If you smoke, consider that pleasure may come at someone else's expense.

Since early age, I've been extremely allergic to cigarette smoke. Smell from a smoker's clothes 10 feet away is sufficient to trigger a reaction and land me in bed for several days. I work in an enclosed office and no one smokes there, in or out of it. But few months ago, a smoker was hired, I will call him Jack. Though my management knew of my allergies, they sat him on a desk some 8 feet away. Jack is a tall, burly, intimidating character worthy of considerable concern, but amid his rough appearance and manners, there is someone gentler within.

I tolerated the situation as best I could, and quite humbly asked Jack countless times to please be considerate and not smoke or approach me. But in spite of that, my requests went nowhere. He knowingly continued to smoke and approach without regard, even with reminders. What he smokes is some sort of flavored thing, I don't know about such habits and much less smoke brands, and it has the most horrid putrid smell, like raw pork or burnt flesh, and he smokes some 4 times during the work period. It is most nauseating to smell and causes me to cough and gag helplessly, but management did nothing.

Yesterday, Jack came in and, as soon as he passed me by, the odor and smoke particles were so strong that my nasal cavity and throat immediately burned as if scorched and I lost my breath. I started coughing and heaving violently, sneezing, and convulting enough to get everyone's attention, except Jack's of course. My throat closed, and ears, eyes, and brain felt like they were going to explode, so sick I felt I would collapse, and I have been bed-ridden since.

I felt this was a burning, and another student helped confirm it. I saw this long haired, tall, brute and dirty looking man at night, wearing a sweaty rag cover and holding a torch in hand, followed by others. I pleaded for help but was ignored. The man approached and without saying anything set my on fire. Indications are that Jack was this man. As for myself, I must have said or done something that earned his wrath.

Whenever I recover and am able to return to work, I have informed forgiving to do, and from emails, Jack's gentle side is reaching out apologetically ... no more smoking during the work day he said. He might finally be coming out of the burning business 🙂

Submitted by: Roberto on 09/27/2016

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