Monday, November 14, 2022

The Perfume Factory

I have had many temp jobs that were odd but my oddest temp job came the day I worked for a perfume factory. The place made knockoffs of familiar brands. I was in my early 20's.
My first job was easy - sweep the whole place.  

Next I had to mop around the vats where they made the perfumes. I began to smell the horrible smells. I'm sure individually they each smelled great but the smell of multiple perfumes was overwhelming.  

And then I heard the bad, ominous news: I needed to clean inside a few vats. Cleaning the outside of them wasn't so bad but I was already thinking ahead to the question of how do I clean inside a vat.
While not full of a perfume it was also not completely empty. My boss for the day explained that if you're careful you can find something to step on.
"What if you're not lucky?" I asked, filled with trepidation
"If you're not lucky you land on and in the vat."
I was not lucky.
At first I was standing on top of chemicals in the bottom of the vat and I thought, "oh, this is not too bad."
That's when I fell, realizing two things: 1) I am now soaked with whatever perfume this is and 2) I dont think i'm going to return to this job tomorrow.
I cleaned the inside and we both avoided mentioning how much of the perfume was on me.
Then it was time to get out.
The boss took pity on me and said I could go home early.  

As I drove home, with a blanket around me to minimize how much perfume got on the car seat and with the windows open, I decided I was going to be taking a looooooong shower that nite to get all the perfume off.  

I knew my parents would be asleep upstairs when I got home so I planned to head straight to my upstairs bathroom shower so I would not have to tell this embarrassing story.
No luck! They apparently woke up as soon as I got home smelling this awful scent and stopped on the stairs to inquire what happened. I gave them a brief version while they fully endorsed a loooong shower.  

We did not talk about it after that. And I never got a call asking why I did not return for a second day. I took from that that I was probably not the first nor the last to fall inside a perfume vat