First a few rules for personal hygiene and working closely together:
1. Shower daily.
2. Wash clothes.
3. Deodorant, people!
This probably seems pretty obvious to you , but sometimes it is, well, NOT obvious to everyone. I’ve had a spate of discussions lately with colleagues, friends etc- about what to do about such issues as personal hygiene, the length of a trainees hair (is it a fire hazard, is it just unprofessional?), if anything. A colleague of mine tells endless stories about someone they once worked with in an open lab type situation that would pass gas loudly, just well- whenever.
Usually these discussions end with us giggling it up innocently (and somewhat uncomfortably) about what to DO about such situations that cross this tricky professional and interpersonal boundary. How do you talk to a trainee that works for you about the fact that they are stinking it up for everyone else that works with them? When attire and personal appearance (long hair for example) are safety hazards- that makes it pretty straightforward to deal with. But how do you mention that professional dress and personal presentation ARE important when your students are TAs for undergrads? Probably pretty simple if you are just mentioning that the teaching dress code is something other than jeans and a T-shirt- but do you ever cross the line into grooming habits?! And what about gender- cause I imagine just for example- if you were a male PI you might have to tread lightly around some of these subjects with female trainees.
I know, it seems obvious, but it is just NOT.