CHIEF RABBI, HACHAM SHAUL KASSIN 5681 – 5779 / 1921-2018

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Dear Jido,

This is a weird problem, but in my workplace, there's an office phone that’s shared by everyone – though usually it comes down to me and one other coworker who spend the most time in this area. My coworker has started leaving thick, full-facial-imprint layers of her makeup on the phone. I don't wear makeup, and I don't appreciate getting it all over my sleeves or my face if I absentmindedly reach over to answer the phone. Plus, you usually can't see the layer of makeup until you’ve picked up the receiver – and then it's too late.

I tried to be tactful and casually ask if she'd spilled something on the phone, but I'm pretty sure she had no idea what I was talking about. I've talked to other coworkers, but no one seems to know how to deal with her. She's got a history of overreacting to the smallest things, and we're trying to do this without upsetting her. Help!

Signed, Messy Makeup

Dear Messy,

I suggest you buy several dispensers of Purell and put them around the office. Tell everyone that the cold and flu season is upon us and that everyone must take precautions not to pass germs to one another. Place one strategically close to the phone and mark it – For Office Phone Users Only.

This will give you the opportunity to mention the messy phone and how germs are transmitted, especially through greasy substances that only come off with soap and water.

She won’t be singled out and she might even appreciate the helpful health tip.

If that doesn’t work, try sneezing on her a few times.
(Just kidding!)

Fellow germy,

Jido