Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Why the hell do you smell like that?

You run across a wide variety of people while working in customer service. Some leave you smiling, some cursing and then there are those that can only leave you asking, Why the hell do you smell like that?!?

I feel the need to ask this question every time a certain customer comes in. I see him before he opens the door and my nose begins to twitch, I assume because it is desperately trying to escape my face.
He comes to the counter, smiling from ear to ear, anxious to order his drink.

"Hi," he says, a fedora placed haphazardly atop of a glorious mane of shoulder length crisco coated hair. He looks kinda like Jesus, if Jesus was into douchebag headwear and had a smell radiating from him, that if bottled could get terrorists to talk. It is usually at this moment of initial conversation that my eyes begin to water profusely. I am afraid that one day he will ask why whenever he arrives I begin to cry like I just saw a puppy getting hit by a firetruck.

It is highly debated what exactly smelly fedora guy actually smells like. Some say he reeks of weed, which judging by the looks of him is not unlikely. However, his smell is definitelty not solely from something that mother nature has so thoughtfully given us. Others believe that this unpleasant aroma comes from not bathing, which may also have something to do with it.

I don't know if me or my fellow co-workers will ever fully understand what exactly is working together to make this man smell like anchovies soaked in sour milk and left in a car for a few days, but it is a reality that we must face.

Even if I was in a position to tell this man that his personal hygeine leaves something to be desired, I don't know if I would. Because there is something actually endearing about smelly fedora guy. He's so nice that I'm usually struck with a pang of guilt for being such a bitch. Who am I to judge people. So what that this man isn't exactly 'so fresh and so clean clean.' It could be worse he could be one of the men who bathe in axe body spray.

I wave goodbye when he leaves and as soon as the door closes behind him, I gasp for air since I have been holding my breathe since the time of his arrival. If there is anything to be gained from my encounters with smelly fedora guy it's that I am becoming more tolerant of people who don't always fit in socially acceptable norms. That, and I can now successfully hold my breathe for 3 minutes. 

Guiness Book of World Records here I come.