Monthly Archives: February 2003

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At work the other day, D. went to the break room to brew a pot of coffee. For whatever reason, her coffee always fills the office with a gut-rotting stench. But about five minutes after the brewing is complete, the stink dissipates. Ms. Drug Seeker turned to The Angry Old Woman and asked if the smell was making her sick. Between the two of them, they decided they were on the verge of vomiting if they had to smell the vapors any longer. So, Ms. Drug Seeker got out a can of Industrial/Professional Use Only “Odor Eliminator” (“Tuf Odors” by SC Johnson) and started to spray it in all directions. She later claimed to have only lightly spritzed the product twice. D. came out of the break room and unwittingly walked into a giant perfumed chemical fog that filled the air around her desk. D. staggered in to my office, collapsed onto one knee of the carpet and gasped, “Someone……..sprayed………something…..”

Of course, the boss was at a meeting, so as “assistant manager”, it became my duty to deal with these asshats and a gassed employee. I took her outside the office, but that only put us into the fog from the smokers, so I took her all the way outside the building. It was 15 degrees and I was thinking the cold air wasn’t good for this induced asthma attack, so I asked if she had any medication. D. indicated that an ex-co-worker on the third floor kept an inhaler in her purse. I told D. not to move, and ran up the stairs. I told ex-co-worker (ECW) that D. needed the inhaler and she came back down the stairs with me. When we got outside, D. wasn’t there. I had visions of her passing out and tumbling down the steps into traffic, but I didn’t see a mob surrounding a victim anywhere, so we went back inside. We found D. sitting on the floor in the hallway. She was unable to stand because of the drop in her blood pressure…she was still having trouble breathing. Karen brought out some coffee for D., as she’d heard caffeine helps open airways.

I left D., Karen, and ECW in the hall to medicate, and then turned to defuming the store. The smell was overwhelming! It seeped out of the store and people out on the street could smell it! I opened both doors in the front, then went to the back of the store to open the overhead door where the deliveries are received. The smell would NOT go away! Other staff members were fumed-out by that time, and had to leave in shifts to get fresh air for the next FOUR HOURS. I can only imagine this “deodorizer” is used to spray down dumpsters or large arenas…it should never be used in an office of less than 10,000 square feet!

When the boss returned, he got Ms. Drug Seeker and The Angry Old Woman in his office to hear their side of the story. He told them to just take a break the next time the coffee smell gets to be “too much” and that no one was allowed to spray ANYthing in the office again. He then confiscated the can of spray. Ms. Drug Seeker did actually seem penitent over the situation…she apologized and said she never expected what happened to happen. On the other hand, The Angry Old Woman maintained that D. was “faking it” for attention and just to get them in trouble. She explained that D. had never said she’d had asthma, so asked how could she just have developed it today. The boss said people didn’t know he was diabetic and that some people don’t talk about their medical conditions at work. Not to be dissuaded, The Angry Old Woman pulled out the clincher….her GRANDson had asthma, and he couldn’t be around animals, and it was a “known fact” that D. had cats and dogs living in her house. The Angry Old Woman sat in her chair triumphantly, convinced of her version of reality.

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Today I took an archetypal personality test at colorgenics.com. Here are my results:

The DANDELION

The Dandelion sees the magic of the world and is aloft in an overwhelming sense of union with the beauty of the universe. This is often translated into a fluency with the language, a poetic sensibility and an ability to see beyond the measure of the day to day. The inner beauty of the animate world often preoccupies the Dandelion, a sense that there is a union in all the life forms of nature.

Because of the ever-present reality of the abstract world, a Dandelion may often seem to be living in a higher realm, or to be not-of-this-earth. Prone to fantasy and imagination, Dandelion children often create entire legions of imaginary playmates. In an adult this can on occasion lead a Dandelion to imagine interior lives for friends and associates that are near-complete fabrications based on the Dandelion’s fears or hopes for the future.

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There’s quite a lot of drama that goes on in my office. Mostly because people get their feelings hurt every time something happens. Every thing that goes on, they manage to make some personal connection to it and feel slighted. D. is territorial about files and work that is “hers”; that sets off everyone. Ms. Drug Seeker is on �medication� and forgets how to do simple tasks, so D. doesn’t trust her to do anything right. Ms. Drug Seeker won’t ask D. for any help because she thinks she’s getting talked down to (and probably is), so she asks The Angry Old Woman and they both get whipped up into a frenzy. The Angry Old Woman has only worked here about two years and Ms. Drug Seeker was here and at the warehouse before I even started working in this department!! So you’d think The Angry Old Woman would be asking Ms. Drug Seeker how things work!! The Angry Old Woman tries to get out of doing any work that she doesn’t consider “hers”. I sometimes don’t know how things even get done around here with all the pulling from all sides.

The Angry Old Woman and Ms. Drug Seeker sit together at their desks talking about how, when the world comes to an end because Iraq will nuke us, God will go ahead and kill off all the non-believers and they’ll burn in hell for eternity. Daily, they go on about Christianity being the only “true” religion and everyone else is a heretic. D. is a practicing Buddhist, so they say these things to set her off. She retaliates by loudly mentioning atrocities committed in the name of the US government or Christianity and that gets �the twins� to their, “If you don’t like the country, don’t live here” phase. What *I* think is that people can believe whatever they want, but they don’t need to bring it to work. It’s just too distracting.

Everyone here believes that no one else works as hard as they do and that if they didn’t show up at work, the place would collapse. When they ARE out, it’s by some miracle that the store could function at all, according to them. No one else’s work is as important as theirs. Everyone else is a loafer. Still, we manage to invoice out $50,000 to $110,000 worth of stuff A DAY, and that’s because of each person’s contribution…. they don’t see that! They can’t see that we are a team working for a common goal. I don’t think they want to see that. They just want to be mad, keep to themselves and hate working here.