I used to work in a grey cubicle as a payroll clerk. Two cubes away from me sat the Tampon Lady.
I don't remember the Tampon Lady's name. I only remember how much I hated sharing work space with her. She was nice enough. She did her job and had no annoying habits that I recall. There was, however, one issue, and I never figured out how to address it. They just don't cover stuff like this in business college.
She kept a super-size box of Playtex Deodorant Tampons in her desk drawer. It had to have come from Sam's Club to be the size that it must have been. I never saw the tampons but I know they were there and I imagine every person that worked on that floor knew the tampons were there.
Playtex Deodorant Tampons have a distinctive odor. If you have ever smelled one, you will always be able to recognize the sickening, flowery scent that they are saturated with. I can smell them in a strange woman's closed purse when she walks by me at the grocery store. And I could smell them in my co-workers desk.Monday through Friday, I smelled them, week after week. She kept them there all the time, not just at her time of the month. I was assaulted be the tampons as soon as I arrived at work each morning and I left work in the evening with the scent apparently stuck to the hairs inside my nose. I was not free of it until I had been out of the office for several hours in the evening.
I will admit that I have a more sensitive sense of smell than the average person. That's surprising since I have been a smoker for many years. Still, the tampons were a menace and made for a hostile work environment if there ever was one.
I am allergic to flowery perfumes. I can't walk through the perfume department at a department store without becoming ill. I can not read magazines that have perfume samples in them. I used to take the stairs instead of the elevator even when I worked on the 16th floor of an office building so that I wouldn't be in a crowded elevator with someone who had marinated themselves in perfume and spend the rest of the day with a migraine.
So this was a problem for me and I didn't know how to address it. Luckily, I got pregnant and had to quit my job. I wonder if the Tampon Lady still works there.
This article was inspired a blog entry I read earlier today.
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