October 2, 2018

the well-meaning skunk-placer

(I need to insert a preface here because it wasn't really a skunk, because nobody would actually put a skunk in a women's bathroom in a public place, although if I searched hard enough on the Internet for "somebody put a skunk in a public bathroom" I would inexorably be proven wrong on that point.  It was lavender.  I've mentioned that lavender is an extremely strong trigger smell for me because I was using potently-scented lavender body wash during the time of my son's illness and death seventeen years ago.  It might as well be skunk.)

Somebody put a skunk in the women's bathroom on my floor of our office building.  I know it's a skunk, even though it looks like one of those Lysol auto-dispensing air freshener machines that goes pssshhhhhhhhhhht out of a nozzle every five minutes.  I understand they were trying to be helpful because maybe they came in one day and someone had dropped off some particularly lively friends at the pool five minutes earlier, and the affected person decided to be proactive about it and buy this air freshener.  (My life appears to continue to be governed by actual shit.)

What I don't understand is what possessed her to place it right in front of where people stand to crank out a wad of paper towel to dry their hands.  It blends in with other nondescript objects on the counter, making it a nearly invisible white plastic skunk.

I stood there drying my hands today and suddenly got sprayed by the lavender skunk.  It got all over my arm and the left side of my dress.  I washed my arm vigorously, realized it had coated my dress, and held my shit together long enough to retrieve some musty clothes in the back of a file cabinet drawer that I keep for those rare occasions when I hit the gym upstairs.  I emerged from the bathroom after changing wearing wrinkled black leggings with lint all over them, a bright neon pink mesh top, and a facial expression that would have curdled milk.

Strangely, the lavender affected me so powerfully that it turned all my thought away from where my thought should have been firmly aimed, which was interacting with the inanimate object that had done this to me in a destructive fashion, with malice aforethought.  I've watched that video where someone throws an aerosol can into the spinning blade of a lawn mower, so I know that I couldn't merely run over this thing with my car.  I wouldn't have a chance afterward to explain that it wasn't suicide, in spite of how things were going last week, because who would actually want to die in an exploding car?  But Jesus in a Macy's parade, the revenge would feel good, at least before the flames happened.

Fine.  I talk a good game, but I'm a complete wuss and will end up moving it with a strongly worded note, at worst, or finding the culprit donor and reimbursing her for the thing so I can then throw it in the trash can with not a little satisfaction, at best.

No, even that's not wussy enough for me.  I'll probably turn it off and move it for now, then buy some not-lavender canisters for it and let whoever put it there (when I find them) know that I can't do the lavender gig.  See how amazingly bad-ass I am?  I have a sneaking suspicion that it's the lady who works down the hall from me, the one who sells Avon and is always putting apple hand soap containers in there to save us all from the Pink Mystery Liquid in the dispensers.

I just have to work out how to maintain a good working relationship with her while somehow pointing out that you don't just unthinkingly aim shit that goes pssshhhhhhhhhhht right at innocent people.  Or even at people like me.

1 comment:

  1. It's OK to be a wuss regarding confrontation in the workplace. Professionalism is all about how well one masks her rage at things her coworkers do. :D

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