Wednesday, April 18, 2012

P is for Personnel

"When you finish filling out the paperwork, take it to Mandy in Personnel. First door on the left, past the restrooms." She smiled and walked away.

It was a temp job, doing really important things like straightening magazines and reapplying my lipstick 400 times and occasionally even answering the phone. A position for which I was required to fill out 17 forms, in triplicate. And then take them to Mandy, in Personnel.

I filled out the forms and took them on my way to lunch. Mandy's office was easy to find; a solitary door down a short hallway past the restrooms. A small brass plate marked the door, Personnel. Inside was a large desk, the surface of which was covered with knick knacks. Precious Moments figurines, snow globes, stuffed animals, and a disturbingly large statue of a unicorn on its hind legs, a fairy astride its back. The fairy wore a cowboy hat and a maniacal grin, and bore a striking resemblance to H. Ross Perot.

Above the desk, a motivational poster - a darling kitten, dangling from a tree branch. Hang in There! it read. The kitten or the fairy? I wondered.

A long credenza filled the back wall, and held pictures of Mandy on vacation (I Lost My Mind in Cabo!), Mandy at Christmas, Mandy in an ill fitting bridesmaids dress of what must have been her sister's wedding. The bride was Mandy, minus ten years and plus a big white dress. Mandy herself beamed from the photos, ruddy cheeked and big haired. She wore too much make up and too tight clothes, and appeared to be very enthusiastic about everything. In several photos, she was sticking out her tongue and holding up the Fist of Rock, the international symbol of white girls everywhere for 'Fuck, yeah! I like to party!'

I may have pictures of myself like that.

In the absence of Mandy, or any clear place to put my papers,I laid them in the chair and went to lunch. I'd have to meet Mandy some other time.

The smell hit me as soon as I walked out of her office. It was strong and dank and clearly coming from the restroom. Wondering what kind of person lays down that kind of business at work (because frankly, people should just poop at home), and vowing to steer clear of the bathroom for awhile,I held my breath and hurried down the hall.

"Take it to Mandy in Personnel," the boss said to me as I headed out to lunch the following day. Again, I found her office empty, and laid the papers in her chair. Again, I was nasally assaulted as I walked back down the hallway. Dude, someone needs to lay off the fiber!

That afternoon, I found myself in the bathroom. A modest one holer, it afforded both the privacy I require for my toileting, and all the comforts of home. A tasteful sampler hanging on the wall. Fancy soap. Paper towels that looked like real towels. Toilet paper that didn't contain butt scratching wood chips. Assorted feminine hygeine products, tucked tastefully underneath the sink. Despite these little luxuries, there was an unpleasant undercurrent; a barely there stink of rearhole that permeated the air. It seemed to waft up from the depths of the toilet itself, and bathe every surface with its foul presence.

Who was this Phantom Shitter? And what the hell were they eating that would produce a poop with that kind of staying power?

(Tune in tomorrow for the exciting conclusion!)

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