June 1st came and spring turned into unrelenting heat and humidity. She had to ask H.R. to talk to the one guy who rode his bike every day in the hot weather about sponge baths, deoderant, and offensive odors being bad for morale. She had to address the issue of the 60-year-old, short, chubby lady who insisted on wearing low-cut tops with spaghetti straps, making the office see not just her crepey neck but her super-crepey chest and a lot of her aging breasts.
That conversation went like this:
"Really?" she asked the woman.
"It's hot out," the woman said.
"And there's no a/c in here? Really?" she asked the woman.
"Once I get hot I stay hot," said the woman.
"Really? Because you know there's a dress code, right? That says 'no revealing tops on women'?" she asked the woman.
"This isn't that revealing," said the woman.
"So you concede it's somewhat revealing?" she asked the woman.
"Well, now you're being picky. Maybe I should talk to H.R. about this," said the woman.
"Great idea. Shall I call H.R. now?" she asked the woman.
"Yes," said the woman defiantly.
She picked up the phone and dialed a few numbers and spoke into the phone.
"Might you please come to my office?" she asked into the phone, staring at the device so she wouldn't have to look at all that flesh. "Please bring your copy of the dress code. Thanks."
She hung up, tilted her head and grinned at the woman, her hands folded in front of her. Within two minutes the H.R. person, a young woman with an advanced degree in personnel management, came into the office and closed the door behind her. Within five minutes they'd sent the lady shopping for a different blouse, telling her the time she spent would either count as her lunch or come out of her paycheck, and advised her that the next time she'd be written up and be put on disciplinary probation.
"For wearing a sleeveless top and showing a little skin! On a hot day!" exclaimed the woman.
"You know well that your top more than sleeveless. We don't mind skin showing," she said, "we just don't want to see it at work."
"What about you know who, who rides his bike. Who stinks!" the woman exclaimed some more.
"Please concern yourself with your own situation," said the H.R. person, "and know that all things have been addressed today."
The woman stood and stomped out of her office.
She and the H.R. person looked at each other.
"Thank you," she told the H.R. person.
"This is entirely inappropriate but thank goodness you did that. Her saggy chest area was scaring the younger employees," said H.R. "Me included. I bought some new bras over the weekend. Support really is key. And just wear a light sweater and no one would care," said H.R
"But remember last summer when someone wore tiny tops in the summer but didn't take her sweater home to wash it?" she reminded H.R.
"Oh, yeah, and we had to have the aroma chat," said H.R. "I hated doing that one. She's a sweet person and was so embarrassed."
"People were gagging," she said. "As bad as Bike Guy."
"Plus Bike Guy has attitude. He thinks he smells manly," said H.R.
"I find being neat and clean very manly," she said. "Not hyperfussy, just neat and clean."
"My husband's hyperfussy," said H.R. "If the fringe on the rug is slightly askew then he freaks out."
"Oh," she said, not knowing what else to say.
"Yeah, O.C.D. and proud," said H.R. "He is otherwise very funny and sweet and kind and generous. I can deal with the fussy."
She smiled at H.R.
"I best get back to it," she said. "Thanks again."
"Of course," said H.R. "It's my job."
When H.R. walked out, she stood up and walked over to the window and looked out onto the street. It was midday, there was lots of traffic, and she saw a flesh-toned Fiat slowly creeping along the street in front of her office. She squinted and looked harder and saw Kevin behind the wheel, alone in the car.
"Well, of course," she said. Naturally he'd be around when she wasn't anywhere near him to do anything about it. She looked at the building across the street, her own reflection in the windows. Did her hair really look that bad?
She took a mirror from her drawer and looked at herself. Yes, her hair looked terrible. She sighed and got back to work.