Lack of hygiene

Why is it that most computer programmers lack decent hygiene?

Maybe it's something in the Jolt Cola and Mountain Dew they swill by the gallon. Maybe their hands lack the strength to grasp a washcloth or toothbrush after hours of banging on a keyboard, manipulating their mice and mashing the buttons on their joysticks. Perhaps they just don't have time to bother with such trivial matters; you know they've got to ensure the aluminum foil that lines their bedroom walls is the proper thickness (to thin and it doesn't work, to thick and it keeps the ultramindotron's brain reader waves just keep bouncing around in there).

During college I pulled my time in the trenches. I've spent many a hour in the depths of a computer lab surrounded by geeks whose breath have the unmistakable stench of Cheeto's and they've got orange fingers and orange crotches from hours of downloading porn and getting their jollies from hacking into some poor soul's machine for the fun of it. These were the ubergeeks of the mid-nineties and they smelled like a locker-room full of jockstraps after homecoming.

It's good to know that some things don't change. Other than addressing a couple of the programmers I work with as stinky on a semi-daily basis I've had to hold meetings with the topic of appropriate hygiene and added a chapter to the employee manual regarding offensive bodily aromas. There is an actual bullet with the phrase: Liberally applying cologne does is not a substitute for an actual bath or shower.

Today a young man came into our offices today offering his services. He's attending one of the local Communist Community Colleges and wanted to inquire about an internship. Normally I'll spend some time talking to them to figure out if they're a fit (normally the first question is if they've been arrested for hacking: if they have it's a plus, I'm the only programmer in the company that hasn't pulled at least a week in county lock up) but today I couldn't do it.

He was dressed pretty well compared to the reprobates that typically walk through the doors (it's a shoes optional workplace), but damn it he had a stench about him that would wake the dead. After about five minutes in the conference room discussing his goals and plans and offering advice on how to get there I had to end the meeting, as I was gasping for clean air at that time.

Just a word of advice for the ubergeeks that may be reading this, a bit of soap and water isn't going to get you pregnant; and it may actually help you get a job.

Posted by phineas g. at 12:30 PM on August 26, 2005 | TrackBack

Huh...I'd have thought that most programmers these days would be familiar with SOAP.

Posted by: zonker at August 26, 2005 02:55 PM

Ew. That smart, and they don't even get the purpose of soap?

Posted by: Theresa at August 26, 2005 03:31 PM

What geeks you are - dear God in heaven ;-)

Posted by: Ruth at August 26, 2005 10:29 PM

This post is about me, isn't it?

Isn't it?????

Posted by: sadie at August 27, 2005 02:37 PM

I wasn't gonna go naming folks, but, ummm....

Posted by: phin at August 27, 2005 04:08 PM

I won't ever look at Cheetos the same way again.

Posted by: The Big Sister (who's 5'4") at August 28, 2005 01:05 PM

The use of soap stops at precisely the point where they realize they are never, ever, no way either, going to get laid.

Posted by: Jim at September 1, 2005 01:15 PM