Thursday, June 18, 2009

Scents of Smell...

I hate humidity. I've always suspected this but I'm finally going to just come right and affirm it. I hate how when you're inside an air-conditioned place, you think it's cool outside. Then, when you step out, it's like hitting a brick wall of moisture. It hits you, creeping both under and over your recently cooled skin until you're suddenly feeling sticky and damp. Your hair begins to frizz quickly and breathing becomes just a little harder. I hate that if I leave my car windows cracked to let the fresh air in overnight, I get in the next morning and it smells like a nasty wet dog.

Actually, I'm sure that's all the humidity's fault. If my car gets remotely damp, it smells like a wet dog. I'm not sure why since it's a fairly new car and as far as I know, nothing has died in there. I haven't even had a wet dog in there, not even Sausage. The sad thing is that nothing removes that smell. Air fresheners only end up mixing with the wet-dog smell so that it smells like a lavender scented wet dog. I've officially crawled around in the trunk of my car to try and find out if there's a culprit for the smell but, alas, to no avail.

So...long story short, unless I'm telling it because then it's long's humid outside and my car smells like a wet dog. Also, my rubbish bin by my desk smells like parmesan cheese. I've just discovered that even though our janitorial staff does actually empty the trash cans, they don't...empty them. They clearly just shake the bin into a trash bag to get out the rubbish out without having to change the bag. This is a great way of saving rubbish bags but, well, if you have three day old parmesan cheese that might have been part of your arugula-salad-with-lemon-juice-and-parmesan lunch on Monday, it's not necessarily good that they saved the bag. Also, I noticed there are a lot of cherry pits stuck to the bag. This means chances are my desk will also smell a bit cherry-like only not so fresh very soon. Exciting. know...not.

I suppose given that I sit quite near the "men's" bathroom, there could be (and have been) far worse smells drifting out. This is where I find it endearing that our new HR manager has been trying now for over two months to remedy that. She's one of these optimistic people who came into our company thinking she could get everyone to immediately do things her way. She clearly doesn't know our company. People here are...set in their ways. They know what they like, how they like it and that's that. It's not a bad thing but it's something you learn after a little observation. Our HR person didn't seem to quite get that just as she didn't seem to accept that the bathroom was really the "men's" bathroom.

I'm using the quotes around the word "men's" because we work in a converted house. There are four bathrooms in the building but unlike in a commercial building, they're not designated Men or Women's; they're just normal little bathrooms like you see in a house. However, it's understood that two of them are more 'male oriented' and two of them are girly, given away by the presence of lotions and other nice feminine smelly products in them. For some reason, our HR person doesn't like to climb the flight of stairs to get to the nice "women's" bathroom the way the rest of us females do. She uses the "men's" bathroom. Of the two "men's" bathrooms, this is most clearly a male one. It's sparse, the seat is always up and, frankly, as a woman, I would rather not use it at all unless it was an extreme emergency. I'm not sexist, I just prefer not to use this bathroom because it's a little...nasty.

HR Lady, bless her optimistic heart, hasn't given up though. She has this Bath and Body Works room spray in a "Warm Vanilla Sugar" scent that she has put in the men's bathroom in hopes that it makes it a little...uh...'friendlier'. The men, being 99% of the population that uses this bathroom, naturally, ignore the spray. I don't think they're doing it to be rude; I just think that in the masculine mind, things like that don't exist and thus they have a small cloak of invisibility that masks them from the men's awareness level. Nascar does that for me as does a lot of more "male" type stuff. Golf, for example. I know there's golf and Nascar races on the TV but when I'm scrolling through the Direct-TV guide, my mind slips straight over them in favour of something I want to watch, not really aware that it's doing so.

Same thing for our office men and Warm Vanilla Sugar room spray. Periodically, HR Lady will come through with her spray and say, "no one uses this!" as though she's shocked! Then she will inevitably squirt it into our cubicle area because we're close to the bathroom just to prove that it does, in fact, smell nice.

Thing is, it doesn't smell that nice. It's never been on of my favourite Bath and Body Works' scents because it's cloying and makes me want to drink a lot of water. It's not hideous but it tends to give me the start of one of those headaches that exposure to heady scents gives a lot of people. My cubicle-neighbour, on the other hand, is extremely sensitive to smells and will get a headache if I or her neighbour on the other side of her cubicle wears perfume. So when that spray is spritzed into our air...well, it's never pretty.

Yet it hasn't deterred HR lady from her quest of trying to get the men to use it. She's tried to coerce them into using it by teasing. They politely chuckle at her and go on to their bathroom business, conveniently forgetting to use the Warm Vanilla Sugar Room Spray. The only time this causes an issue is if they leave the bathroom door open which almost never happens.

I feel bad for HR lady. She's very sweet and really wants to fit in. She's not particularly adept at HR since she was an accountant before she came here but by carrying her copy of Human Resources for Dummies into the office in the morning, I know she's trying to learn. I commend her efforts to learn. Of course, it would probably help her out a little if she didn't carry that book around in front of us since, you know, it doesn't exactly inspire confidence. She can read it but it might be better if we don't know she's reading it, if you know what I mean.

Still, I'm enjoying her try to fight her uphill battle with her room spray. Most of us quitters would give up and just start using the women's bathroom upstairs but not our HR lady. She's determined to win over those men. Maybe if she tried another scent?

Happy Thursday...

1 comment:

Fe said...

Maybe she should use one of those sprays that automatically "poofs" every 30, 48, or 60 minutes (or whatever it is). :-)

I love reading your blog, thanks for the stories. :-)