lifehack. applying deodorant in front of your boss


You know that morning where you know you’re going to be late?

And the reason you are going to be late is because you woke up, already late (8:17 am), and then took “another 10 minutes” which turned into an actual extra 30. You know that morning?

So now you have no time to:

  • pack lunch
  • iron your wrinkled clothes
  • put on deodorant

You know that moment when you’re on the subway and you realize that you are the one that smells bad and you curse your life and all that time you spent in college blackout drunk, not majoring in something both practical and non-douchey like computer science or even education?

You know that moment when you’re sneaking into work smelly and late, praying to whatever god who will hear you that your boss will not see you so that you can slide into your desk, smelly and late? You know this! Everyone does! And then when your boss finally arrives he asks you for this report and that report, so you perform a series of relentlessly banal tasks in a futile, desperate, and floundering attempt to appear useful, right before providing your employer with a scattered series of utterly meaningless data points that reflect  nothing of what was asked of you?

And you know how you still smell bad, so in an effort to reinvigorate your self-esteem you reach in your purse/bag for a stick of that sweet, sweet Old Spice only to realize that your boss is watching you, STILL watching you frantically apply deodorant?

You know this! This is that classic moment where you realize:

  • how far you’ve fallen
  • that you are ~*actual*~ garbage
  • that you are somehow overworked and overtired despite the fact that you go into a daily aimless trance and actually have no clue what it is that you do beyond the fact that senseless emails are involved, data is measured and collected, money is a thing, and staring like a cow into the bright, bottomless internet is a crucial component
  • life is a death march and you’ve chosen to lie down

You know that moment your mom calls to ask you about what you had planned for the weekend, because for once in your worthless life she has a favor to ask of you, and then you can’t help her the way that she needs you to, so she hangs up and you feel like a failure? Then in the following moment, your boss reminds you of how bad you are at your job before telling you to put you deodorant on in the bathroom like a human adult?

Do you know any of these oh-so-common moments? Or moments like them?

My Take

Thankfully, I know none of these moments, because I’ve perfected a step-by-step process of deodorant application in professional settings without resorting to hiding away in the bathroom, like some sort of failure. The benefits of this simple process include but are not limited to:

  • avoiding abject social horror & humiliation

So at long last, here are those sweet, sweet steps for rubbin’ that good, good stick in that gross, gross pit.

  1. Turn your phone off when you get to work. This way, you won’t know when your mom calls and subsequently, you will not feel like a horribly wretched child for avoiding simple interactions with the woman who gave you life.
    1. After work you can turn your phone back on. The hideous guilt will be much easier to sublimate during your obligatory after work drunken stupor.
  2. I would say come to work on time, but this is a step reserved for experts. We’ll address this in a later post.
  3. I would say find work you love and care about, but you have no skills, and are most certainly a failure. You couldn’t even take web design back in college when you had the chance. There’s a skill you could parlay into a career!  But, alas, don’t fret! We’ll address this in a later post.
  4. I would say at LEAST apply deodorant before you enter your office, but you are a scatterbrain who will likely be busy figuring out how to shut off her/his phone. But alas, don’t fret! We’ll address this in a later post.
  5. When seated at your desk in your etherized bovine daze, lower your head close to the desk as if you were reaching to tie your shoes.
  6. Go into your bag. It’s a really cool bag, girl/guy.
  7. Do not pull out comics, or your Star Wars themed Cards Against Humanity, or your copy of bell hooks’ All About Love: New Visions. No one cares!
  8. During this process, if you experience an emotion, repress it and for the love of upper management PULL OUT YOUR DEODORANT. WE ARE RUNNING OUT OF SWEET, SWEET COMPANY TIME.
  9. Carefully stick your hand up your shirt with deodorant in hand.
    1. Do NOT get turned on again at work. We can’t have another Tinashe incident.
    2. Make sure you aren’t snagging it on your shirt. Don’t report me or HR or anything, but I really think that shirt is cute on you, girl/guy.
  10. Repeat on opposite side.
  11. Repeat on opposite side.
  12. Repeat on opposite side.
  13. Hide deodorant.
  14. Remember drama club and how you method acted the Scarecrow in The Wiz? You nailed that, girl/guy! It was all about sense memory. The smell of straw. The dumbness of uneducated inanimate objects. The pain of knowing you probably really had a childhood like Michael Jackson’s. You played a living Scarecrow with a learning disorder. Do this again, girl/guy. But this time, you have a new role. You are now a normal person with actually human hygiene habits. This version of you doesn’t need to frantically apply deodorant because you already did before you came to work, WHICH you were on time for.
    1. But not really.
  15. Pretend to be normal all day.
    1. Again, it’s important to try not to cry about your real life during this process. Bask in the fantasy that you we’re made to live the shitty life you have. Revel in the thought that you are surrounded by all the wonderful shitty people that you love. It’s hard and you WILL want to cry, but save it for when you are tucked away in your bed:
      1. Utterly alone.
      2. Spectacularly single.
      3. Tragically abandoned during the best years of your meaningless existence.
  16. If you didn’t lift your head up already, lift your head up. Don’t be stupid. I shouldn’t have to tell you this, girl/guy.
  17. Run to the bathroom to recite The Mantra: “I am a happy person.” “I am a happy person.” “I am a happy person.” “I am a happy person.” “I am a happy person.” “I am a happy person.” “I am a happy person.” “I am a happy person.” “I am a happy person.” “I am a happy person.” “I am a happy person.” 
  18. Try not to cry.

You did it!


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