I've contributed to perhaps the best humor compilation I've ever read. Available now on Amazon!

My second chapbook, "The Second Book of Pearl: The Cats" is now available as either a paper chapbook or as a downloadable item. See below for the Pay Pal link or click on its cover just to the right of the newest blog post to download to your Kindle, iPad, or Nook. Just $3.99 for inspired tales of gin, gambling addiction and inter-feline betrayal.

My first chapbook, I Was Raised to be A Lert is in its third printing and is available both via the PayPal link below and on smashwords! Order one? Download one? It's all for you, baby!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Now What Do You Suppose Went on in HERE…

Sometimes, I wonder what my purpose is.  Where did I come from?  Where am I going? 

Why am I here?

I had wandered away from my desk in the grips of a looming head cold.  ‘I’ll just lie down a bit,’ I said to myself, ‘just for a little while…’

… and opened a door to just one of my life’s purposes.

It is shortly after that that Liz walks by my desk.

“Hey, you want to see something gross?”  I am adjusting the top buttons on my sweater when I say this, and Liz looks at me, at the location of my hands, horrified.

“Uhhh,” she says.

I laugh.  “Oh, not me,” I say.  “The days of taking my shirt off at work are long gone, believe me…”

I lead her away from my desk.

It is gross, and I have to show someone.

If you have worked for a company of any size – and perhaps even those without size – you’ll eventually run across what is known as the “Wellness Room”.

And as an aside, there is something about “wellness” that bothers me.  I will accept “Sick Room”, “Privacy Room”, I can even accept “Pump Room”, as one wag recently put it in reference to the number of nursing mothers at work, but “wellness”, along with the national cry toward ensuring that one stays “hydrated” or, heavens help us, a recent ad campaign on “how to awesome”, leaves me frowning and pursing my lips in a disapproving manner.

I lead Liz toward the room in question, a small room with a door, a futon, a stand, a telephone – and the kind of foul stains you don’t expect at work. 

We stand in mute horror, disbelief curling the edges of our lips into what, at the briefest of glances, might appear to be smiles.

The floor is a mottled and unsightly mess, thousands upon thousands of droplets of moisture spurted in an arc from the surprisingly clean futon and then trod on by someone in rubber boots, perhaps just in from the barn.  The phone is covered in grubby prints, sticky and insolent, the kind of squalid contamination one expects to find in a place where the rooms are rented by the hour. 

It is both disgusting and, somehow, impressive.  That there are people that use this room and leave it in this condition, without reporting it to Facilities is remarkable. 

“Seriously?” she asks.  “Who sits here, making this kind of mess, without thinking to clean it up?”

I shake my head, grinning.  “The same people who leave toilet paper on the floor in the bathroom.”

Liz grins back, steps away from the room.  “I have to go boil my head now,” she says.  

And I return to my desk, head cold still on its way, but full of reason, of purpose.

“Dear Facilities,” I write, “It appears that there’s a bit of a mess in the Wellness Room…”


Shelly said...

I realized I was clenching my teeth at the end of this. Nothing like having to come upon someone else's mess.

Several of us were exposed to scabies, pink eye, lice, and the flu all in one day last week. It is times like that I wished we had a wellness room, although one so dirty might just be defeating the purpose.

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

The wellness room is in a bit of a sick mess. Squatters perhaps?

Silliyak said...

Perhaps someone thought it was a "wellmess" room, or perhaps YOU are misreading it.

haphazardlife said...

A wellness room? We've never had anything of the sort. On the other hand, we're getting a kitchen reno, so I guess we can't really ask for anything more.

The Jules said...

I bet they were in pretty fine fettle when they left though.

Simply Suthern said...

Your sick room is well named. If you aint you will be upon entering.

We have a Meditation/Relaxing room.

I've never actually seen anyone in there ans it aint difficult to notice. The walls are glass so no one feels comfortable going in there without feeling a bit exposed but we can say we have one.

vanilla said...

Almost made be barf on the keyboard, yet I remember the comment I first thought to make.

@"to awesome" I suppose, given our penchant for abusing and mangling language, that it was inevitable that someone would "verbalize" the word "awesome." *grrr*

See, that may be a worse mess than your Wellness Room was in.

Susan Williams said...

Thanks for showing me, too?

Pearl said...

Shelly, yikes, I hadn't even thought of it in those terms!

Delores, now we know where the homeless in Mpls go when it gets cold...

silliyak, I always miss the obvious. :-) (Well done, sir!)

haphazard, the last few places I've worked have had them. Excellent places if you are (cough) hungover.

Jules, ah, what I would give for the video transcript.

