(Smell Test is an annoying business term and is just one of the 212 Most Annoying Business Phrases Managers Effuse, Confuse, and Overuse detailed in the hilarious must-have guide for every workplace: The 30,000-Pound Gorilla in the Room. Available right now on Amazon.)
We have a belief that if something requires a smell test, assume the worst and just move on.
For example, if the date on the milk shows last week, just move on. No smell test needed. Similarly, if you think what you stepped in might be dog poop, assume the worst and move on.
The outcome of even a negative smell test in these instances makes us gag.
Somehow, the annoying managers at your work decided to utilize a smell test to evaluate everything.
“Does it pass the smell test?” they’ll ask when speaking about a proposal from a vendor.
“He didn’t pass the smell test,” they’ll tell you when referring to a candidate they didn’t hire.
“Please give it a smell test,” they’ll ask when you’re headed off to try a new restaurant for lunch.
Ugh, so annoying.
If only we could get them to stop.
The next time an annoying manager asks you about the results of a smell test, just lean in and take a loud, long sniff of him. Then look him in the eye and say without emotion, “I’ll let you know.”
While this likely won’t end this manager’s use of smell test, it will probably mark the last time you’ll be around to hear it.
Replacement phrases: The replacement for this one is whatever metric you’re trying to gauge. For example, “Do you think he’ll make a good salesperson?”
See also: Pass Muster
The 30,000-Pound Gorilla in the Room is available on Amazon