* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where it has been said we have a nose for news -- news of a little-discussed but worrisome workplace issue. Sniff out the fragrant thoughts of Jack Bedrosian.

Dear Olfactory-Obsessed Co-Worker

By: Jack Bedrosian

Dear Olfactory-Obsessed Co-Worker,

The other catalogers and I are becoming concerned that your interactions with your fellow office peers are becoming too, well, “smell-oriented.”

Much of our department’s interactions with you tend to very quickly spiral into a discussion regarding a particular smell — or smells — that we have, to a person, found to be totally (the conversations that is) unappealing, and borderline inappropriate.

Also it is my understanding that this issue has been broached with you before now, only to be met with — as one disgruntled colleague put it — “bullshit qualifications” on your end, really exacerbating our situation here. I’ve been told that a common response to these accusations is your insistence that your nostrils are much too large — perhaps freakishly so — along with a yet-to-be-supported claim that you can in fact fit a regulation size table tennis, or “ping-pong,” ball in at least one of them. This is of course compounded by the fact that you, according to yourself, sport a nose that can only be described as “mousy,” making the utter hugeness of your nostrils seem greater still, while simultaneously causing an intensification of any and all smells due to the large intake capacity of these (apparently) overwhelming blowholes you have smack dab on your face paired with the regrettably tiny and under-equipped nasal cavity that you have been so humorlessly dealt.

Now, I am aware that it is highly unorthodox and generally frowned upon to comment on an employee’s appearance, but I, on behalf of the cataloging department, feel that it is nothing short of an absolute, unquestionable, and simply undeniable necessity, to let you know that you, despite your protestations, have a PERFECTLY NORMAL-LOOKING NOSE. Admittedly, I personally have not seen your nostrils, or rather — have not observed them in any great detail, but I imagine the very fact that I have yet to notice them in any way would strongly suggest that they are indeed very ordinary nostrils. If anything, you may be dealing with a certain type of nasal dysmorphia, but honestly that isn’t a problem that we can afford to add to your list of self-imposed grievances — at least not at this time. Speaking of lists of grievances — there is one, actually.

Below, you will see the contents of the office “Suggestion Box” from just this past month and, as you can see, the majority of them are not at all comments or suggestions as much as they are complaints concerning this very issue to which you are most central. To wit:

“I don’t believe that her doctor prescribed her pescetarianism. I just don’t believe it. She should be required to provide a note.”

“Does my scent really resemble a Callery pear? Semen-ish, you say? Is this an office issue I’ve been kept in the dark about?

“Her choice in odd lunch cheeses is getting so bad that a replacement of the break room carpet is now an inevitability. I liked that carpet, it had pizzazz.”

“Honestly, I’m not sure whose face I have to sit on to get a working computer around here. By the way what’s up with Nose Lady?”

Perhaps the easiest way to begin addressing this issue would be an honest examination of your daily office vocabulary. Based on anecdotal evidence from just about all of the other catalogers your, how shall we say, “liberal” use of particularly unpleasant words such as “odor,” “stench,” and various derivations of “stink” (stank, stunk, etc.) is simply staggering. I personally find just typing these words in the same paragraph to be mildly nauseating, and can say with some certainty that I will probably be skipping lunch in order to deal with a now inevitable facial twitch I feel coming on from all the frowning and nose-scrunching that’s been required to type this (hopefully) cogent point I am trying my best to make on behalf of the office at large.

I hesitate to even send this e-mail, as I fear it may only perpetuate your obsessive behavior and further ingrain a vicious cycle that I am very much attempting to derail. I want to be clear that we are ready and willing to do whatever it takes to help you through this, but it is really quite necessary that you bring this preoccupation with your nose to an end. The cataloging department is, frankly, up in arms. Please stop.

With all the sincerity that can conceivably be mustered,

A Caring Co-Worker


* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where you will almost always receive exactly the same treatment whether you are handicapped or non-handicapped. And when we say "almost always," we mean you should let Jack Bedrosian explain it to you.

An Open Letter To Non-Handicapped Patron Of Handicapped Bathroom Stall

By: Jack Bedrosian

Dear Non-Handicapped Patron,

It is at this juncture in our unique relationship that I feel I must bring to light an issue that has been bothering me for some time now.

You are not handicapped.

As I am sure you are well aware, I am generally reserved for those with some sort of disability that may disqualify them from my peers’ services. Surely, this cannot be news to you.

Why then, as a perfectly able-bodied person, do you insist on using me when there are three other perfectly good bathroom stalls that could accommodate you? I see many other humans use them throughout the day and I assure you they do just fine.

There are a few reasons in particular that I feel this may be the case, and I would like to address them with you now.

  1. Proximity. I understand that I am the closest stall to the door, but again, that is to serve the physically less fortunate. It is in no way a subliminal strategy on my part to subconsciously ingrain myself into your daily post-lunch routine. I would appreciate you using the very functional, non-handicapped legs the good lord gave you.
  2. Image / Convenience. It is clear to me that you are appropriating the handicapped experience. Why? No seriously, of all the things you could appropriate, why this one? Is it strictly so that you can use whatever bathroom you please?! Either way, rest assured that this will not increase your status or popularity. Quite the opposite, actually.
  3. Privilege. I’ve noticed that often when you use my services you do so standing. STANDING. Need I remind you that many of the handicapped patrons I deal with wish they could stand, and would give an arm and a leg (pun not intended) in order to have the pleasure of using an actual urinal. Check your urinary privilege. Also it simply must be said that you are much too nonchalant penis-wise. As in, your clean-up job is horseshit.
  4. Space. I understand that I am generally larger square feet-wise than my colleagues. However, I would implore you to really think deep down as to why you need more space when using the bathroom. Is this your ego talking? I can assure you that no genitalia are┬áSO big as to require a larger bathroom stall — and I’ve seen quite a few. Do you use this time to practice knitting or drawing and the elbow room is insufficient? Perhaps you are just doing it wrong.

It is my request that from this point forward I be treated with the same respect as a close friend of mine with whom I believe you are quite familiar, Handicapped Parking Spot. Something tells me you don’t ever use Handicapped Parking Spot. The reasons for which are unimportant. Okay, yes, admittedly there are certain legal provisions asserted against your parking dominion, but I will have you know that at the present I am wading through a sizeable amount of paperwork that will make the pushing through of comparable jurisdictional revisions a mere inevitability. I have been assured by a very impressive-sounding young intern that legislation is indeed pending.

Needless to say, I hope it doesn’t come to that.


Handicapped Bathroom Stall