WHAT is that SMELL?!?

General discussions of interest to readers and fans of Harlan Ellison.

Moderator: Moderator

User avatar
Chuck Messer
Posts: 2089
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 9:15 pm
Location: Lakewood, Colorado

WHAT is that SMELL?!?

Postby Chuck Messer » Sun May 16, 2010 11:16 pm

A question I have asked far too many times lately. It's not because I work at a landfill. (I'm a cashier/scale operator in a shack next to two of the main truck scales) I KNOW what those smells are, though I usually don't get the garbage stink during the graveyard shift.

No, that question is again and again inspired by a co-worker.

You see, the guy in question, who I will call Big Baldy (tall, big, shaven-headed guy) has been the source of some nasty smells.

Thursday night, I sat down in a chair to catch the news before I started logging in the day's paperwork. As I sat there, a smell came up around me. "What is that smell?" I asked myself. It smelled like unwiped ass. I got up and sniffed the chair. Yep, Big Baldy left that wonderful smell embedded in the seat cushion -- again. I hit that cushion with Formula 409 several times and scrubbed it.

Aw, damn no. This guy not only has some major personal hygene issues, but he also chews tobacco and spits it into the waste basket. WHAT is that SMELL, I asked myself until I realized what it was. Tobacco juice and spit. Jesus Christ. He also has left flecks of tobacco spittle on the wall behind the wastebasket.

The guy has some serious problems, which includes forgetfulness, thoughtlessness and a problem dealing with other members of his own species. He was in charge of laborers and maintenance work around the landfill, with fill-in duties as a cashier.

Now, he's full-time in the scale house, on the swing shift and Jesse, who was a cashier, now has Big Baldy's job. BB has gone off on customers, calling them idiots, etc. I don't know what this guy has to do to get fired. I really don't think he's suited to a job that puts him in contact with the public.

It seems there's always ONE GUY (or gal) on our team that is a real screw-up.

Not sure what to do. He's been talked to about his habits, and he'll mitigate them for a while, but he slips back into them after a short while. His mind seems to be in orbit around Saturn. I suspect he needs couseling and medication, but someone with some authority needs to get him to do it.

Holding my nose,
Chuck
Some people are wedded to their ideology the way nuns are wed to God.

User avatar
Moderator
Site Admin
Posts: 10607
Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2006 12:17 pm
Contact:

Re: WHAT is that SMELL?!?

Postby Moderator » Wed May 19, 2010 7:56 pm

I had a roommate in college who was the nicest person in the world, a truly good soul. Big guy. Think Hurley on LOST, but with full facial fur and hornrim glasses. Stereotypical nerd, and he lived up to the stereotype nicely. He would trundle back into the dorm room at 4am, fresh from an overnight at the computer lab -- usually playing games or writing programs.

He had one issue. I believe, in the six months that we roomed together -- again, remember, nicest guy on the planet -- he bathed maybe twice. Perhaps four times if I miscounted. Bad body odor, to the point where I was asked on several occasions to talk to him and warn him that he would not be welcome in the dorm if he did not wash up.

Truly bad for me. My friends took pity and took to lighting off incense in my room on a nightly basis. So many sticks it burned my eyes at times, and my girlfriend (BC - Before Cris) insisted that our recreational time was best spent in her room or at some other more creative spots around campus. (But that's a story for another time.)

Truly wonderful guy, and it broke my heart to tell him he was offending people with his smell.

But I did.
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

User avatar
FrankChurch
Posts: 16283
Joined: Wed May 28, 2003 2:19 pm

Re: WHAT is that SMELL?!?

Postby FrankChurch » Thu May 20, 2010 7:33 am

It broke your heart? There's no excuse for not bathing, especially when you can. You should have just told him, bluntly.

Homeless people at least have an excuse.

Messer, find a big hose.

User avatar
Duane
Posts: 1579
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 8:21 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Contact:

Re: WHAT is that SMELL?!?

Postby Duane » Sun May 30, 2010 9:31 pm

Flossing is one of the easiest things in the world to do, yet too few people do it.

reddragon70
Posts: 516
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2008 5:06 am

Re: WHAT is that SMELL?!?

