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I work in a small office. There are no screens to separate work spaces and I can't help but notice when my co-worker picks his nose or wipes his nose with his hand when he has a cold. He then goes on to use things in the office that I also need to use sometimes even though at this point I wish I didn't. To make matters worse some of my co-workers very often leave the toilets in a state. It churns my stomach having to use the restrooms because they are more often than not absolutely disgusting. I don't know how to speak to anyone about this. Perhaps I am a little afraid to start a conflict at work.

If this was only a matter of a person with body odour I would probably just bring a scented oil to put on my desk. I don't want to get ill because of someone else's bad habits so I feel like I need to discuss this with the management but I honestly don't know where to start. It is a very small company and would be very awkward to bring it up.

marked as duplicate by Stephan Kolassa, Dawny33, Lilienthal, Joe Strazzere, gnat Dec 17 '15 at 13:33

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  • In a way that is similar however I think my situation at the moment is a bit of a health concern. I mean I think it is unsanitary the way some people leave the toilets sometimes without even flushing etcetera, and potentially spreading germs to others. – macky Dec 17 '15 at 11:13
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    tell the management about the restroom thing, but about your filthy co-workers, you could try cleaning your hands using alcohol after having any contact with them directly or indirectly, try to conceal it, they might think you're a weirdo, try putting the alcohol in a skin cream bottle or something of that kind, so if they catch you cleaning up your hands you can say "I've got a little skin problem" or some bullshit like that. – Kyle Dec 17 '15 at 11:25
  • tell him to stop acting like a disgusting pig, be ready for a potential conflict over it, he may not take it in a nice way. – Kilisi Dec 17 '15 at 15:38
  • Are you in a drought area? In some places people don't flush out of concern for the environment, and I don't think a bit of pee in the toilet will make you sick. BTW, you can actually by hand cream with sanitizer in it. – Amy Blankenship Dec 17 '15 at 16:17
  • No it is not a drought area. @AmyBlankenship I don't want to be graphic but the toilets are left in a state which requires proper cleaning/scrubbing - EVERY DAY – macky Dec 18 '15 at 8:53
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Bring the situation to light

A little constructive criticism will never hurt anybody, as long as you watch how you deliver it.

Tell your coworker that maybe he can avoid picking or wiping his nose with his hand, because he can spread the virus by that means. Tell him that he doesn't want his friendly coworkers to get sick now, does he?

Make Personal adjustments

If constructive criticism does little to no effect, then you can wear surgical gloves to avoid holding items your sick co worker has touched (after picking his nose). Offering him isopropyl Alcohol also works, to clean his hands whenever you notice he's slipping into his bad habits.

As for the restroom affair, bring said alcohol and some toilet paper and spray it at the seat. If you can't deal with it at it's current state, call for the Maintenance's aid.

Speak with Employee Relations

Speak with your Employee Relations Officer. He/She can help sort it out with the rest of the employees in the companies, as it is a part of their responsibilities.

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    For the toilet issue, a properly prepared reminder note near the toilet may be helpful. – Brandin Dec 17 '15 at 11:06
  • I agree with all things you said except for wearing surgical gloves, I wouldn't have any problem with that but I'm pretty sure most people would think you have some kinky problem for wearing gloves, (again I don't think this way but most people do), you could clean your hands using Isopropyl alcohol every time you touch things your sick co-workers touched, try to conceal it if your co-workers are morons and like to make fun of people, be smart – Kyle Dec 17 '15 at 11:16

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