Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Office Atmosphere

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
V: What?
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.

57 comments:

Anoop MohanKumar said...

After lunch hours, my work place definitely needs a freshener.
Even the ones you have mentioned here should smell better.

They serve too many stale potatoes in my canteen, you see.

LI said...

Hmm , Working in an IT company having a damaged room freshner is still ok when compared to working in FMCG where you have to walk above clogging drains selling Nestle and Kitkat or surf and rin.

DD said...

:-)
reminds me of the recent bluestar advt with those white socks on top of everyone's heads...

Binoy, The One and Only said...

What happens when one of the people in your floor brings shrimp for lunch and decides to microwave it before lunch? The whole building stinks of shrimp!!! I have been begging my japanese collegues not to bring shrimp, but they never comply. I retaliate by my extra hot curries which leaves the stench of garam masala around the place.

So finally, the office administrators decided to use a freshner as soon as lunch hour is over. They tried "lemon fresh" but decided not again when some compalined of an asthma out break. Then "strawberry mellow" was tried but was thrown away as the office administrator herself threw up.

The experiment still continues....

Bittu's Mamma said...

"D: I smell a stink from the PM’s cabin. I think he is dead."

This one made me ROFTL and the next line was just hillarious :)

Nice one!

Suji said...

That was a bad case of room freshners becoming room stenchers. What I can't stand is some people who spray so much perfume on themselves that you feel like puking.

Patty said...

Having smelled a dead thing or two in my day, I could conjure up the smells you discribed all too well! In an office setting..... Fortunately I have never had that pleasure!

Maverick said...

masterpiece as usual.... :)

sadly we have a person who smells all of the above in our team. when this charming lady(immersed in prefume and all the to be miss india products) is introduced into the ac environment all hell breaks loose.sheesh reminds me of the corporation garbage truck :(

thank you lord for helping me with vicks whenever she is around.....

pophabhi said...

Hilarious read. PM seems to be apt!

Anonymous said...

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)

ROFLAO =))

Welcome back...!!!

Trish

aks said...

hey sil...hilarious post...wat more to say .... i have my Handkerchief in my pocket... least i pass by ur office....

Immigrant in Canada said...

reminds me of How i succesfully chased an etire british medical dept out of the building.. I reheated my lunch in the microwave,Malaysian nasi Lemak, with dried unakka meen(anchovies), crisply fried to perfection..

Mind Curry said...

haha..awesome sil..

i had a friend who sweats like mad, and stinks equally bad.

man..that rhymes!!

a friend i had,
who sweat like mad,
and stinked so bad.
a thought we had,
to bottle his bad,
share he wudnt, the lad,
now i am glad.

ok sorry for the nonsense..but ur story just reminded me of him...hes the "freshest" memory i have when you talk about such atmosphere.

Lost in trance... said...

"The toilets smelt of Alpine pine mountains that was strewn with decomposing bodies of swiss cattle. "

you funny bone you

Alexis Leon said...

Excellent as usual.

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 ROFL

That was great. Couldn't stop laughing.

esvee said...

For the past three days me and my colleagues were suffering.. headaches, nausea...our office space was reeking of wall paint,of wet concrete...you see they are renovating our office...all rooms above and adjacent to ours are being redone... poor poor me..!

...And then i read your blog..poor poor Silverine!

ever seen a guy carrying handkerchiefs? I do carry a handkerchief... Always..!

chandni said...

this was funny!! I remember in my office in bombay, we had a cockroach attack and some "local" spray was sought to get rid of them as it seemed to be more effective....and the stench was horrible, to say the least!

Nice blog...my first time here..
will be back for more :)

starry nights said...

It is like trying to cover up a bad smell with a fragrant mist.the two dont mix.Nice post.

silverine said...

Anooop: Stale potatoes? Ewwww

Lijo:Sounds horrible

DD: :))

Binoy: A different kind of assault, but an assault nonetheless :))

bittu's mama: Thank you dear :)

Suji:The worse cases are the ones who spray those cheap perfumes liberally!

