Clearing The Air At A Meeting

Ron Nagasawa
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Wednesday - May 06, 2009
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Ron Nagasawa is on leave. This column was published originally in April 1999.

I think our sense of smell is directly wired to a memory defense mechanism. Perfume and cologne can smell pretty good unless they’re used to mask three days of not bathing.

That will ruin it for me, because I’ll associate that particular brand of fragrance to the bad smell and every time I get a whiff of it, it’ll remind me of the foul odor.

I believe that women have a more acute sense of smell and can detect bad ones much easier than we guys. Of course, with men it may be unconscious denial, like me not being able to smell our 23-month-old daughter’s soiled diaper, whereas my wife can detect it from another room in the house.

Among other things at work, I’m in charge of the building maintenance department, which consists of two people. The other week, our janitor took vacation and our maintenance man covered those duties, which meant he finished work before 8 a.m.


 

One day at midmorning, I was informed that the men’s bathroom had no toilet paper. When our maintenance guys are both out, I’m next on the totem pole, so I went to restock the rolls.

I decided to leave a few extras on the top of the toilet tank. When I did that, I knocked over a can of Lysol, which we happen to stock in the bathrooms. Somehow, the aerosol can hit the toilet and jammed the nozzle, spraying Lysol all over my pant legs.

By the time I wrestled the can under control, I was reeking of bathroom air freshener. I left the stall with the hopes that the smell would soon dissipate from my clothes. As my luck would have it, I was suddenly summoned to attend a meeting.

As we sat around the conference room table waiting for everyone to arrive, all the women complained that the place smelled like the bathroom. With wide-eyed innocence, I turned to the men and stated, “I don’t smell anything unusual, do you?” They shook their heads in agreement.

Maybe it’s a guy thing, but I think I speak for most men when I say, “We love the smell of Lysol in the morning.”

Ron’s WEBSITE of the weekwww.volunteerhawaii.org

MidWeek‘s Good Neighbor column salutes people who volunteer in our community, and there is a never-ending need for volunteers. If you think you’d like to contribute your time and expertise, Volunteer Hawaii is a great place to start. It lists all kinds of organizations who are in need of volunteers, from mentoring to accounting to gardening. Check it out, then volunteer your favorite websites to me at: rnagasawa@ midweek.com

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