Monday morning I walked into office for my summer internship and walked right out, gasping for breath. A powerful stench physically shoved me back as I entered the office. Gasping, wheezing and choking I asked "What’s that stench? Did any one die in here?"
My Admin and Facility Manager who was standing nearby gasped, went pale and shakily seated himself on the stairs. Fearing the worst I called for his assistant who said “m am on nofee blake” and hung up. Faced with a potential life and death situation moiself asked him gently if I could help in anyway. He said amidst gasps: "That f****ing room freshener cost 1500 bucks a piece and you say it smells like a decomposing dead body? Aarrgh!!"
Moiself was very hurt :( But since my colleague was in severe pain, I informed him soothingly that what I meant was that the place smelt like a deadbody that had been sprayed with perfume to keep out the bad smell out. This time poor Admin went blue in the face. I decided to retreat from the scene before he bust his gut or decided to bust mine. (The rest of the morning poor moiself sat in the cafeteria and worked from my lappie. Thank god for wireless networking!).
However the trigger happy housekeeping staff had joyfully sprayed all the buildings with the perfumed sewage gas...I mean air freshener. The toilets smelt of Alpine pine mountains that was strewn with decomposing bodies of swiss cattle. The stairwells smelt of Rose fields that used dead rats as manure and the Reception area smelt of a butchery that had ordered large bouquets of Rajnigandha flowers to mourn the carnage.
Working with my colleagues dupatta tied around my face was not helping as the managers were finding it difficult to distinguish a Silverine from a Manimekhalai from a Simran Kaur. I was asked to debug a code while Manimekhalai from Q&A was asked to create a print advertisement while Simran was asked to design a UI. (poor girl is our accountant).
The guys had no option but to cover their noses with Imperial Hotel tissue paper and Leela Palace cloth napkins (ever seen a guy carrying handkerchiefs?). Some desperados were seen covering their noses with salt and pepper shakers from Taj Residency (because ceramic flower vases from Windsor Manor are not very ideal for covering noses you see) Covering your nose and mouth and talking is rather inconvenient as some people found out.
P to V: Usn arn djfktin i mmfoor
P: (removing the kerchief for a split second) I said you are standing on my foot !!
Complaints started pouring in from all quarters.
A: My cubicle smells like a horse is decomposing in here!
Housekeeping (wrinkling his nose): That will be Lily of the Valley perfumed air freshener saar!
B: Did someone pee in my cubicle?
Housekeeping: That is Mist Orange Spray saar.
C: There is a dead rat in my Cabin.
Housekeeping (covering his nose): That is Summer Flower Bouquet air freshener saar.
D: I smell a stink from the PM’s cabin. I think he is dead.
Housekeeping: That room was not sprayed because Mr. PM said he didn’t want to be disturbed.
D: Ah! That explains the smell.
By afternoon calm returned, the floors smelt clean with just a wee bit of lingering smell of death and decomposition.
Next day in an obscure corner of the newspaper a small news item reported that a certain air freshener supplier was assaulted and left in the Indiranagar drain by an unidentified Administration Manager of an IT company.