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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Have You Tried Breathing Through Your Mouth?


Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to Construction in the Workplace!  It’s me again, Dirk Hardly, VP of HR, here to talk to you about construction, destruction, and how air quality is something only crybabies worry about.

Air quality schmair quality!  What good are medical benefits if they’re never put to the test?  Am I right?

Yessir, it’s a trying time for us here at Acme Grommets and Napkins.  With the merger of several locations, we’ve been tested, and repeatedly.  Thought your cubicle was small before?  Would you believe bunk-cubicles?  How about the way that you’ve always expected a chair to yourself?  Ha!  What’s that about?  Too good to sit on your ol’ pal Dirk’s lap?

The truth is that there’s no getting around it, is there?  What we have here is a trade-off situation:   that is, you come to work – no matter what the conditions – and we give you money.  And if we should also happen to be cutting sheetrock and making the offices around you into many, much smaller offices, well, what’s it to ya, buddy?

Let us welcome this challenge.  Let us suck in our guts, turn sideways, pin our arms closely to our rib cages and welcome our new colleagues with a chorus of the Acme Grommets and Napkins’ corporate cheer:  Two! Four! Six! Eight!  Who do you appreciate?  Anyone connected with keeping a roof over my head!  Anyone connected with keeping a roof over my head!

Seriously, though, folks, we here at Acme Grommets and Napkins, we’re made of sterner stuff.  Inhalers?  Nebulizers?  Whattayuz, a  bunch of complainers?  No, sir.  NO, SIRREE, BOB.   Why, when the pioneers crossed the highways of this great land, who do you think led the way?  Who led the charge up San Juan Hill?  Who tossed the first measles-laden blanket?  Who ate their coworkers when caught in a snowstorm between mountains?  Who put the bop in the bop-she-wah – no, wait. 

Different meeting.

The answer, of course, is that we did.  Well, not us so much but those that came before us, people without fear, people without limits, people without the healthcare or access to dentistry that we've all become so fond of.

And there you sit, you with your concerns about air quality.

Seriously.  You folks should be ashamed.

Now let’s get out there and wheeze ourselves into a new era of prosperity!

We’re relying on you.

27 comments:

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

Cough...hack....wheeze..... Actually, I've lived through workplace construction and Pearlie Girl you are right on the button...corporate doesn't give a rats a** about how it affects their workers health. Just get in here and get the job done, park your oxygen tank at the door with the rest of them.

Pearl said...

Delores, you would think it would be counterintuitive, wouldn't you? Poisoning one's workers?

savannah said...

it isn't counter-intuitive at all, sugar! it's called passive culling of the workforce which is immediately followed by aggressive hiring of a much lower paid workforce. corporate uses it it all the time!
xoxoxoxo

Pearl said...

savannah, you frighten me -- because I've seen it before...

Simply Suthern said...

Just pull your skirt up over your nose and keep at it. It's in the employee manual.

Perpetua said...

This takes me back a long way to memories I would rather not recall. :-) Rebuilding a library after an arson attack gave rise to some very similar incidents. Helppppp!

Pearl said...

Simply, LOL! Off to check the manual...

Perpetua, Oooh, that would be horrible!

Mitchell is Moving said...

I worked for this company! (Aha. Acme Grommets is a pseudonym!)

Perpetua said...

It was, Pearl, it was......

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Every where in the world these places are. Banks, Libraries, Acme Grommetelliers... Sadly, Savannah is right, it usually precedes 'tree shaking'.

I wore a gas mask in one situation of similar conditions. Yes, long ago I practiced for the "silliest looking chook in the house". (That will make more sense if you read today's Meno!) None of THEM had asthma - though of course several ended up with many a cough and wheeze as you rightly point out.

Hang in there honey - gas masks can be found in army rejects stores and DIY departments. In case you need to know 8*> YAMxxoxo

Christian at Point Counter-Point Point Point said...

Oh sure, they supply you with free air for years and you never even say thanks but once they contaminate it a little, all of a sudden it's "Hey get your free air our of hear!"

goatman said...


I've often wondered where grommets were made.

Scarlet Blue said...

I have worked somewhere where I had to virtually sit on someone's lap... thankfully they gave us packets of Polos as compensation.
Sx

Joanne Noragon said...

I worked in a place that grew too small to hold everyone. They build a new facility. That was 1) the good old days and 2) merely ten years to acquisition and extinction.

Be tough, I guess.

jenny_o said...

I feel for you. There is very little that's worse than being subjected to unclean air and having no choice, realistically speaking, whether to stay or go.

As for sitting on Mr. Dirk Lordly or Hardly or whoever's lap that is - DON'T DO IT!

Stephen Hayes said...

Whining about air quality? Love the sarcasm.

Shelly said...

Yeah, that Dirk always makes me suspicious...

Douglas said...

You haven't lived until the company engages in asbestos removal, Trust me. In two offices. the second one followed by a vigorous duct cleaning. After which, I developed a mysterious lung infection. Of course it could have been the black mold in the stairwells that triggered that but the company medical folks gave the building a thorough inspection (consisting of a guy sitting at my desk with a air quality tester) and pronounced it "healthy." I also learned that the county health people will not check out a possible "sick building" until at least one death has been confirmed.

But tell me... do all the napkins come with grommets?

Eva Gallant said...

Love it....reminds me of when they expanded my bank branch--dust, sheet rock, whirring skill saws, pounding hammers....such fun.

vanilla said...

Whether or not you are still there, it seems that AG&N will improve the employment statistics!

Susan Kane said...

OH, the horror! OSHA would be happy to make an inspection (if they rec'd an anonymous tip).

Daisy said...

Yuck. That sounds nasty. No construction where I work, but we have a leaky roof and no windows, so I would imagine our air quality isn't great either.

Mimsie said...

Hi Pearl....I had to pay you a visit after your comments on my blog about the Queen.
I feel humbled having read your posts. If only I could write like you. What a talent.
It is many years since I worked so guess I am fortunate in having always had acceptable space and clean air. I must admit though I am glad not to be driving on Perth roads these days as they are often in gridlock in peak hours. Perth is growing at such a rapid rate now we are never going to keep up with the number of people here so I can see problems like the one you spoke of in your post about traffic.

Suldog said...

Yeah, it's the little things such as being able to stretch out in my undies in front of the computer, snort nose spray, and otherwise use up as much space as I want, that make me a tad less sad about being unemployed :-)

Daisy said...

I'm wheezing just thinking of it.

Many years (decades!) ago we finally got some action after complaining about the air quality in our office. A fella came with that contraption and sampled the air. His advice: "Don't inhale"

Daisy's Barbara

River said...

Like Yamini said, get a gas mask and filter your own air. Or just wear a bandanna like the cowboys used to when robbing banks.

Linda O'Connell said...

I worked at a school when they were doing asbestos removal. I'm sure more of us were contaminated from the removal than the glued down tiles.

I love getting a glimpse into your mind and the way it flits. "Who put the bop in the bop shhhh..."