Patty: You are lucky for not 'having the pleasure' :))

Maverick: I can identify with the situation. People working in a close environment with one reeking of perfume :)

Pophabi: This PM is famous for his er..perfumes ;))

Trish: It is good to be back girl :p

Aks: i have my Handkerchief in my pocket... least i pass by ur office.... ROFL Hey!! We are not that bad okay? :(
:))

Sarah: LOL They would have said stiff upper lip and all "What's that terrible odor?" :))

Mind Curry: That was atrocious poetry!!!! Keep 'em coming :))

Lost in trance: You need more than a funny bone to work in an IT co. :))

ALexis: Thank you Alexis :)

Esvee: Poor poor me :(

Chandni: Thank you and hope to see you around :)

Starry night: Exactly!! You said it gurl :))

arvindh said...

Hillarious account here! I am no fan of air "fresheners" either. First of all they dont freshen the air - on a serious note they just pollute the air. On the lighter side, when I walk into a bathroom and smell vannila, you are playing a dirty trick with my senses - I dont want to sit there and have my mouth watering at the same time!

Browser said...

Headline in the Hindu - Parts of banglore were shut down yesterday because of a horrible stench emanciating from .........

On the other hand, I heard over the grapevine that the Shiv Sainiks are planning a trip to Bangalore. Seems that there is a strong scent of decomposing cattle coming from there - someone has been slaughtering cows behind their backs :-)

Dhanush said...

This post smells of Humour Rich Literary Stuff that are broadcasted with entertaining spells of Chiri Gulikas

ROFL :)

Immigrant in Canada said...

they spoke as though they are trying to eat a mouthful of boiling hot mashed tapioca at the same time tried to speak..honestly i still don't know what they said!!
Something similar to "Usn arn djfktin i mmfoor"

Praveen said...

1500 bucks for a room freshner, thats a bit too much.

Let me tell you one thing, your posts come across as a whiff of fresh ("good smelling") air :)

Anonymous said...

I second Praveen, your posts are indeed fresh as dew :-)

...and hilarious too lol

Rita Ninan Thomas

calvin said...

=)) ROFLAO... You have these troubles too ? God, I thought it was a rare problem .

btw I fell down from my bike today morning, on the way to office........ The way I laughed now evoked sincere requests from my colleagues , ranging from " Go home , you need the rest ..you're just shaken from the mishap " to "Are you alright ? I think we should take you to Mr.Neurologist and have some tests conducted " ..

Anonymous said...

very funny...especially the part about the PM being dead..hahahaha

Anonymous said...

very funny...especially the part about the PM being dead..hahahaha

silverine said...

Arvindh: Thank you..walking into the toilet and smelling vanilla would definitely addle your brains :))

browser: I swear you are one of our PM's lol

Dhanush: Thanks buddy! Chiri Gulikas lol

Sarah: LOL Usn arn djfktin i mmfoor sounds very much like they are trying to speak with hot kappa in their mouth!!!

Praveen: Thank you :) Our Admin buys the best and in this quest he also gets conned by the best :p

Rita Ninan Thomas : Thank you dear :)

Aashik: We have these troubles too especially housekeeping staff who think that they should empty an entire can in one cubicle :p And I hope you are alright after the fall!!!!

Anon: Thank you :)

manu said...

stinking office? you ask me. it is raining here in kerala for the past one week and many of our guys are still adament about not changing their summer footwear. so you can imagine what we are going through.

Lalit Singh said...

lols
you have quite an eventful office i must say

ever seen a guy carrying handkerchiefs?
Awwww cmon!!!!

Lost in trance... said...

tell me abt it...i c pointy hairs everywer :))

Annam said...

very well written Silverine, I coudnt stop laughing.. same situation had happened where I worked too...
Does it make a difference that all these Admin Managers are men who seems to have no idea about what is a pleasant fragrance and what is too overpowering....

Sujit said...

hehe.. nice stuff on air refreshners!!.. :).. good one..

verbaltorture said...

