THETA CABLE, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, CA, Late 70's
8:00 am and I'm in the "ready room" with about 35 cable TV technicians and installers who are getting today's work orders, materials and getting ready to head out.
This is a special day to me because the Regional Engineer is here this morning paying us a visit. I'm the Chief Tech and I work for him. I really want everybody to be on their best behavior to impress my boss.
So far, so good, everybody is busy and happy as my boss wanders around the room chatting it up with everyone.
He notices a pack of cigarettes in one of the technician's shirt pockets and asks him, "Can I bum one of those from you?"
My technician says, "Sure, here Ya go." as he pulls an open soft pack of Marlboros out of his shirt pocket and shakes a cigarette up out of the top of the pack.
My boss reaches out to take the offered cigarette when it happened. Yes, it happened!
What happened was that the offered cigarette had popped up out of the pack and was flying up in the air between the two men. And it turns out that it wasn't quite a cigarette; it was 100% a joint.
That's right, a marijuana joint or doobie, was flying thru the air and the entire ready room came to a stop. Like it was in a movie, frozen.
Everybody watched it slowly turn end over end and fall to the ground on the linoleum floor.
It was just lying there on the floor between them. They were looking at it, everybody in the room was looking at it, I was gasping for air and the silence was overwhelming.
Apparently, my technician had hidden a joint in his cigarette pack and completely forgot about it when he shook a "cigarette" out of his pack for my boss.
The room remained in a frozen state as I walked over and bent down, picked up the cigarette/joint, and put it into my shirt pocket.
I told the tech that I wanted to see him in my office and then the whole room came back to life. Half of the people couldn't wait to get out the door and leave the office as fast as they could, and the other half was inventing reasons to hang around and see what would happen next.
I didn't know what I was dreading more, talking to my tech or to my boss.
Oh boy, everything was off to a great start today. Grrrr...