Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Good Employee, Really Bad Food

The Stench Was Horrendous

Finally, the really meaty HR issues make the headlines!

You know what I mean. Those issues you have to deal with once or twice a year because no one else wants to:

  • the employee with bad hygiene - HR, you gotta talk to them and tell them they are STANK!

  • the employee complaint about the cube mate with the farting problem (see above)

  • Someone ate my lunch! (which usually gives rise to the ex-lax sandwhich trick)

  • who gets to clean out the refreigerator in the break room?

That last one is one that most work places face every once in a while.

Check out this story on CNN about what happened when an ATT employee cleaned out the refrigerator at a building in San Jose, California!

We've all been there: reached for our food in the office refrigerator, only
to recoil from the stench from the crammed containers of decomposing food.

When a worker at an AT&T building in San Jose, California, took it upon
herself to clean out an office refrigerator during her lunch hour Tuesday, the
smell from the moldy food was so noxious that it sent seven of her co-workers to
the hospital and prompted the evacuation of all 325 people in the building.

"It was like a brick wall hit you," employee Robin Leetieh told CNN affiliate
KGO-TV. "Stopped you immediately."

The refrigerator had been unplugged for some time and moved into a conference
room for cleaning. When the woman tried to scrub down the mess, the stench from
the cleaning chemicals combined with the rotting food.

"It caused some to vomit, some to just get nauseous. And it, for us,
activated a hazardous incident," Capt. Barry Stallard of the San Jose fire department told the television
Another office worker tried to cover up the odor -- and made matters

"Someone also took some spray and tried to deodorize the air," Stallard said.
"And it turned out that was spot cleaner, not a deodorant. So it made people
very sick."

Firefighters set up a triage area in the building's parking lot. In all, 28
workers reported feeling sick. Seven were taken to hospitals for evaluation.

Not among them: the woman who volunteered to clean the fridge.

She suffers from allergies, firefighters said, and had had nasal surgery.

She didn't smell a thing.

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