Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Thugs Downstairs

Ya know… what people decide to do to themselves, or how they choose to treat their own bodies… that’s none of my business. As long as they aren’t hurting or bothering other people, their fine. In my, never to be humble, opinion. But when their choices come into contact with the choices of others, the unhealthier of the two choices must take a back seat to the other.
Case in point, I work for a great small company, with great people. We’re all considerate of each other, we get along, I would even go so far as to say that most of the people at work, I consider friends. A few years ago, the company bought a small office building, with a small tenant space, and for the first couple of years we rented to a small civil engineering company. They shared our values; we had respect for one another. We got to know quite a few of the people over there. Then, they got a bit large for the space, and bought a building of their own.
Now, we’re renting to a call center. It’s hell. The company has a 70% per day turn over rate. The people they hire are rude, they’re dirty, and they smoke like chimneys. When I walk outside to go to my car, for lunch or to go home… there they are, gathered around the building’s door, in a cloud of smoke, looking and acting like thugs.
My boss is counting the days until their lease (1 year) runs out and he can kick them to the curb.
I could put up with the thugery if it weren’t for the smoke. You see, I’m an asthmatic. Before their coming, I would use my inhaler maybe once every other week… now it’s daily. My office is directly above them and the smell is drifting up through the floors. It’s not like we can move my office to another part of the building because when we built the office building, my office was designed with special cable runs and wiring for large format plotting and computer systems. So to try to move my work area would be a major undertaking.
Boy, I’m complaining a lot today aren’t I.
We’ve all been trying to come up with a way to subtly let them all know that they stink, and that we would like them to go away.
So far we have:
Buy a butt-load of Glade plug-ins and fill every outlet in their space. We can double them up it if we get the ones with the extra outlet.
We could make a big sign informing them of their offensive odor. Something subtle. It could say… “TAKE A BATH YOU FREAKS!” Subtle enough?
We could make a few garlands out of those pine-tree air fresheners, and “deck the halls” with them.
Encapsulate them in plastic.

I guess I’ll have to stock up on inhalers and wait until their lease runs out. How long do they have? 9 months and 11 days?


Witness said...

You could try this trick: Put a big sign on the wall, two or three of them, where they smoke, that has a big red picture of fire and that boldly reads "flammable gas." Then, put a little speaker where they can't hear it that sounds like an air leak. Maybe that will stop the smoking outside. As for the "smelly employees" fight fire with fire. Pipe all of your bathrooms vent fans into their work space and encourage your employees to eat mexican for a month straight. Then leave anonymous leaflets in call center that say "tired of smelling my poo? Quit smoking!"
Or, better yet, from what I understand, public flatulence is not outlawed as of yet, so make a policy and procedure for your work that all flatulence must be done openly at the call center within 6 inches of an employee that smokes. Maybe an incentive program for those that flatulate frequently would prove useful as well...
Think outside the box
I could work

bindyinslc said...

Doesn't Utah have some sort of a law regarding smoking in/around the workplace. I would start complaining big time to the landlord. Call OSHA or something. There has to be some law that can protect your place of business. That really sucks, and for another year??

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