Thursday, May 5, 2011

Welcome To The Glades Of Hell

In the great cycle of corporate life, we have returned to the "air fresheners in the bathrooms" stage.

Let me explain something about this building. This isn't a bus station filled with thousands of travelers who haven't had access to a shower in days and who have been forced to eat questionable food from roadside stands and have the GI distress to prove it. This building is lightly stocked with professionals (more or less) who may have questionable eating habits, but it's by choice. The bathrooms are cleaned thoroughly in the evening, and tidied up at some point after lunch. In other words, these bathrooms are pretty darn clean.

Yet every few years the facilities management people decide that what we need is air fresheners, and lots of them. They install them, a bunch of people complain, the vandalism of the air fresheners starts, they stop restocking them, and eventually they take them down. We've gone through at least two or three cycles since I've been there.

The most memorable models were the ones mounted at eye level around the bathroom that squirted out a mist every minute or so. My cubicle neighbor Jon got in trouble when they finally realized that he was the one removing all the batteries after they went through and restocked them every day.

This time around they installed an industrial strength air freshener (with no batteries) in every stall. That's four air fresheners in a fairly small space, or at least twice the recommended installations based on the website from the company that sells these things. It's not too bad while there's a fair amount of traffic during the day, but after about six PM I'm usually the only woman in the building. Then the "precise dose of pure designer fragrance, odor neutralizer, and air freshener" builds up to the point that I'm hit with a palpable miasma when I open the door. It's so strong that it actually hurts my throat.

After waiting a week in vain to see if the things would calm down, I finally did what I do best (or at least most): I complained to Rvan. He passed along my complaint to the facilities person, and she sent back mail saying there wasn't any way to control the things -- the only way to decrease the stench would be to get rid of one or more of the units. Rvan replied to her that the solution was fine and thanked her.

Of course, it's now been a few more days and all four dispensers are still on the wall in the women's restroom. In the meantime, Jon tells me that he "heard" that the dispensers can be removed by sliding them towards the ceiling, and he also "heard" that a few of them have somehow ended up in the trash in the men's bathroom. Purely rumors, of course.

I think it might be time for the rumors to hit the women's bathroom as well...


jeff said...

It's not every day that you run across "palpable miasma".

Popcorn is not a questionable food, is it?

Theresa B (of Nebulopathy) said...

It is every day if you enter the women's bathroom at about 8 PM.

I don't think popcorn really qualifies as a "food". It's more of an edible packing material.