Silent but Deadly
I am sure this has happened to you: you step into an empty elevator and smell a lingering fart. Disgusted, you enter, press the button for the twenty-first floor, and hold your breath. Then the elevator slows at floor twelve. Praying the stink has dissipated you nod and half smile at the person stepping into the confined space. She immediately winces and turns her back to you. Thankfully you don’t know her.
But what if you did?
This unfortunate scenario happened to me when I was working in the corporate headquarters of a very large company in Washington DC. It was late one night and I was heading home. The building was relatively empty except for those few people who like to linger pretending to be important checking off a mental list of everyone’s departure times. You know the type – the ones who come into the office Saturday and do nothing just so they can tell everyone on Monday that they worked Saturday.
When I stepped into the empty elevator the smell of someone’s recent, and potent, flatulence nearly took my breath away. I thought about waiting for the next elevator but it was very late and I was wiped out. I was ready to go home and was confident no one would get into the elevator. I was wrong.
The elevator stopped at the next floor. My face went flush. I said to myself: “Please – not someone I know, or worse, that annoying guy who pretends to work on Saturday.” It was worse. The elevator doors opened and I was face-to-face with the CEO of the company and his driver – who knew me. I stepped back and the men stood in front of me. Both were grinning. It was the most uncomfortable twenty seconds of my career. I stepped off the elevator at the lobby (they were heading to the basement garage) and drafted my resignation letter in my head. It went something like this: “Dear Boss: Please accept my resignation as I have no future at this company. The CEO, and his driver, forever will know me as the girl who farts in the elevator.”
For all of you who think it’s okay to let it out on the elevator, please stop.