Simply, ha! A meditation room with glass walls! Not very conducive to meditation!

vanilla, sorry 'bout that.
And people say to me, what will happen when you run out of things to write? :-)

Susan, sorry. :-) Seriously, I started writing this and I thought, eww, what are you doing? As I tell my friends, "not every post is worth reading...)

Douglas said...

Your "wellness room" sounds like what the phone company offered for harried operators who were about to start committing mayhem with the sharpest object they could find. They called them "quiet rooms". They contained a bed/cot of some sort or a comfy sofa you could lie down on, a lamp with a low wattage light, and enough insulation that you could scream and no one further than 10 feet away could hear you.

I don't recall any suspicious stains, though.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

Euwww! Totally gross! Facilities? Heck, call a Hazmat unit! I'm always astounded at the messes people leave behind without any thought of cleaning up after themselves. Hope that head cold doesn't happen!

jabblog said...


Pearl said...

Douglas, I like that!

Dr. Kathy, as of today, that room has been scrubbed/shampooed to a high degree. It's beautiful. :-) I just don't know how it GOT so filthy and why it seemed to have STAYED so filthy.

jabblog, I know. I feel bad now.

Ian Lidster said...

Your 'wellness room' made me feel decidedly unwell. How disgusting. Nearly as disgusting as the term 'wellness'. Is the old fashioned 'sickbay' in the military now the 'wellnessbay'?

Joanne Noragon said...

In my day the wellness room was a cubicle. Kneel or sit, your choice. Naps optional. I am SO old!

esbboston said...

[I won't be making a comment today.]
[Oh, I realized that I accidentaLLy made a comment about not making a comment.]

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

The closest thing I ever had to a wellness room at any of the places I worked was basically a "fainting sofa" in the ladies' room. Ironically, we had nothing of the sort at the hospital where I worked. I mean, wouldn't you think a "wellness room" would have felt right at home there? No matter. None of us ever owned up to feeling sick, anyway. Too many needle-happy doctors around.

I'm glad your room got cleaned up. (YUK!)

Roses said...

Your Wellness Room sounds like my house.

Do Facilities do house calls?

Kana said...

"You'll probably need a five-man team - bring mops, bleach, hazmat suits and a flamethrower."

Jocelyn said...

"How to awesome" hurts me so much I can almost not tell you that I'm boiling my head now, too.

At least you wrote the message to get something done about it, though.

Gigi said...

My first thought was to yell, "No fair! We don't have a wellness room!" But after reading through I have reconsidered; especially upon realizing the slobs we have at work. God knows we don't need to give them any more areas to ruin.

Daisy said...

Ha! It's good to know your purpose at least for today.;)

Daisy said...

P.S. Hope you feel better soon. :)

Cloudia said...

what is an office?


I've forgotten. . . .

Thanks for visiting!

Aloha from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral

~ > < } } ( ° >

> < 3 3 3 ( ° >


jenny_o said...

That's gobsmackingly poor behavior. The one redeeming feature was that you were able to find your purpose again. Yay for people who get 'er done - or who get Facilities to get 'er done!

Hope your pending cold disappears quickly.

And that you got nothing worse from viewing that room.

Geo. said...

I once worked for facilities services in the mid 1970s and cleaned up many puddles of goo. Some were administrators. I became a gardener.

Rose L said...

It seems that whenever I asked who made a mess I was told "I dunno." That I Dunno character is a messy guy.

chlost said...

You MUST find a way to add this very valuable skill and purpose for your life to your resume. I believe that you could parlay this ability to get things set to right into a promotion. I'll vouch for you.

The Elephant's Child said...

Eeeeuw. Fortunately we didn't have 'wellness rooms'. Nor pump rooms since women were expected to use the toilets. We did have a sick bay. I thought it was on the gross side - but will retire defeated. And glad to be.

River said...

That's just plain disgusting and makes me wonder what the "perp's" home looks like.
We don't have a wellness room, but there is a nice leather couch in the lunch room.

Dave King said...

Gross indeed -- but for how long have Wellness Rooms been around? Can you retreat to them any time you're feeling well?

Suldog said...

Oog. I'm glad I work at a small company with no such facilities.

And, yes, "wellness" bugs me, too. The same people who started saying you could "grow" your business, I think.

Sabrina said...

Hey Pearl, I don't know if you (still) accept blog awards from the blogging community but I hope you'll accept the Liebster award! You can find it on my blog under this post:


Blog on!

Sabrina said...

Oh lol I see you've started to decline awards. Well, nonetheless, I'll leave my former comment up here in case you'd like to read why I chose to give you this award!

Inspector Clouseau said...

Yep, been there; seen that, although I generally had a clue as to who they were....