P to V: Usn arn djfktin i mmfoor
V: What?
P: (removing the kerchief for a split second) I said you are standing on my foot !!

-- Neat !

If I tell ya, I'll have to kill ya said...

hehehehehe good job girlie.

my PM smells bad and i ususally need to take client calls with him in closed conference rooms..

uugghhh...

Jackal said...

hi ..plzz take a look at my new post urgently..n help to save some one..

Rose said...

"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."..

ROTFL..

Nice try though..

:D

..Me

Paresh Palicha said...

Did you sneeze this morning around 9.25 AM? As I entered my office I got a strong stench of lemon grass & I thought of your post.

silverine said...

Manu: Yuck!!! Poor you!

Lalit: Oh yes, I work in very stimulating surroundings :P

Lost in trance: :))

Annam: So true, they should make us gals do the shopping for air freshers, soaps and stuff.

Sujit and verbal torture: Thank you :)

If I tell ya girl:uugghhh...I have one who has bad breath too ewwwwww

Jackal: I will def check it out.

Rose: Politically correct I am :P

Paresh: hmm I think I might have!! ;)

anup.777 said...

okie this seems like a case where productivity would actually have gone up if u people had a cold ... eh?

(I know I have a wierd sense of humour ... don't mention it ... :)

Enigma said...

:PPP wht actually had happened?

venus said...

may be u should give a perfume or deo to your PM as a gift, and he'll start using it!! :)


I also have an air freshner in my cube, in case my garbage can is not emptied with food remains from the previous day... but, it's a decent one, it's a clean linen smell, and it really is just clean linen smell! You can also suggest it your office janitors :)

scorpigle said...

good as ever!

silverine said...

Anup.777:Productivity was at an all time low that day :))

Enigma: We survived the day lol

Venus: Clean linen smell sounds good! We do get good air freshners here, but my Admin is really bad in his selections :))

Scorpigle: Thank you :)

~*. D E E P A .* ~ said...

Loved your : " Oru Ancient Veera Gaatha "

For once , I have nothing to say ... :)

~*. D E E P A .* ~ said...

For once , i must say .. ur Admin did a wise thing .. but hold on .. it was he who brought in all this misery .. stupid fellow !!!!

i think he must be from the nubile mallu girl's family ... right ?

~*. D E E P A .* ~ said...

where the hell is our "LILY OF THE VALLEY " ?????!!!!????

~*. D E E P A .* ~ said...

hope u enjoyed ur ooty vacation !

Safari Al said...

brilliant. back there in college, they dont spend money on freshners. they just stop cleaning the toilets. and when that don't work...the cut the water out.

so now you can guess...!

Amit said...

Didn't realize how much i'd come to miss rading blogs until i read your post..simply great, as usual.. :)

Nirwa said...

ROFL ROFL - bloghopped here and love your writings!! Do you mind if I blogroll you without your permission?!

Nirwa (yes, that IS my name and it IS NirWa - :-) )

vib said...

:) i totally identify with this. we have have room freshener maninacs in our office too. and they love to sneak up on people and spray the damn thing all over the place, before we can say are-you-out-of-your-stinking-mind?? and then after the deed is done, they sit in their corners and take morbid pleasure in hearing us swear at them and at the room freshener. really, what sadists!!

Kusum Rohra said...

Heihesh dfresth paskktj

Kusum Rohra said...

*Removes handkercheif from the nose*

This is again a great post, some people have all the imagination :)

silverine said...

Deepa; Thank you dear:) My Admin has no taste and we have to bear the brunt of his supermarket adventurism :(

Safari AL: Brilliant tacticians, your college admins are :))

Vib: A fellow sufferer I see :) And the poeple with the worst taste in selecting air fresheners get to purchase them.

Kusum: Thank you girl :)) This actually happened. The Admin got conned lol

d_grail said...

hey some expensive perfumes..i mean parfume(with french accent) can leave you wishing for good old body odour!