Blake’s Advice Column
I work in a small office with three other employees. They all smoke, and at times the smell gets me physically ill. If I had known they smoked, I would not have hired them. Studies show that smokers are less productive (due to time away from their desk on smoke breaks), and have higher rates of illness than nonsmokers. Perhaps I should have been more diligent at the interviewing stage and when checking references, but one employee admitted that she took great pains not to smell of cigarettes prior to her interview. I dread coming to work each day. What should I do?
From Ontario, Canada
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It is really sad that you have to subject yourself to their aroma for eight hours a day. Now it’s time to fight fire with smoke and fire! Consider these suggestions. You ought to indulge yourself in their pathetic habit by smoking cheap cigars in their presence. Drive them to the point where the word “tobacco” makes those slackers nauseous. Tell your boss that they think he’s an idiot, and they all plan to get marijuana cards and to roll joints from their desks because he’s too stupid to stop them. Many offices have plants, so you ought to buy a few and maintain them by keeping an open bag of fertilizer on your desk. Make sure your breath is so bad that they won’t want to work in the same office with you. And you can do this every day for lunch, consume some sardines and Limburger cheese, washed down with a tall glass of buttermilk. But here is my favorite idea. You live in Canada, and winters out there are brutal. If they are still there next January when it’s about 25 below zero and those freeloaders are outside taking an unauthorized smoke break, grab a hose and soak them from head to foot. This gives you more than enough time to replace all three of them by the time their lifeless bodies thaw out and are hauled away in the spring. Or you can use an ice pic and gradually remove them yourself while they are still human popsicles. I hope this helps.