Can Anyone Smell Gas?


Someone collapsed at work a few years ago and had to be stretchered out to an ambulance. Thankfully they were OK as it meant that we could laugh about it (ok about them) for months afterwards – but secretly we were all very pleased it was not us.

My desk at work was at the far end of the office with a wall behind me and a floor-to-ceiling glass partition to my left…a nice enclosed little area where I could be left undisturbed.  It was here that I was merrily working one day when I started to feel strange – and by strange I mean, slightly light-headed and increasingly dizzy.

I’ve never fainted but I had a horrible feeling this was a real possibility and was already envisioning  the stretcher wheeling me down the entire length of the office.  I’d also heard you sometimes wet yourself when you faint so was pretty sure that would be part of my legacy and started to feel a bit panicked by this thought. It was at this point I realised I could also smell gas – oh great, there is a gas leak at work and we are all going to die!

Quick thinking as ever I immediately rung the facilities team to alert them to the impending disaster which resulted in the following conversation.

“Hello…this is Facilities”

“There’s a gas leak on the 3rd floor – the smell is really strong”

“There can’t be a gas leak”

“There is – I can smell it!”

“But this building does not have gas – we’ll pop up and take a look in a bit”

At this point I realised that the rest of the office was merrily working away without the slightest bit of concern.  I called out as casually as I could, “Can anyone smell gas?”, praying that they ‘d all go “Now you mention it I do”.  Instead I received a unanimous “no”.

Oh god, the smell is getting stronger by the minute, I’m feeling fainter by the second and no one else can smell this gas. I stand up on very wobbly feet and take a deep breath…I’m actually going to have to call for help.

At this precise moment my manager pops back from her meeting and sits at her desk next to mine. “Please tell me you can smell gas” I whimper.

She takes a sniff, looks under her desk and innocently says “oh, I think I’ve accidentally kicked opened the gas valve on my fondue gas stove” that for some inexplicable reason happens to be under her desk.

It seems my comfy little desk in the corner has for the last 15 minutes been turned into a gas storage unit.

On the positive side, a couple of years before this incident I had been trying to pull the plug for a scanner out of the socket under my desk without realising I’d  accidentally kicked the plug cover off.

What I was actually pulling on were the wires in the plug which resulted in a massive bang, a blinding flash of blue light and around 70 computers turning off as I fused the floor.  If I’d combined these 2 events I don’t think I’d be here today.

Next: Horse Race Amnesia


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