their jackets or sucking on mints all day in order to mask his smell. He covers about a 5 foot radius because he breathes through his mouth. His body odor when he gets on the table is TERRIBLE. I can feel the grease in his hair and on his body from not bathing. After I'm done with him, I smell him on me and have to go home to de-funk myself.

I swear I'm not judgmental and I'm not blowing it out of proportion. This is something I just can't handle. The thought of having to work with him makes me sick to my stomach. I don't want to go to the director, but I don't know what else to do. I like this guy, but I'm angry that he's put me in this position by not cleaning himself at all. How do I handle this tactfully? We have to see each other for the next 4 months and I don't want there to be an awkward tension, but I'm seriously considering going to night classes to avoid him. I really don't know what to do. Does anyone have any input on how to handle this tactfully with the least amount of embarrassment for all involved?

User avatar
RowanB
Fresh Hands
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2011 6:47 am

Re: Stinky Student..

Post by RowanB » Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:43 am

Well, this isn't an easy situation, on the other hand, given where and how you are coming into contact with him, it seems essential to bring it up. I would talk to the director, it's part of their job to make sure all the students are grooming themselves in a manner appropriate to the environment. In addition, this guy isn't going to be a very successful MT if no one wants to be near him, so it is certainly in his best interest to inform of this. It doesn't need to be done in a mean or unprofessional way, but I would let your director handle it.
Good luck!
www.Thecouncilfire.org

User avatar
pueppi
Registered Member
Posts: 5887
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2005 6:01 am
Location: Texas / The Lone Star State

Re: Stinky Student..

Post by pueppi » Thu Sep 22, 2011 5:02 am

RowanB wrote:... make sure all the students are grooming themselves in a manner appropriate to the environment.
What great wording... Wish I were so eloquent!
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, leading to the most amazing view. May your rivers flow without end, meandering through valleys tinkling with bells...
Houston Massage Therapy - Advanced Massage Therapy - Lucas & Lucas, LLC

User avatar
JasonE
Moderator-S.S.S
Posts: 2247
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2007 9:12 pm
Location: Burnsville, MN
Contact:

Re: Stinky Student..

Post by JasonE » Thu Sep 22, 2011 6:39 am

This is the kind of thing that gets me fired up, because it is yet another example of how low (and inconsistent) the educational standards of many massage schools have become. Our profession is held back and undermined by such an appalling lack of professional standards within the educational experience.

Discuss it frankly with the instructors and school administration. They need to set a standard and stick to it, or they are communicating that they simply don't care about teaching any kind of professionalism. If this guy wants to be successful, he needs to learn consistent and sufficient professional-level hygiene and grooming. It's not up to you how it gets handled, but don't stay silent. The longer this goes on, the more it will continue to negatively impact the learning process for everyone present; you did not sign up for massage school because you want to spend your class periods fighting nausea.

The school I attended would have given this person an ultimatum within the first week: clean up or get out. Appropriate dress, nails trimmed, no B.O., no obvious scents of any kind, appropriate footwear and professional demeanor... these were all non-negotiable parts of the curriculum, particularly in the hands-on classes.

If this massage school is unwilling to take a stand with this student (to the detriment of his and all of his classmates' educations), then you (and all your classmates, including the smelly guy) are in the wrong bloody school.
Jason Erickson, NCTMB, ACE-CPT, AIS-TA
Massage Therapist, Personal Trainer
http://www.CSTMinnesota.com

Internet forums are like going to the zoo; if you get enough monkeys together, sooner or later someone will start throwing their poo.

User avatar
katamay
Registered Member
Posts: 156
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2010 6:28 pm
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Contact:

Re: Stinky Student..

Post by katamay » Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:29 am

It's totally appropriate to request that your instructor give a lecture on professional appearance and appropriate personal care, and grade students based on their adherence to those standards. I once got marks off on an assignment for wearing wrinkled scrubs. I never did that again. :oops: Any student who can't pass their professionalism grade isn't going to be moving on to the next semester anyway ... at least in a school that actually cares.

Kat
On my way ... LMT or Bust! http://lmtorbust.com

lzbth
Fresh Hands
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2011 11:08 pm

Re: Stinky Student..

Post by lzbth » Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:21 am

Thank you for the responses.
We had a lecture the first day of class. What to wear, no smoking on campus, proper hygiene, etc. They even suggested bringing several shirts and changing throughout the day to stay fresh. He even said, "IF you are the stinky person, everyone will know, and everyone will talk. Don't be the stinky person!" etc etc.

As far as them being unwilling to take a stand, I think that's where the problem lies. I was told by someone else in our class that our Swedish instructor discussed his hygiene with him SEVERAL times. I'm not sure if she wasn't blunt enough or didn't follow through, but it DID NOT work.


I have not discussed it with the director, yet. I told one of the new instructors about the problem on Thursday and she said that if he were in the night class (he didn't show during the morning class), she would send him home that evening. Tomorrow, he will probably show up during the day and that same instructor will be there. If she didn't address it Thursday, I'm sure she will tomorrow. If it continues to be a problem, I guess I'm going to have to disconnect the personal feelings and do what is right for all of us. Part of me feels like the nicer thing to do is to tell him to his face, part of me feels like he should KNOW that showering daily is a requirement, part of me feels like the staff should have addressed it and followed up on it before now. I'm very torn.

