The US Social Security Administration reprimanded an employee last month for allegedly creating a “hostile work environment” by regularly passing gas at the office, according to an official letter sanctioning the worker.
The reprimand letter, which came from the agency’s Office of Disability Operations, cited 60 documented instances of the worker passing gas in his office over about 12 weeks The episodes occurred as much as nine times a day, according to a log the employee’ssupervisors created after his alleged offenses continued for more than three months.
According to the reprimand letter, the man told a supervisor in July that he would start turning on a fan in his work space, but the manager said such action would only “cause the smell to spread and worsen the air quality in the module.” —stuff.co.nz
Nine farts a day? Piker. I’m good for 9 farts before I even get to work, and that’s after my morning dump. Depending on how old and strong the coffee is, I might emit another dozen smoking eruptions before noon, and I’m not talking little white puffs of vapor, either. Thai-steamed tofu for lunch? Claire de lune, as the French say (trans: “Clear the saloon.” Also, “I surrender.”)
I imagine the thinking of the Social Security Administrators, which after all is a governmental level of management, is that those farts represent their employee’s intellectual property, doubtlessly his most productive output, and as such, belongs to them. Like management anywhere, their attitude is, “We Own Your Ass,” and therefore anything that exits it is their property as well.
Personally, I don’t enjoy farts, not mine, not yours, certainly not my dog’s. And in a long career that includes sharing cramped spaces with many co-workers, I’ve traded my share of emissions. I’m here to tell you there are worse olfactory experiences. Cheap perfume. Mentholated chewing tobacco. Sour apple bubble gum. Right Guard in a sweating unwashed armpit soaking through a 2-day old football shirt. Hair spray/hair tonic/hair gel. Stale cigarette smoke breath. Old people. Horny women.
And did you ever notice how kids smell like ass?
Please spend the day carefully composing and posting your favorite fart-in-the-workplace stories and other tales of olfactory horror. The best one wins a free lunch of refried beans with onions, a hardboiled egg, and a dark beer. For you and a friend, presumably a close one.