“Oh my God, That smell is coming from a chair?”
Every department of every office in every company has been stricken with this malodorous affliction. Come on now admit it, your office has a Pooh Chair, you know what I am talking about, It's that chair that ends up in the only empty cube in the building.
I guess it's not really the companies fault, when they interviewed the Pooh Chair offender they probably didn't ask, Hey, can you reach around far enough to wipe your ass, or Congradulations Mr. Stench, you're hired, but, ahhh, well, is that smell normal? Well, with the big money we are going to pay you I'm sure you can get that A/C fixed.
Human nature inherently want's to avoid the unpleasant task of confronting the Pooh Chair defiler. We all pray that at some point that this person recognizes the "problem" and embarks on a spiritual journey to change, but, as we all know, it never happens and the entire office is forced to play a cat and mouse game of Pooh Chair switcheroo, where everyone has to balance the moving of the Pooh Chair with keeping the Pooh Chair offender oblivious to their actions.
Dynamics of the Pooh Chair
Are some chairs more likely to become "The Pooh Chair" YUP and heres why:
- Do you have someone in you're office grossly overweight? if yes, then all I can say is, identify that chair because it has POOH CHAIR written all over it.
- Do you have someone in you're office whose hygiene is questionable, you know who I'm talking about, yup, POOH CHAIR.
- If you can identify the only person in the office who has no idea what "The Pooh Chair" is, they are the one responsible for it.
- Is there someone in you're office that is all of the above, Pooh Chair does not begin to describe that poor chair.
Avoidance or Pre-Planning
There are two schools of thought on how to deal with "The Pooh Chair"
Many employees swear by the, avoid the Pooh Chair theory. This strategy is risky and requires a bit of luck on many employees part, but has been used successfully for many years.
For this strategy to work, the following must be employed successfully:
A) Get to work and quickly identify "The Pooh Chair" (I don't want to know how, just identify it.)
B) If you are the proud owner of "The Pooh Chair" quickly move it to any empty cubicle and grab another chair, no matter the condition of it, as long as it's NOT the pooh chair. (All's fair in the Pooh Chair war, remember, there are no friends when it comes to the pooh chair.)
C) If you get to work late and the pooh chair has ended up in your cubicle, find the responsible party for the pooh chair, pray they have not got to work yet and swap out the pooh chair for the chair that's in their cube. (This is risky as the chair that is in their cube is now a possible pooh chair candidate, but if you are at this point, the risk is worth it.)
D) If you get stuck with the Pooh Chair quickly remove it from your cube to the closest empty cube to you're manager's office, then, if you have to, scour the building for any empty chair, I'm talking about ANY chair, absolutely anything that you can sit on and then just fight you're way through the rest of the day, and for gods sakes, make sure you show up early the next day.
Pre-planning to avoid the Pooh Chair can be a very successful strategy dependent on department size, political atmosphere and professionalism. Anyway, here are the best known pre-planning steps:
A) If you have a Non Pooh Chair, quickly claim it as yours, plaster you're name all over it and make it known that the chair in your cube is YOUR CHAIR, claim back problems, allergies some medical problem, anything at all to get the point across that your chair is your chair. Go so far as to permanently mark it and publicly hammer anyone who moves it, seriously, do it, remember what will happen if you get stuck with the pooh chair.
B) If you can't manage to claim a chair as your own, the next best strategy is the "Fabreze" strategy. For this strategy you will need to stock a steady supply of "Fabreze" or any other fabric freshener and if you get stuck with the pooh chair then soak that sucker down and take a break for an hour to let it air, it's not a perfect solution, but it will get you through the day.
C) If you are one of the last employees to leave, to avoid the old Pooh Chair switcheroo, take the Pooh Chair and move the thing as far away as humanly possible. Man I'm talking about moving it to another building if necessary, anything to avoid it ending up in your cube or office again. If anyone asks you what you're doing, look at them square in the eye and say "Dude, it's the Pooh Chair, what would you do?" They will just back off and bid you good luck.
D Before you leave, take your chair and put a sign on it, something like this,
Caution, chair is broken, needs repair asap. Maintenance has been notified
This may or may not work, other employees have probably employed the same strategy and will ignore your bogus sign out of desperation, but you stand a better chance with this than nothing at all.
The Pooh Chair - Fact Vs. Fiction
The Pooh Chair has been around since the industrial revolution, as such, many myths have circulated about it so here are the Truths and the Lies regarding the Pooh Chair:
1) The Pooh Chair can be cleaned and reintroduced.
This myth began when companies, trying to save a buck, just kept repairing old worn out chairs. The Pooh Chair in particular posed a major problem as nothing they did could eliminate that horrific odor, eventually, the chair was taken out of the general population, cleaned as best they could and then quietly slipped back into the office weeks later. The companies would claim they steralized the chair and it's good to go, but everyone knows better, but what can you do.
2) There is no such thing as a Pooh Chair and any such mention is considered harrassment.
