Dear Urban Diplomat: how do I politely tell my cyclist co-worker about his reeking shirt?
Dear Urban Diplomat,
My cubicle-mate has started cycling to work from Etobicoke—a ride that leaves him smelling less than daisy fresh. To make matters worse, he hangs up his sweaty cycling top in our cubicle so it can dry in time for his trip home. I don’t wan t to embarrass him, but I need to clear the air, so to speak. How should I go about this?
—Holding my nose,
KING AND UNIVERSITY
I once had a gym teacher—possibly the long-lost brother of Biff from Back to the Future—who would spray the stinkiest boys with Obsession for Men. Alas, when we reach adulthood, the BO quandary requires more tact. Butter up your co-worker by praising him for his daily commute, then keep it light: “Dude, your biking shirt smells like old onion rings. Please, seal that thing away in your bag.” That way your issue is with the shirt, not the wearer. He should be able to connect the dots. If not, grab some Obsession for Men and fire at will.
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5 thoughts on “Dear Urban Diplomat: how do I politely tell my cyclist co-worker about his reeking shirt?”
Good advice. The co-worker won’t be shocked to learn that his jersey stinks; it’s a well-known and pretty much unavoidable problem with the wicking fibers in cycling gear.
Maybe there’s somewhere else he could leave his jersey (like outdoors)? Or he could start packing in a dry one for the trip home.
Also, become his ally… cyclists sometimes aren’t well-supported by the employer. Ask that the workplace provide a locker room? Cycling to work is win-win-win-win, but you shouldn’t have to suffer from the smell!
If he doesn’t connect the dots, don’t waste your money and use lysol.
Hey, what about when a office – mate who sees his son once every two weeks, comes in the next day with a terrible cold…guaranteed everytime the next day infecting everyone around him….
Why is it that environmental virtue is so often married to olfactory vice? Tell your coworker that his rank odour is a stain on the estcutcheon of all commuter cyclists, and that he ought to quarantine his rancid spandex in a smell-proof container.
Maybe sugges/comment on the rad existence of some anti-stink workout wear. Lululemon makes a top I swear by for men called the Metal Vent Tech – and its anti-stink and antibacterial (I think). Pretty sure they do the same for women. I think UnderArmour makes something similar, or Nike
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