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Jess Knows Best! Advice on love, life, and more for the modern geek and geekette!

Jess Knows Best

Greetings! Welcome to the first “Jess Knows Best” of 2008. Have a question for me? Send your questions to Ask Jess, or visit my myspace page!

Q. How do you get a gamer to bathe? I have a few WOW enthusiasts on my team at work and they always stink to high heaven from gaming all night and rolling into work in the morning. Please tell me how I can get them to wash themselves and apply deodorant after gaming, and before work, in a creative and non-offensive politically correct fashion (I’m also their lead). It’s starting to cause quite the stir and now the team needs air freshener to deal with the stank.

The offended nose.

A. This is always a tricky subject. The knee-jerk answer most people would give applies to one-on-one situations that don’t involve an entire group of coworkers. That answer would be, “Just pull aside the offender(s) and be straight with them.” In this case, I don’t think that’s the best answer.

Given that you’re dealing with an entire team of coworkers, my first instinct is to do something like this:

• Pick up travel-sized deodorant, toothpaste, and hand sanitizer for each person on your team, including yourself.
• Use paper lunch sacks for “gift bags” and put one of each toiletry item in the bag.
• Include a note in the bags that says something like:


Here are a few items that we sometimes take for granted when we’re at work, spending eight hours a day crammed in a cube farm. Sure we all use deodorant, toothpaste and soap at home, but it can be nice to have these items handy at work, too. Your coworkers will thank you!

Have an onion bagel for breakfast? Forget your deodorant this morning? Catching a cold? Now you have an emergency backup stash of the essentials to keep in your desk for any of these occasions!

• Finally, place one bag on each desk in the early a.m., including yours, to preserve anonymity.

Each of the items should cost no more than a buck a piece, and if this is truly an issue that needs resolution, it should be well worth the money spent to take care of it. Heck, if you explain the problem and your creative solution to your boss, maybe the company will reimburse you for it!

Question? Just want to tell me I stink?

Ask Jess!
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