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Job, My Stupid

A Hearty “Fuck the World!” Can Be Heard From Within the Skinner Box

I understand the lame irony of being a smoker while working for a cancer research facility. How could I not? But the building management has just gone off its onion about this. I just can’t fucking stand it. Bear with me.

We used to be able to smoke downstairs–outside–kind of around the corner, where we were nicely out of sight, so nobody might get the terrible idea that some deranged people actually smoke in the outside world. This evidently wasn’t good enough, so the management, at God knows what dumb expense, built us a brand-new smoking gulag downstairs in the parking basement. I think their next step will be to put us all in a pit, and then while we’re nonchalantly puffing away, they will suddenly bury us with a bulldozer while children point and laugh.

But it gets better. Since my building was evidently designed by dribbling cretins, this now means I have to take three elevators to get down to smoke central. Now, you’re probably thinking, “Skot, you are a lying sack. Also, you smoke, so fuck you, you lying sack. You lying sack!” I understand. But hear me out. I work on the 20th floor. There are three banks of elevators in the lobby: one goes from the lobby down to the parking garage, one services floors 2-11, and the other services floors 12-19. See the tiny math problem? So, yes, I take the elevator up to 19, where I then take another elevator that is dedicated to traveling between floor 19 and floor 20. WHAT? Who designed this system, Rube Goldberg? I half-expect that there is an elaborate mouse/cannonball/ramp/pulley system underlying the whole fucking thing.

So now you see. When I get a break, I zip over to floor 20’s rickety-ass dedicated elevator and squeal with delight as I bonk down to 19. Then I listen to my cells die while I wait for the elevator to get up to 19 and ride it down to the lobby. Then I dejectedly plod over to the other set of depressavators for it to take me down to the parking garage, and I cross over the blind corner where I will almost certainly be mowed down one day by a blank-eyed commuter, and enter the roomlet with one chain-link fence wall that overlooks a grimy, howling freeway all so I can just smoke a fucking cigarette. The whole thing is like living in a Robbe-Grillet novel.

Say, Skot, now that you mention it, being way up there on the 20th floor, don’t they have a balcony? Why, yes. Yes they do. There is a beautiful balcony. There is fresh air. There is a commanding view. And there are many “NO SMOKING” signs.

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