Monday, August 08, 2005

Office Funk

There's this one stretch of hallway in the office that occasionally stinks. Of body odor. Amber and I were returning from lunch a while back the first time we encountered the smell. As we entered the funk zone, both of us simultaneously looked at each other with scrunched up faces. "Oooh, girl...someone is musty up in here," Amber whispered. Indeed.

Well, today, as I was sitting at my desk, the funk spilled into my cube. I sniffed my armpits, momentarily worried that the foul smell might actually be emanating from me. It didn't seem to be. I crawled over to Amber's cube -- she was smelling it too. "Is that the BO?" I asked, pointing in the direction of the usually offending section of hallway. "No," she said, "it's the hot dogs."

Oh, right. Today was Hot Dog Day. Hooray! Hot Dogs! I'm a vegetarian! (Yeah, I'm a veggie...I know, it made the whole chitlins nonsense that much more charming). I had forgotten, but we'd gotten a memo last week saying there would be a free hot dog lunch today to celebrate some kind of company milestone. Regis underwrote its 20 kabillionth dollar and the employees get thanked with free hot dogs. But two per person only -- there was a strict limit, according to the memo. You would also get one bag of chips.

They had distributed a schedule of time slots for when you should claim your dogs according to last names (but the slots didn't go in alphabetical order -- it was randomized, to be fair). Just in case we had missed the memo on what time we were supposed to go to the lunch room, some woman sent mass emails to the entire company at 15 minute intervals. This is the actual header from one of her emails:

To: !Regis Houston
Subject: Lunchroom is ready for M-N-O. Please enter the lunchroom on the boardroom side and exit by the mailroom. Thanks. Jean
Importance: High

When my slot came up, I asked Amber to come with me to the lunch room even though it wasn't her time yet. She was more than happy to oblige ("Big girls gotta eat!"). She's never one for following Regis rules anyhow -- she was wearing jeans today, despite the memo's postscript reminder that the dress code would not be relaxed for Hot Dog Day. (She also wore jeans on the $3 Jeans Day two weeks ago -- but she didn't pay the $3, which was supposed to go towards the very charitable cause of the Regis Social Activities Committee.)

Inside the lunch room the hot dog stench was unreal. I went straight to the chips table to get the only thing I wanted. Some lady in charge of pedestrian flow pointed out that I was supposed to stand in the hot dog line first. I told her that I was vegetarian and just wanted to get my chips. I turned to the chips table and who was standing there but the great white wonder, Mike.

"Vegetarian?!" he exclaimed in a tone that conveyed confusion more than disbelief. "Yeah, I uh...don't eat meat," I explained. "You don't eat meat?!" He shook his head in disdain. Clearly I had shirked my duties as an American by refusing to eat a cylinder of re-constituted pork/beef/raccoon/mystery meat. Oh right, I forgot, I'm not an American. "They must not even have meat in her country," he was probably thinking.

I grabbed my chips and started heading for the door before too many hot dog odor particles clung to my sweater. Please understand, to a vegetarian, hot dog scent might as well be BO. Mike called after me. "Hey, since you're not going to eat your two hot dogs, can you get them and give them to me?" He gestured towards the hot dog line (which was now snaking outside the lunch room door, the S-T-U last names having joined in). I stared back at Mike -- this time I was the one in disbelief.

Oh...(excuse me, Mike, while I have a Whitney Houston moment)...hell to the no!


Blogger DD said...

Thanks for checking out my blog Kim Yours is pretty cool.

August 09, 2005 3:08 AM  
Blogger Joe & Julie said...

LOL, I feel ya on the "hot dog aroma"....funny post. ;)

August 09, 2005 6:07 AM  
Blogger hanmee said...

I love a good hot dog every now and then, but I can understand your dissatisfaction with the smell. Sometimes I will hesitate to eat a hot dog because it will ALWAYS repeat on me. Even many hours later.

Re not even have meat in her country. HA. You can only imagine the number of dog jokes I hear about Koreans.

August 09, 2005 6:08 AM  
Blogger FreakinRican said...

I'm not a vegetarian and the hot dog stench affects me the same way it affects you. I guess I can just put it away long enough to eat it!

August 09, 2005 7:37 AM  
Anonymous War said...

Silly vegetarians.

August 09, 2005 10:32 AM  
Blogger sJea said...

hell to the naw...i'm laughing...

August 09, 2005 11:02 AM  
Anonymous shell said...

I can't believe this company sends e-mail memos for Hot Dog Day (or the fact they even have a "HOT DOG DAY") and a $3 Jean Day.

Are you sure this is not a made-up company? That you're not filmed on tape (e.g. Jamie Kennedy Experiment, Candid Camera, some lame ass Office Space reality show)?

August 09, 2005 12:15 PM  
Blogger ~Deb said...

Haha! Mystery meat is definitely a great way to describe hot dogs.

You know, I always thought it was great that companies influenced their employees to give to charity,---but to bribe them so they can wear jeans? I never understood that. The call center I worked for had those---bring $5 and you can wear jeans. For the love of God--we didn't even know what charity we were giving it to! We just wanted to slum around. Isn't that sad?

Anyway, I hear you on the 'musty' smell, when hot dogs are brewin'--but I also have encountered the 'real musty stank' of someone who just forgot to bathe. Hmm..Cubicle fuems...ugh.

Great write up! Thanks for the laugh!

August 09, 2005 2:31 PM  
Blogger Olivia said...

Shell - not made's *Houston*...need I say more?

August 09, 2005 5:10 PM  
Blogger hanmee said...

Forgot to add a sentiment that my husband reminded me of when I told him about this post: cheap asses!

We're on a contract with one year awarded and 4, 1-year options. We just found out that we got the option award for the coming year (begins Oct. 1). Of course this is subject to appropo funding allocations by the feds. We are having a potluck, but the company is providing cake and champagne. OOOH.

August 10, 2005 5:23 AM  
Blogger Tanisha said...

OMG KIM.. Girl you are a mess. LOL. Hell to the NO.... LOL.. Yeah it is wierd tonot to want to eat meat here in this state. When I say I don't eat pork, I get really wierd stares. Like WHY??? None of your damn business.. Anyhow, where are you from exactly? Now I am curious... Have a fun day at work...

August 10, 2005 9:29 AM  
Blogger ... jacek ... said...

okokok, so I'm not a vegetarian by any means, I quite enjoy dead animal and all that other wholesome goodness, but as someone who tends to eat vegetarian 3-5 times a week (too much meat makes me heavy), and moreso eat healthy, the smell of "hot dog" is outright nauseating. Kudos on not subjecting youself to more processed mystery meat particles :)

August 10, 2005 11:36 AM  

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