Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Something in the Air...

Frank from Office Supply was a bit of a survivalist. He kept extra pens in case there ever was a shortage. He made triplicates of all his paperwork. He kept things that had no place in his cubicle: rubber gloves, an old broomstick, plastic flowers?

“You never know,” he would say mysteriously.

Then one day something happened to the air in the office. Everybody noticed it. Nobody could put their finger on it. A smell? An irritation to the eyes? Constant sneezing.

We complained to each other, media coordinator Jan, Ned from telemarketing. We searched our department for an explanation. Strangely, we would discover one person, one cubicle unaffected. Frank: he calmly typed away as we jammed our heads into his cubicle. It was filled with pure, fresh air. We crowded into it, desperate for a clean breath, jostling Frank to the point he had to stand up and address the three of us fumbling around in his cube. “It’s the Fellowes Air Purifier.” He explained the freshness of his personal air space.

“But what are we going to do about our cubes—they’re foul!” Ned was always dramatic. “Where is it coming from?”

Frank was cool, peering above the top line of his cube. “Odors, eye irritation, sneezing--it appears to be coming from many places.” He began putting on his rubber gloves as if preparing for surgery.

We watched over the top of the cubicle as he ventured out into the air pollution, sniffing as if to track down the culprit. He found himself at Otis’s desk. Apparently Otis had gone on vacation and left a double bacon barbecue Godzilla burger funkifying in his top drawer. Frank removed it with his gloved hands and urgently carried it out of the building at arm's length like radioactive waste.

I couldn’t smell it here,” said Jan astonished. Frank would explain later like a guru of office products that the Fellowes Air Purifier had a carbon filter that quietly and quickly removes odors from the air.

“But what about Jan?” Ned said hysterically. She still suffered with reddened eyes from some unseen affliction.

“It’s like I wandered through a desert,” she moaned.

“Hmm.” Frank pondered the dilemma and grabbed his broomstick. He headed for Jan’s cube. He discovered that a neighboring lot was under construction and dust kicked up was entering the air duct system, spewing unseen dust particles into Jan’s workspace. Frank poked the ceiling vent with the broomstick and closed it.

“But the air is so clear in here.” Jan sighed.

“It was the True HEPA filter,” Frank explained. “It captures 99.97% of particles and impurities as small as 0.3 microns. There is nothing too small that gets past the Fellowes Air Purifier.”

“Finally,” Ned sighed, “everything is back to normal!” He marched triumphantly out of Frank’s cubicle, only to be instantly overcome with a sneezing fit. He quickly hurried back in, hovering over the protective power of the Fellowes Air Purifier, which, as Frank would explain, had PlasmaTrue Technology, which safely removes airborne pollutants at the molecular level. (That’s viruses, bacteria and allergens)

Frank sniffed the air and ventured out into the cubicle farm, only to finally find the forgotten display of flowers near Ned’s cube from Mary in customer service. Frank swapped out her pollen rich flowers with his bouquet of fake daisies. (She would never know).

Slowly, each one of us ventured out, sniffing. The office had clean air once again, thanks to Frank who was prepared. But for how long?

How long before the office was again attacked by odors of strange cooked lunches and forgotten desk drawer sandwiches? How long before it was choked with dust and chemical odors from office remodeling? How long before it was stifled with allergens and infectious airborne germs from sick but dedicated employees?

Frank vowed that everyone would get a Fellowes Air Purifier. He would put the orders in himself.

Everyone, he declared, deserves clean personal air space at work!