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This has been my third summer in my office, and for reference, we’ve never had interns before. But this summer, for some reason, my team went out and plucked an intern from the grad student heap. Initially when I heard the news, I was pretty stoked. The prospect of getting a female to join my predominantly male team had me at an excitement level somewhere rivaling Vince Vaughn in the “It’s wedding season!” scene in Wedding Crashers.
Well, we ended up getting a male business school student. He was well-qualified, but also connected somehow to a senior member of our team. Nepotism at its finest rearing its head. My interactions with him started pleasantly enough. He seemed to have an enthusiasm for the job, and a strong background knowledge of excel. Initially I thought he’d be a boon to the team, and maybe someone who would get a job offer at the end of the summer. But within a few days, I needed him gone.
Our intern smells. And he smells BAD.
Picture a Pakistani bazar on a sweltering 110 degree July day. Then picture someone left a rotting goat in one of those hemp baskets in said bazar. Then picture that stench wafting through the outdoor market packed ear to ear. It’s some can’t even breath type shit.
Is he not showering? Not wearing deodorant? Rotting on the inside? I may never find out. What I do know is that he does have some hint of an idea that people have olfactory nerves. He comes in smelling like what I can only venture to guess is a heavy amount of Axe body spray. It’s like he hasn’t matured from that stage of life when we were all 12 years old and would empty cans of that stuff onto ourselves after gym class and you’d need a gas mask to even traverse the locker room. It was like a WWI battle field with all the chemical warfare going on in those locker rooms. Our intern has not developed passed the Axe body spray shower stage of his life.
But by lunch time, the body spray has worn off, and we’re left with a smell that – similar to Sex Panther – is a formidable scent; it stings the nostrils. It’s crazy how magical his smell is. I’m not exaggerating when I say that his smell clings to things. He could leave a room and it’d still smell bad in there an hour later. Once he borrowed my chair and it smelled bad for three days afterwards. It’s almost exactly like the episode of Seinfeld when the valet Jerry uses smells so bad he ruins the car. I’ve never seen anything like this.
His smell affects how I interact with him. I’m never in a chipper mood when we speak. I’m always blunt and quick to get the fuck away from him. When he comes to my cube to ask me a question I even have a hard time spinning in my chair to face him out of fear of putting my nose in a direct path to his body. It sucks for him, too, because next spring when he graduates B-school, if he wants a job here, I may fight like Leonidas for him not to work for us. Or I’ll quit; that’s also a strong possibility.
I’m usually not even much of a stickler about weird smells in the office. Day-old Indian food? Fine with it. Tuna? Eat up, bro. I’m even an offender. My boat shoes smell like a week-old towel after repeatedly drying a damp dog. And that’s even with the Sperry socks. But that shit’s contained and under my desk. As long as my feet stay in the shoe, the smell doesn’t rip through the office like a heat seeking smell missile.
And look, I’m sympathetic to health issues. The office can get hot, it’s the summer, and people sweat. If the dude was suffering from hyperhidrosis, I’d maybe be less worked up about it. But he’s not, because he doesn’t sweat through his shirts. Does he not shower? His hair looks like it’s been freshly showered in the morning. I’m spinning my brain into a pretzel just trying to solve this mystery.
I want his manager to say something to him. But it’s July and he probably only has six weeks left of the internship. I’m sure we could survive. But at the same time it’s not even just about the team. Part of me doesn’t want this guy going back to business school smelling like hair burning in a gym bag. It’s not fair to his classmates. Something must be done. It’s lewd, lascivious, salacious, outrageous.
Anyone else have smelly interns or colleagues? What’s the plan of action here?!.