Again, this is corporate propaganda designed to force employees to deal with their cheapness. The best way to combat this is to ask your manager to take the suspect chair and use it for a week and then watch the fun begin.
3) It's not employee A's fault, you probably have an overly sensitive nose.
1) The Pooh Chair must be cremated to get rid of the smell.
2) The Pooh Chair is possessed by a Shit Demon from the seventh level of Hell, which explains why you can never get rid of it.
3) Prior to cremation, the Pooh Chair must be blessed by a Catholic Priest using a combination of three ounces of Holy Fabreeze, a cross constructed of titanium placed upside down in the seat, followed by the words, "Klattu, Verata, Niktu." You don't want to know what happens if this is done wrong.
4) You can always identify the creator of each Pooh Chair. 99.9999999999999% of the time they are the ONLY person in the building who has no idea what a Pooh Chair is.
The Pooh Chair by any other name
Over the years the pooh chair has garnered many other very descriptive names, but in the end, it's still "The Pooh Chair".
- The Fish Chair. This one is far to disgusting to even describe, lets just say that sometimes "The Pooh Chair" can be gender specific.
- The Wee Chair. The Wee Chair is usually the initial stage of the pooh chair, if you can identify the Pooh Chair in it's initial stages you may be able to save it, but, I wouldn't touch it, just best to identify it, give it the scarlet letter P and move on.
- The French Chair. It's a nice sounding name, but trust me, this is not a chair you want to sit in. Always remember, the French don't bathe, don't use deodorant and can't smell themselves. Enough said.
- Mr. Sweaty. Yup, it could be 45 degrees in the room and that clown that sits in the corner stands up and leaves their imprint in the chair, a wet, sticky, moist outline. God, that's disgusting. This type of chair morphs into the Pooh Chair quicker than any other "type" of chair.
- Channel #5. This chair may not start out in the traditional pooh chair sense, but, after months of being saturated by excessive amounts of perfume/cologne, it eventually becomes so pungunt that it is avoided as much as the pooh chair.
Le Pew Chair
"The Pooh Chair" is know universally, but can go by many names:
- La Chaise de Merde. French for Pooh Chair. If the French have a Pooh Chair, I can't even imagine how bad that smells.
- Der Stuhl der Scheisse. German of course. But pretty much anything they call it would sound bad.
- La Sedia Di Fesserie. Italian makes anything sound appealing.
- La silla de la mierda. Spanish version of Pooh Chair, I wonder why they don't call it La Pooh Chair gringo, hmmmm.
- De Stoel van onzin. Man the Dutch make "The Pooh Chair" sound worse than "The Pooh Chair", should probably look at changing it's name.
Variations on a Theme
Standard operating procedure on dealing with the Pooh Chair varies little no matter where you go, however, there are a few disturbed individuals who throw a curve into the daily Pooh Chair grind.
- Pooh Chair Ninja. This individual employs a combination of stealth, strategy and finesse. No one really knows who this individual is because of the skill involved in pulling this off. When this person finds they are a Pooh Chair victim they make no mention of it, then, employing their highly refined skills of deception, stealth and finesse, they identify their victim and before you can say Pooh Chair you return from the bathroom unaware of any change, for about 10 seconds.
- The Sniffer. This disturbed individual does not specifically seek out the pooh chair, but instead seeks out specific chairs for a specific purpose. This individual may get away with their disturbing behavior for years, but then one day, unaware that the current owner was that given days victim of the Pooh Chair, "The Sniffer" runs over, buries their face in the seat of the chair and takes a deep breath. What happens next usually involves paramedics, a near death experience and counselling and is something no human being should ever have to see. For all their foulness, "The Sniffer" provides the entire office the ability to put "The Pooh Chair" second on the topic of the day for about 6 months.
- The Pooh Baby. Every office has one of these and usually has a procedure to handle the situation as PC as possible. The Pooh Baby is that one individual who, when they find they have the Pooh Chair, immediately run to their superior and bitterly complain that "The Pooh Chair" must be removed from their area. They use a combination of harassment/medical malady to support their claim that they are the victim of some crazy conspiracy. These people are pacified easily as years of whining has fine tuned managements rapid response to "The Pooh Baby."
As a side not to the "Pooh Baby". They are usually correct about being the victim of a conspiracy because everyone else in the office tries to make sure the Pooh Chair ends up in their cubicle just so they have about an hour of entertainment watching "The Pooh Baby" deal with another day of the "Pooh Chair".
- The Pooh Oaf. This individual is normally the individual in your department that is the Social Orphan of the company. This Tard usually has no tact, no decorum and no social skills. Like the Pooh Baby, the Pooh Oaf is usually goaded into very uncomfortable situations by the others in the office by making sure they end up with the Pooh Chair as often as possible. Then, watching from a safe distance, everyone witnesses the Pooh Oaf as they berate the Pooh Chair defiler, accusing them of moving the Pooh Chair to their cube because it became too much for them to bear. (As we all know this is not the case, but normally everyone else in the department will tell the pooh oaf it was moved for that very reason, just for shits and giggles of course.)