Anti-smoking Nazis
By: Mark W Adams

So, long story short, I left this 3rd story walk-up office I was paying too much for because of the nasty, impersonal notes I was getting complaining that I was smoking where I wasn't allowed to, even when I wasn't smoking in the building.

It wasn't much of an office, small, a bit inconvenient, and the other folks all too cliquish to ever bother making me feel welcome.  I was an intruder.  But it wasn't until after they ran a background check on me to see if my law license was up to date did they let me sign a lease and take a deposit..  that should have been my first clue this place was too full of uptight white folk for me. 

Then, only after I'd bought about a thousand dollars worth of new furnishings, lugged it up those three flights, cleaned out years worth of grime and thrown out assorted crap they'd stored there did the other shoe drop.  No smoking.

See, I was supposed to notice the little sign in the lobby that said no smoking, which was fine in the public/common areas, something to be expected actually.  But I'd leased a private office and there was no such admonishment in anything I'd signed and no one said anything even though they knew at the time moved in that I was representing bar owners in town fighting the newly proposed anti-smoking ordinance.  But to be nice, after the first letter informing me that they'd noticed the smell of smoke, I made sure I had a window open and blew the smoke outside -- even in winter.

The notes still came.  Every time I went in to meet with a client, or just do some work I couldn't do at my home office, another little missive came -- each more threatening than the last.  Eventually, there came an ultimatum, where they'd "generously" agree to let me out of my lease if I would just leave ... along with my bad habit.  Thing is, what really chapped my hide was the fact that on that particular visit I didn't have a cigarette in the office.  I'd stopped in, got my mail and left, however they accused me of polluting their air because ... what? My coat smelled of smoke? Who knows.  Smoke Nazis. 

I stayed long enough to stiff them on a couple of month's rent before I picked up my furniture.  I didn't leave them a return note, nasty or otherwise, I didn't tell them to sue me because I never signed up for a no-smoking facility, I never informed them what douchebags they were for never simply, you know ... talking to me; but boy I dictated some doosies in my head.

This site made me feel all better. I never would have been able to compete with some of these passive-aggressive masterpieces.

Hat Tip Lee Stranahan