Funny, Jobs, Nurse Stories

A Cigarette + a Winter Coat + an Elevator

Today, I did a lot of walking and riding the elevators at work. Pretty typical, but with one exception…

I’m in the basement and catch the elevator to head on up to 4. A guy gets in on 1, and I ask him which floor he’s headed to so that I can press the button. “I’m going to 3, thanks,” he says. Then I take a closer look at this guy. He’s wearing one of those heavy, Michelin-man winter coats, and I notice something odd – there’s a plume of smoke coming out of the pocket on the coat sleeve! This, combined with the strong odor of cigarette smoke, helps me form the conclusion that this guy has a lit cigarette in his pocket. Oops!

“You’re smoking,” I say, while pointing at his coat sleeve. “Huh? Oh, yeah, I was just smoking outside”, he says, then nonchalantly goes back to looking at the closed elevator doors. Obviously, he misunderstood. “No, I mean, you have smoke coming out of your pocket”, and I once again gesture at the smoke coming from his coat. “Oh!” he says, then gently pats his sleeve as if to put it out. Small burn holes start to appear in the fabric and a few “embers” or whatever come out the top of the pocket, falling to the elevator floor. Obviously, this guy does not realize the seriousness of putting a lit cigarette in your pocket, so being the nurse that I am, I say, “I think it’s still lit” while simultaneously and unceremoniously opening the pocket and grabbing the cigarette.

“Be careful!” he says. “I’m saving that for later!” He takes the cigarette (now bent and broken – and still lit) from me, smushes the butt between his fingers, and puts it back into his pocket. The elevator arrives on 3, and he goes on his merry way. The doors shut, and I look over at the other guy standing in the elevator with me. We stare at each other for about 1/2 a second, then burst out laughing. That was interesting!

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2 thoughts on “A Cigarette + a Winter Coat + an Elevator

  1. Okay ~ I just quit smoking almost 2 months ago and I would never have put a lit cigarette in my pocket!!! And if someone had told me I was smoking I would have freaked!!! Great story. 🙂 Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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