Alan Smith was a 40 something, single, never been married, Accounts Administrator.
He kept mainly to himself at work, though in an office of nearly 30 colleagues, he wished he could get to know his co-workers. Unable to, Alan not only felt alone in his personal life but in his work life as well.
It was a Tuesday in mid August. Alan sat at his desk, read his latest memo to do with the boss wanting to see him at 1.30pm. Brett Parker was the firms Senior Manager but Alan thought nothing of it and just carried on with his day’s work.
“Hi Alan, come in, take a seat”
Obediently he sat down and that’s when the unexpected, shocking blow came.
“Alan we’ve had several complaints from your co-workers”
Feeling anxious and not wanting to even dare ask what this was about – he adjusted his now tight collar and thought he had best say something.
“About what Mr.Parker? I do my job well, I’m always on time and I never have missed a day; Is there something I have overlooked? Is my work not satisfactory?”
“It’s not about your work Alan. How can I put this:
Your personal hygiene is upsetting the other members of the team”
Brett held his gaze on Alan’s eyes who swallowed back a choke. Yes he was large in size and quite flabby, but ‘offending’ his co-workers on that just didn’t make sense. He actually couldn’t understand their issue with him.
“They are complaining that there is an awful stench in the office, especially it being so warm, and it is coming from you. I’m afraid the guys simply cannot tolerate it any longer”
Stench? What stench? Automatically Alan sniffed his armpits; he couldn’t smell anything. This isn’t about his supposed smell, it’s about his work and Parker hasn’t got the balls to tell him the truth.
“I don’t smell!” He retorted.
“Alan, look, we’ve discussed the matter and decided it’s time to let you go”
He stood up, looked at Parker – yelling so load that the whole office could hear him:
“This is not the last that you will hear from me. Expect a letter from my Lawyer on the grounds of a bullshit unfair dismissal. You’ll pay for this!”
“Come on Al, it needn’t come to that” Brett said suddenly acting all chummy.
But Alan was indignant.
“I’ll see you in court”.
About a week later after some seriously heavy drinking Alan wondered that maybe they were right, he did stink. He read that some people simply cannot smell their own odour – obviously that was the case and the answer as to why he could never mingle with his colleagues and have a girlfriend.
It was time to change.
He washed every single item he owned; the bed sheets; got cleaners in to freshen his place, everything he could to get rid of the stench ( which he still couldn’t smell). He took a shower every morning, went out for a jog to lose his weight and then showered when he came back.
Alan was now a new man.
They actually did him a favour. He’d lost a ton of weight – toned, not flabby anymore. He was clean and looked happy now at his own reflection. Opportunities can come from unlikely places, Alan thought, even the negative ones.
The Paramedics were at the scene within 4 minutes after dispatch had reported of a hit and run.
Alan was dead.
The car had hit him while he headed for the Park. He was full of life and looking forward to his morning jog. So wrapped up in his own happiness he just never heard the car coming.
Cathy shook her head.
“What an effing waste. He obviously took a hell of a lot of pride in himself”
“Yeah, good looking guy”. The other Medic said.
“What an effing waste” Cathy repeated again.
“You know how fussy I am when it comes to men Matt?
“But this guy?
I sure wouldn’t of minded a date with him”.
“Next time Cath”.
* * *
Prompt from Three Word Wednesday – Flabby, Indignant & Stench.