Postby reddragon70 » Mon May 31, 2010 7:38 am

I can sympethise completely with Mr Barber on this one. I have had one or two work colleagues in my time who have been far from nicely fragrant. One of the worst was a train driver back in the days of my youth, perhaps 18 years ago, when I was a ticket examiner on out trains. This driver smelled bad. Really bad. It wasnt just sweat, it was dirt and body odour and god alone knows what else. One very memorable day in the height of summer I was on with this chap and changed ends of the train and went into the cab. The smell.... my god it was unbelievable. It almost melted my nose hairs and shrivelled my eyeballs. I was almost physically sick it was so strong.

Anyway, I myself had to say something. So i mentioned to him that he really needed a bath and to use some deoderant. I stupidly even asked if his wife had not said anything to him. He replied that she had left him a month or two previously. Ouch.

Anyway, it turned out that he had been suffering quite badly from depression after his wifes exit and I suppose that he just lost interest in his own appearance and hygiene. Things did improve for him a little though and his issues vanished too.

User avatar
Lori Koonce
Posts: 3538
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2007 12:10 pm
Location: San Francisco California
Contact:

Re: WHAT is that SMELL?!?

Postby Lori Koonce » Mon May 31, 2010 12:22 pm

Chuck

reddragon brings up a good point. I suffer from depression, and if I'm going thru a really bout, my hygiene is the first thing to go. So, maybe you may want to ask your co-worker if he's doing all right.

If nothing else you'll have a nice opening to tell him the truth.

User avatar
Ezra Lb.
Posts: 4547
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 8:02 am
Location: Washington, DC

Re: WHAT is that SMELL?!?

Postby Ezra Lb. » Tue Jun 01, 2010 1:51 pm

Well I'm sorry, I had black bean soup last night and it works me.

Oh wait, that's not what this thread is about, is it?

Never mind. :oops:
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

User avatar
Chuck Messer
Posts: 2089
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 9:15 pm
Location: Lakewood, Colorado

Re: WHAT is that SMELL?!?

Postby Chuck Messer » Tue Jun 01, 2010 2:42 pm

I have considered the possibility that he is suffering from depression. My friend Will, who passed recently, had bipolar disorder and sometimes his personal habits could be a bit...distressing. I couldn't find it in me to get pissed off over that. In fact, I believe he began to realize he had a problem when I told him I had clinical depression and was taking meds for it.

Another friend has speculated that perhaps my co-worker, who left the police department after an injury, my have suffered a head trauma. That's why I've been reluctant to bring up the subject with him. I don't know what's going on and I don't want to pick at someone else's scabs.

Chuck
Some people are wedded to their ideology the way nuns are wed to God.

User avatar
David Loftus
Posts: 3182
Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2004 2:15 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon
Contact:

Re: WHAT is that SMELL?!?

Postby David Loftus » Tue Jun 01, 2010 2:56 pm

It's okay to pick at them.

Just don't eat them.

(Sorry. Momentary spasm.)
War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus

User avatar
Lori Koonce
Posts: 3538
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2007 12:10 pm
Location: San Francisco California
Contact:

Re: WHAT is that SMELL?!?

Postby Lori Koonce » Tue Jun 01, 2010 3:02 pm

Chuck

It's all in the manner of delivery. If you come at him with a seriously rotten attitude, then that's picking at scabs.

But, OTOH, if you come at him with genuine concern he'd probably be able to handle it.

Either way, he's gonna more than likely gonna ask why you're asking, and then you can broach the truth.

User avatar
FrankChurch
Posts: 16283
Joined: Wed May 28, 2003 2:19 pm

Re: WHAT is that SMELL?!?

Postby FrankChurch » Tue Jun 01, 2010 5:15 pm

Lori, what would you say to a date who stank?

User avatar
Lori Koonce
Posts: 3538
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2007 12:10 pm
Location: San Francisco California
Contact:

Re: WHAT is that SMELL?!?

Postby Lori Koonce » Tue Jun 01, 2010 5:27 pm

Nothing untill it became the sort of problem that Chuck is talking about

Once, I can understand, even twice depending on when you decided to go out with me and what you did for a living.

But consistantly? Then I'd speak up as kindly as I could.

User avatar
FrankChurch
Posts: 16283
Joined: Wed May 28, 2003 2:19 pm

Re: WHAT is that SMELL?!?

Postby FrankChurch » Sat Jun 05, 2010 12:04 pm

Did you talk to that guy yet Messer?


Return to “General”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests