DEAR DEIDRE: I WAS mortified when my boss told me I had bad breath.

But I spoke to my work colleagues and asked them if I have ever had bad breath – and all of them said they hadn’t noticed.

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I am paranoid about my teeth at the best of times as I have a broken molar, and I do have an appointment lined up with my dentist.

I’m a 32-year-old woman.

My workmates were appalled by what my boss said to me and told me to just ignore it, but I can’t.

I know there’s a colleague who’s jealous of me.

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She used to be my line manager but now I’m at the same level as her. I think she’s spreading lies about me.

If she’s saying these things to my boss, who else is she telling lies to?

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DEIDRE SAYS: If your colleagues haven’t noticed then it does sound as though your jealous colleague might be behind this.

It would be good if you could directly ask her if there is a problem that you are unaware of.

My support pack Standing Up For Yourself will help you be assertive.


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It is also worth contacting Acas (, 0300 123 1100), who advise on workplace issues.

Talk to your dentist about your concerns and they will be able to advise you.

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