Nowadays, I often date myself around the office by recalling the days when people were allowed to smoke in the office. Before that habit was shown the sidewalk, we non-smokers coexisted with the nicotiners in acrimonious disharmony.
Filthy ashtrays and yellowed cubicle frames were the decor at Philadelphia Electric Co. (PECo). I worked there in college in a special program manned by college students and run by regular full-timers. As I mentioned before, we worked out payment arrangements for the very worst of the non-paying electric and gas customers.
An office full of college kids tended to often break down into goofiness, practical jokes and regular tom foolery. One of my favorite hobbies was attempting to shoot the cigarette out of the hands of my smoking colleagues while they were on the phone with customers or busy working away.
My most memorable shot was taking out a Marlboro light from 15 feet away, knocking the lit end into the unsuspecting employee’s folder of paperwork. My cube-mate and I sat back and enjoyed the show while he tried to maintain his conversation as he urgently searched for the missing ember.
Once his phone call was over he was in a proper rage.
This is a drawing I did back then, circa 1985 or 86. It’s a cross between my cubemate with the nostrils definitely taken from the guy whose cigarette I shot.
Incidentally, my current workplace is going completely smoke-free this month — no smoking anywhere on the property — including inside your car.