Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Fatman Scoop Chronicles: The Discovery

There is a sweet, four to five hundred pound man who works in my department. We'll call him Slim. Slim comes to work everyday, does his job and minds his business. After being an employee with the company for over twenty years, his job performance doesn't seem to be an issue. It's other things of a more personal nature that raise a flag: His hygiene.

Over the years, I've heard horror stories about how Slim carries an odor. "No way," I thought. I've walked pass Slim plenty of times (without holding my breath like I was urged to do) and smelled nothing of the kind. "Why are they picking on this poor man," I wondered. Sure, his cubicle is a two-by-four disaster area full of empty Coca-Cola cans and dingy old news papers scatterd about his desk, but everyone isn't a neat-freak, you know? He even got sent home once, forced to use one of his vacation days, because a co-worker in the cubicle next to him complained that the stench was too much to bear. Poor Slim. "These people are awful," I proclaimed shaking my head. He's such an easy target. Why are they so mean to him? I mean, I have heard him mumble to himself a time or two as he wobbled down the hallway to the elevator for lunch, but who hasn't? Then there was the time I caught him slicking his hair down with the sanitizing gel they provide for us outside the men’s room. But forty hours of fluorescent lights and beige cubicle walls would make you a bit loopy too! In my head, I always stood up for Slim. Well, until yesterday that is.

As I clocked in and made my way to my cubicle, I saw Slim easing on down the hallway and I gave him my usual corporate tight-lipped grin and head nod combo, and continued to breathe as I always do. "WTF?!" I said out loud. There it was in all its glory: Funk! It was a mixture of haven't bathed in days, cheap cologne and sanitizer gel. It wasn't an urban legend after all. Dude really does reek. But unlike my office cohorts, I kept my discovery to myself. The man has enough enemies. Why must I add to the list?

As I continued on with my usual day of faux-work and light office chitchat, a co-worker rushed into my cubicle. "Where's the fire?!" I asked. "They're moving Slim over to our area," she exclaimed. "Everyone in his area banned together and marched into the director's office and demanded that he be moved." "No fair!" I shouted. "If they can't deal with it over there, what makes them think we'll be able to deal with that funk over here?" It was in that moment that I turned into one of them: The ones that shake their heads and snicker as Slim passes them in the hallway; the ones that have him sent home for smelling up the place; the ones who demand he be ostracized to another section of the department. I had turned against Slim and felt horrible about it.

My co-worker, eyes squinting, right brow raised so high it nearly hit the ceiling, looked out into the hallway and in a sinister Wicked Witch of the West resonance said, "I'll take of this," and darted out of my cubicle.

Will Slim be loading up his empty soda pop collection and year old Newark Star Ledgers into his garbage bag (yes, he carries his belongings in a garbage bag everyday) and setting up shop in my neck of the woods? If so, what will I do? Glade candles from Target? No, there's a no candle rule in the employee handbook. Shoot. Hang up one of those automatic timer air freshener thingies that go off every 15, 24 and 36 minutes? Hmmm...Maybe not. That may be TOO obvious. What I won't do is panic. Maybe Slim won't even make it over to my section. For now, all I can do is wait, and continue to do what everyone else has been doing for years: Hold my breath, grin and bear it.

To Be Continued...

1 comment:

Misha said...

lmfao!!!!!!!! mad he slicks his hair down with gel sanitizer...