I'm climbing my way to the top. I've alerted the new instructor and if she doesn't fix it, I'll go talk to the assistant director, and if THAT doesn't work... I'll have a meeting with the director. One thing is for sure, I've thought about it enough that I'm at the point where I refuse to work with him.

TexasMT
Fresh Hands
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:28 am
Contact:

Re: Stinky Student..

Post by TexasMT » Sat Aug 11, 2012 2:36 pm

Yeah, this is definitely something the school administration should be taking care of. As others have pointed out, this student will not get far if he's that unhygienic. I tend to be a sweater, so I was always conscious of how I looked and smelled in class, but I also showered daily! I think the entire class should bring this up to this school admins since it sounds like no one wants to work with this guy. And it doesn't do him any favors to allow him to think it is acceptable. He'll never get clients or get a job in a massage clinic if he doesn't clean up his act (literally).
http://www.guidetomassagetherapy.com
Making Money with In-Home Massage available for the Amazon Kindle

truepeacenik
Registered Member
Posts: 101
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 11:18 pm
Contact:

Re: Stinky Student..

Post by truepeacenik » Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:16 pm

Hopefully, this particular issue resolved.
If it did, I hope we hear how.

For new students who find the thread, I would suggest talking to the instructor and saying that you will not work on this person without substantial improvement. Go up the ladder, get other students to stand with you. Use your power.

You might yet have to deal with BO, or bad breath, or oily skin, or gnarly feet, but you shouldn't have to be stuck with all of them.

Real live clients come in with many stages of daily grime. Some of the back acne I have seen could stand in for a Martian landscape.
But it is about the client. You have to get a pro demeanor.

User avatar
HandsDown
Fresh Hands
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:47 am
Location: Florida

Re: Stinky Student..

Post by HandsDown » Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:51 am

I know the original post was some time ago and like truepeacenik, I wonder how it was resolved.

I'd try a different approach, I'd actually speak with the student, for a couple of reasons. Thinking of the way my school is set up, we are a small night class (7 total). We have developed into a mini-family. Right of the bat, the ones that have been in MT school a little longer than me, ran me through the drill the first day of class. They told me the do's and don'ts (Which are always different from the instructor's version lol). With that said...we practice on each other -give tips, corrections, and advice, we study with each other-cheer each other on and build each other up during practical exams. We are comfortable enough to give each other the business, for example if someone didn't tend to the looonnnnng nails prior to practicing or injuring their wrist during basketball. "Protect the assets!!," as we shake our head and laugh. :grin: Ok maybe not every class is a mini-family and you don't feel comfortable saying something about it. Just think, it's good practice. Just think if you get a client that has poor hygiene, you initially have to deal with it, whether speaking with them about it prior to a session or if you chose to proceed with the session and decide not to take the client again. There is no way to avoid it.

Who knows, maybe he doesn't have a clue. :roll: It's possible...I know, I know, it shouldn't have to be like that. Nonetheless, I'd give him the benefit of the doubt and approach it from a "help you out because we all have the same goal in mind", instead turning it into an awkward situation, you could play it off. You could start by opening a pack of mints and sharing with the class...and you temporarily solved the breath issue without even directly saying a word to him. Whip out some hand lotion and ask if anybody wants some, once again pass it around. Or even say ask (Mr. Needs-Help) to try some of your lotion and you want to know what his take on it because it's a product you want to try on men and because it doesn't leave that greasy feeling when you practice. Etc, etc....I could go on and on.

After all, you gotta protect the assets...

Marcus

truepeacenik
Registered Member
Posts: 101
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 11:18 pm
Contact:

Re: Stinky Student..

Post by truepeacenik » Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:39 am

Hands down, my school was also a small tight knit group. Day or night!
Your descriptions sounded much like McKinnon.

Except one person would pass on the mints because of sugar, another because it wasn't vegan sugar, another because it didn't fit in with her Aryuvedic diet, another because he was on a juice fast.... We are particular persnickety people!

Still waiting to see how Mt Stinky turned out.
If he stayed stinky, I'm suspecting he's not yet employed.

User avatar
HandsDown
Fresh Hands
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:47 am
Location: Florida

Re: Stinky Student..

Post by HandsDown » Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:26 am

@ truepeacenik, I'm a little behind in my reply. :roll: sounds like there needed to be a mint buffet at your school. :lol:

No update. Hmmmm I guess we'll never find out.

MHewitt11
Fresh Hands
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2013 6:41 am

Re: Stinky Student..

Post by MHewitt11 » Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:40 pm

I would talk to the director as well. There is no point of having someone there that makes you uncomfortable. In the mean time I would carry around breath mints and offer it to him every time you see him. Sometimes though, it's not the person not showering or brushing their teeth. A lot of it has to do with their diet, and the use of certain seasonings such as curries which are very pungent.

User avatar
MTSI
Fresh Hands
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Dec 28, 2013 9:19 pm
Location: Texas
Contact:

Re: Stinky Student..

Post by MTSI » Sat Dec 28, 2013 10:03 pm

approach him directly. trust me he will appreciate it in the long run once he realizes how much you have helped him. be sincere. if that does not work then as Hewitt says take it up with the director
http://www.massagetherapyschoolsinformation.com/
THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE RESOURCE FOR A SUCCESSFUL CAREER IN MASSAGE THERAPY

Post Reply

Return to “Student Forum”