Tuesday, December 13, 2005

One of the reasons I don’t wear patchouli anymore

walked into the office at 4:15 today. She was a tall, lanky woman in her early 30s, with a pale complexion, and hair dyed black and dark red. She was wearing black nail polish, army pants and black leather chaps over the army pants. Her hair was spiky; like large daggers jutting this way and that, off of her head, as if they were in protest because they are connected to her scalp. She had dark eye makeup on, and bright orange-red lipstick. Her purse was an oversized spiky thing as well, complementing her hair but the spikes on her purse were a much more subdued gray. She sat down, and her overpowering patchouli scent filled the small office and numbed my olfactory senses to anything else. She could have farted and I wouldn’t have detected it.

“Can I help you?” I inquired, secretly hoping that she could be quickly handled.

“Uh, yeah,” she languidly replied, “I like, want a clerical job, and you guys haven’t called me.”


“Well, it says in your file that you type 21 word s per minute with 11 errors, that could be part of the reason,” I open-endedly countered. “While you are here, do you want to re-take the assessment and we can record new scores?” Immediately I started kicking myself, because if she wanted to take the typing test it would probably take her forever.

“Nah, that’s fine for now.”

Whew. I was beginning to feel dizzy from the patchouli smell, the funny, nauseating feeling I get when I use too much Tilex and don’t open a window to vent the fumes. It was hard to concentrate through the process; and to complicate matters; she asked questions about everything and had a problem with or needed a clarification of everything I was telling with her. I updated her information, and then she had her resume on a floppy disk she wanted me to make a correction on and print out a copy for her file. I refuse to do this; anyone can go to a library or a Kinko’s and do this for themselves and show up prepared. My mind poisoned from her patchouli, and I caved in. I ended up printing off a copy of her resume for her, but she was a little put off I didn’t want to make the correction. This annoyed me and I told her she could go to a library or a Kinko’s and do this for herself, because I wasn’t there to do that for her, especially if she is applying for a job. After 30 excruciating, needy, extra long eon-seemingly minutes, she left to catch her bus back downtown and I was freed from the patchouli curse. The whole situation occurred in my friend’s office, and hopefully the oily scent has dissipated by tomorrow morning. She deals with the public more frequently then I do, and her office is the catchall for 1 on 1 employee or applicant interaction, and has an arsenal of fragrances, disinfectant, anti-bacterial and odor-eliminating products for all of her public related needs.

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