Smells Like Work Spirit

Gentlemen Smoking and Playing Backgammon in an...

Gentlemen, you’ll need to refrain from smoking in the office. You’re free to stay inside and bite your fingernails, though.  Painting by Dirck Hals, 1627. 

If you’re trying to choose a nasty habit, might I make a suggestion? Biting my fingernails has served me well over the years, and it might be just what you’re looking for. I realize that smoking cigarettes is popularly touted as a more glamorous activity, but hear me out.

I can bite my fingernails at work. The office is ripe with germs from all those dirty employees and customers, making it the perfect place for me to strengthen my immune system by voluntarily placing my hands in my mouth. Disgusted? Quit reading, and take up trichotillomania. It’s an even nastier vice; look it up.

Being able to nurture my filthy addiction in the workplace gives me a certain advantage over all those smokers who routinely step outside to maintain theirs. How much time are smokers wasting each workweek? By how many dollars are they increasing company health insurance costs? Really, I deserve a raise for my productivity and ingenuity, if not for my willpower.

While smoking cigarettes can cost an arm and a lung, fingernail biting is free. If I lose my job, I can go on biting while I fill out job applications. Not to mention the money I’m saving by not indulging in a weekly manicure like all the other women at work. On Mondays, when they compare polish colors and swap stories about the quality of work at different salons, I can keep plugging numbers into Excel with one hand, while gnawing on a cuticle of the other.

With so many companies extending their tobacco-free policies beyond the building and to the entire property, there soon will be no more stepping outside for a quick smoke. To indulge in that particular depravity, working guys and gals will have to wait until lunch and leave the premises.

Reader, if you’re still with me, I’m impressed. I can only imagine how nauseated you must be feeling, with all this talk of smoking, biting fingernails, and compulsively pulling one’s hair. If you didn’t bother to look it up, that’s what trichotillomania is.  For a little relief, why not head over to Midwest Beauty Review for a little therapy?

 

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