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Donna Gets it Right ----

8-26 -02

The Worst Co-Worker in the World ---

Ever had a co-worker who was just too disgusting to be around? My girlfriends and I get together every few months, and the subject of co-workers always comes up.It's become a contest of sorts -- who has the best story (i.e., the worst co-worker). I've won a couple of times. Easily. Hands down. By a mile. Well, sometimes -- you get the idea.

My winner flosses her teeth at her desk -- the desk that anyone entering our building would be first to see, since she's the receptionist, among other things. Sometimes she brushes her teeth while she's talking to me. I'm averting my eyes, looking at the ceiling, my shoes -- anything so I can avoid looking at that foaming volcano of Colgate, spit and spew, and praying it doesn't hit me in the face or land in my hair. Sorry if that paints a nauseating picture, but you can see why I've won.

My friend, Fe, has the greatest worst co-worker stories. She worked with one lady who made hamburgers for people in the office. What's wrong with that, you ask? How about bringing them to the office in her purse, wrapped in a napkin. Mmmm yes, delish. I'll have mine without lint, please. Fe had another co-worker whose son would come to the back door of the office and ring the buzzer to get in. There was a security camera at the back door so you could see what was going on. When she didn't open the door right away, he would put his mouth on the buzzer and whine, "Mumma, come onnnnnnn." Uh, Lysol anyone? Fe once had to share a cubicle with a guy who constantly snorted. He never used tissues, just his sleeve. He came with a bonus, too -- never washed his hair. You see. Fe wins a lot.

Another friend of mine was a supervisor in a large office. Having to bring to someone's attention their lack of personal hygiene was worse than firing them. People complained daily about the smell wafting from a fellow co-worker's cubicle. My friend delicately asked if there was a problem that perhaps could not be helped. The woman quite matter of factly said that she did not have time to shower. No time to shower? Never?

Then there was the Close-Talker (Seinfeld ref.). He liked to ask lots of questions, but only after eating fresh Jalapeno peppers at his desk. Take 10 Altoids and buzz me in a half an hour, buddy.Then there is the other end of the spectrum. Too much perfume. When I worked in cubicle-land, one woman wore so much that when she left the office, her perfume hung around for a good 10 minutes. She was beautiful, always dressed to the nines. But she used enough Calvin Klein Obsession to choke an elephant. Sinuses closed up at the mere sight of her. Asthmatics ran for cover. You knew she had been on the elevator -- even if she wasn't at work that day.

We all have stories about strange co-workers. Let's just hope they don't have any about us. So, please: make time to shower, not too much perfume, and floss in the privacy of your own bathroom.

- D


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