Dear Andy: The engineer in the cubicle next to me has hygiene issues, what should I do?

Dear Andy:

My name is Sarah.  I am a surface land team lead with an intermediate PNG company here in Calgary. I sit adjacent to an engineer whose hygiene leaves a lot to be desired. Because of this guy, I find it very difficult to be productive, and I even find myself skipping out on work just so that I am not subjected to his putrid personal hygiene practices. I am terribly worried that I’m going to lose my job because of this jackass. What should I do? Sarah B.

Andy Killinger, 2P Staff Counselor
Andy Killinger, 2P Staff Counselor

Dear Sarah: Okay, here’s the deal. First of all, let me get this right: you’re in Surface Land AND you’re a Team Lead? Well, there’s the beginning of the problem. Are you sure that you’re not the one who stinks? Sometimes you’re the last one to know. Second, so this engineer next to you doesn’t smell too good, huh? Well, engineers have the propensity to stink because they are idiots who are hardly coordinated enough to clean themselves – they spend so much time trying to figure out how to optimize their showers and baths that they forget to get rid of the funk. Third,… well, I can’t think of a third. But I’ve worked with malodorous engineers in the past and I’ve pinned down a few techniques that should help you get back to happier times in your cube farm. Here’s what you do:

1) The Rear Lobal Engbotomy: Everybody has back door blowouts every now and again – got it. But there’s something about the stink that exits the ass of an engineer that takes things to a new level of stankness. Here’s what to do if nerd-boy next door passes gas like a champ: pickup the biggest container of Febreeze hat you can get your hands on. When he’s asleep at his desk (he’s an engineer, he will sleep), climb up on your desk holding the super-sized Febreeze container over your head. Next step: throw it at his head as hard as you possibly can. If you hit just beneath the cerebellum at the right angle, you will never hear ass acoustics from him ever again – it’s a medical thing. Done like dinner, baby.

2) The Complex Chronic Halitosis: Third order polynomial rationalizations, multi-variate integration in 4D space, differentiation by parts, cracking the abc conjecture, all things engineers do every day. Sure they all sound complex, but the only thing complex about engineers is their breath. Anybody who has talked to an engineer in close quarters know that his or her breath can strip the chrome off a trailer hitch. I worked with an engineer whose breath was so bad that I sincerely looked forward to his farts. Anyhow, here’s what you do: most engineers are super cheap, so it’s very likely that he brings his lunch to work. Over the course of 2 or 3 weeks, inconspicuously sprinkle activated charcoal in his sandwiches and stir-fries (you can find this at your neighbourhood chemist). The charcoal will adhere to his intestinal tract, and over time it will absorb the nasty odours that caused the bad breath in the first place. Boom!

So there you go, Sarah, all the best with the new environment that you’ll create using these tried, tested, and true techniques.  As usual, our readers might have some ideas of their own that they may care to share below.

Andy Killinger,  Staff Counsellor 2P News

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