At work the other day, I went to grab a pen and felt a wet stickiness on my hand. I looked down and the pen had somehow started to leak and left a streak of ink on my palm. It was a pretty thick streak, too.
Instead of grabbing a tissue, I pulled out the hand sanitizer and thought the wetness plus alcohol would lift the ink right off my palm. I squirted a healthy dose into my hand and started to rub it in but immediately knew I had screwed up.
Instead of lifting the ink off my hand, it just spread it all over both my hands. I looked at what I had done to myself and immediately went back for more hand sanitizer. No such luck. I just kept making it worse. By this time, my hands were a gross shade of gray like I had lost circulation in my hands.
Let me also point out that it was dead in my department. Not a customer in sight. Until I made a mess of myself. Then everyone congregated to my department and a lady even asked me if I could show her how to tie a tie.
She said she needed to shop some more but said she'd be back so I took that opportunity to dump out the rest of the hand sanitizer in hopes some of it would rub off but I just kept smearing the inky black all over my hands and into the crevices of my fingernails.
I went over to another department and rifled through their hand sanitizer as well. There as no one on staff to relieve me so I could go to the bathroom and wash my hands so the sanitizer was my only hope. I dumped out another pile and washed my hands in it in vain.
By this time, the smells of both sanitizers was getting to me, green apple and granny perfume. I probably smelled like the fourth hour of The Today Show and all I managed to do was make it look like I had been digging for truffles the night before.
The lady came back, with her daughter, and asked me to show her how to tie the tie. I sighed inside myself because the girl was pretty. She'd take one look at my hands and reel back. By this time, I had gotten the majority of the dark ink off my hands but I smelled strongly of alcohol and had a ring of gunk in my fingernails so I wasn't feeling too confident.
Then I felt the beads of sweat forming. My chest felt like a radiator and I wondered if I should point out my soiled hands and get it out of the way or just let it be. Maybe they hadn't noticed. Through my own observations, I've noticed people aren't very observant, at least around here. Mentioning it would just bring more attention to it so I didn't say anything.
I limbered up my hands and the lady said, "Now, watch really closely, Carol."
I hoped Carol had stunning eagle vision 'cause I didn't slow down for her to comprehend a thing I did. I tied that tie faster than I've ever tied one before, my hands a blur, like I was pulling some sleight of hand magician trickery.
I gave them the tie and finally a supervisor came by and I put my hands in her face and said I needed to go wash up. By now, the hand sanitizer had begun to clump up all over my hands and my hands felt raw and gritty. I washed away the hand sanitizer and the majority of the ink but the wonderful fingernail stains were still there. I just pressed on through the rest of the day with my hands in my pockets.
First my zipper broke and then I had a brush with a leaky BIC. What's next? Trip and fall on my face in front of a crowd of tweens? Throw up burp in front of a customer? Accidentally fart over the loudspeaker? The humiliating possibilities were endless.
It's just not looking good for me.