Jul 28, 2010

Breath mint?

I was skimming through my archives last night looking for something (that I couldn't find, by the way) when I came across a post from last year about something I had to do when I was a corporate suit.  I had to tell a guy that he smelled bad, and, besides firing someone, it was just about the most awful conversation I've ever had in my life.

It got me thinking about another epic bad day at work, and I don't believe I've told this particular story before.  Then again, I didn't remember telling the story about the smelly guy before until last night.  So if I have, then please forgive me.  I'm getting old and forgetful.

First a little background.  I worked for a financial services company that mostly dealt with automobile loans and leasing.  We were pretty big too.  One of the larger independent leasing companies in the country at the time.  Our CFO had decided a while back to split the Accounting/Finance group between financial reporting and operations, and I was managing the reporting unit.  It was an interesting job for a while, but then we were purchased by a big bank, then merged with a bigger bank and then a bigger bank.   Corporate Hell, in other words.

After the first bank purchased us, we were told to set up an Internal Audit group.   So our CFO hired two accountants with auditing experience and assigned one of them to my group and the other to the other group.  The guy that was assigned to me was your classic no-personality auditor.  He was absolutely humorless, which was amazing since he was only in his late 20's at the time.  I couldn't stand the guy.  And not only for his lack of personality.

No...the guy had the worst halitosis I've ever come across in my entire life!

It was epic.  A living, green, destructive fog that killed everything that came across its path.  Some days were worse than others, but I remember one particular day when I just couldn't take it anymore.  He had been bugging me for a week to go over some reports that my group had been working on for a series of loan securitizations we were handling.  I put it off as long as I could, but there was no avoiding the guy.  He was like the Terminator.  With less personality and more stink.

So we were in my office and I was sitting at my desk as he stood behind me, looking over my shoulder at some work papers.  Now, I didn't mention this yet, but the poor guy also had the worst case of eczema that I've ever seen.  Particularly on his hands.  Yeah ladies...he was a catch all right!  And on this particular day, his breath was the absolute worst it had ever been.

My head and my stomach were just spinning.  I'd close my eyes for a second to try to center myself, but when I opened them his awful, gnarly hands were right there.  Pointing at this number or that number.  And his hot, fetid breath on my neck was just killing me.  I felt the nausea washing over me, and I knew it wouldn't be long before I had to excuse myself.  But I tried to hang on as long as I could.

Until...yeah...I booted.

Now, I didn't puke all over his grotesque hands and my desk.  I somehow managed to...ugh, this sounds horrible...keep it in my mouth.  But I bolted up and ran to the Men's Room.  I don't think he knew why I did, I didn't bother to check.  Thankfully, no one was there as I ran over to the sink and purged.  It was awful.  I still had the smell of his breath in my nose.  It was in my hair, in my clothes!  I couldn't get rid of it. 

So I eventually snuck back to my office and saw that the guy had left.  I immediately went to the CFO's office and told her that she had to transfer this guy to the other group.  I couldn't work with him anymore.  She tried to talk me through it, but I finally had to admit that I had just thrown up from dealing with his breath and dermatitis.  She cringed because she knew exactly what I was talking about.  But without any further prodding, she told me she would handle it.  She gave him some bullshit reason about making sure each auditor needing to know the ins and outs of both sides of the department, but really it was just because his breath stunk like death.

The woman who replaced him was no prize.  She was actually much more of an "auditor" than the stinky guy, so she made my job much harder.  But at least she didn't make me throw up in my mouth when I worked with her.

Now I work from home by myself and the only stink that bothers me is my own.  Phew!  I can get ripe sometimes!
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Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. I still don't feel bad that I got that guy transferred.

14 comments:

RW said...

mmmM. mMMMM... bhhhh.... BHHHH BWAAAAAAAUGH!!!!!

Like that?

justsomethoughts... said...

ok
that was funny
and i'm sorry you had to go through that

"He was like the Terminator. With less personality and more stink."

that's very good indeed.

B.E. Earl said...

RW - So you've done it before too?

El Duderino - The Stinkinator!

Slyde said...

I hate to break it to you, but there was NEVER an auditor there...

that was a mirror...

B.E. Earl said...

Slyde - I don't think you knew this guy. You had left the company by the time he joined us, I think. But you would've loved him. He was Frankenstein's Monster to a tee.

Heff said...

I'd rather smell a fart than chronic halitosis !!

BTW - Speaking of archives, you ought to intall "link within".

It pulls up posts I had forgotten I ever did.

Avitable said...

And they say that you can't smell your own stink . . .

B.E. Earl said...

Adam - I beg to differ. I have a manly, musky scent if I go about 12 hours without a shower. Chicks dig.

Nej said...

Oh god! We have one of those here at work as well. And, to make matters worse, not only does his breath clear a room, his cologne gives me migraines.

On a work trip in Mexico last year, I was stuck in a car with him for 2 hours. In the summer. Just a client, me, him, his breath, and his cologne.

Ugh!!

Kevin Spencer said...

Many many years ago when I still lived across the pond we had to, er, mention to someone that they might want to use deodorant in the morning. That was all kinds of awkward. Still, did the trick. No more Mr Stinky after that.

Slyde said...

why the fuck is your comments widget over on the right currently showing comments that people left on posts from 6 months ago?

B.E. Earl said...

Nej - Oh God! That sounds awful!

Kevin - Well, if you clicked the first link in the story you would see that I had to do the same thing. Awful. But it worked.

Slyde - I have no idea. I saw that it was doing it on a few other sites too, but I haven't looked into it. Hopefully it will just fix itself.

Kat said...

I used to sit beside a guy in band that had the worst BO known to man. It was a horrible mix of ripe armpit, stale smoke, grease hair and never-been-washed wool sweater. I used to sit with my sleeve covering my mouth and face and i'm still not sure it ever occurred to him what I was doing. His smell actually made my nose hurt. It would continue to ache for a time after rehearsal. God he was gross.

B.E. Earl said...

Kat - Guh...I'm gagging just thinking about it!