Tuesday, March 29, 2005
the big stink
Major fucking dilemma: my office smells like puke. It may sound like I'm going for a cheap laugh by writing that (it doesn't get any cheaper than using the word "puke"), but my office really does smell like someone vomited somewhere and then did a half-ass job of trying to clean it up. When I opened my door this morning, it was like getting hit in the face with an old sock, so much so that I let out an audible "Ech" in the otherwise silent office area, prompting our group secretary to say, "Is something wrong, Jason?"
I did some searching and it doesn't appear that there's any sort of visible vomit stain. As a veteran of secretly throwing up, I checked all the spots I might puke if I had to do so in my office - under my desk, on the other side of my desk, in one of my drawers, all over my balls because I couldn't move anywhere fast enough - but nothing.
However, it still reeks really fucking bad. My manager came into my office this morning and immediately made a face of disgust - a face not like one would make if they caught their parents making love, but maybe a face they'd make if they caught their weird hipster cousin giving her tattooed/pierced boyfriend a handjob in the yard after Thanksgiving dinner (and no, this didn't happen to me).
Sensing my manager passing judgment on me ("Damn, not only does he suck as a worker but he also has body odor"), we had this exchange:
Me: "Do you smell that?"
Manager: "Yeah, it stinks."
Me: "I don't know what it is. It's not me."
Manager: [believing it is me, trying to diffuse the situation] "It's not a big deal."
Me: [getting defensive] "No, no really - it's not me. When I came in this morning, it smelled like this."
Manager: [having no interest in arguing with a smelly person] "Really, it's not a big deal."
Me: [more defensive, hyper] "Oh, I know it's not a big deal. I'm just surprised my office smells like this, because this isn't coming from me."
Manager: [uncomfortable, silence for two seconds] "So can you swing by my office when you get a chance?"
So my manager thinks I smell like throw-up. Great.
About an hour after this encounter, we had our weekly update meeting. I love the meetings, because I feel so important: sitting around the conference room overlooking Manhattan in the big comfy chair, speaking loudly into the speaker phone, all the while scribbling things down and drinking water, looking serious, smart, important. Sure, I may actually be thinking about how getting high in my bathtub, but whatever.
This meeting was different though because a short time after plopping down in the comfy chair, I noticed that I now stunk like my office. Whatever the source of this stink, it had now transferred itself to me. So the whole time I sat through the thirty-minute meeting, I was sweating (more than usual) and worried that someone would say, "I'm sorry to interrupt, but does anyone smell that? It smells like someone drank a quart of semen and an onion and then threw it back up." Fortunately, no one said anything.
But the whole experience made me VERY self-conscious. Was it really me that smelled like stale puke? I checked my breath and it seemed fine, but I brushed my teeth anyway. I smelled my pits and they seemed ok, but I still put on more deodorant, so that now I have a nice half-inch thick layer of white covering my armpit. My only guess was that it could be my pants, because I just got them dry-cleaned. I tried smelling them, but I could only smell my balls, which give off a fainter but equally offensive smell: ham and eggs left on an asphalt street for three days in the July heat.
I had my office door open, but decided instead to close it, lest people walking by pick up the stink. Running out of options, I made a decision: I would get something pungent for lunch, hoping that the smell of the lunch would essentially cancel out the smell the of stale vomit. Not knowing what else to get, I decided to go with tuna.
Terrible, terrible decision.
It didn't work at all, and instead added another awful smell to the mix. As it stands right now, I'm sitting in my office which smells like puke and tuna. Also, because I've had the door closed in order to keep these smells to myself, not only has the smell started to cling to me, it is also hot in my office. And I just got an email from my head boss to my manager and I saying that we should meet in my office at 3pm for a short discussion. I am fucked and there is nothing I can do.
So that's my day. How is yours going?