1. I read this as the guy in the grey shirt is no fan of smokers, so he demonstrated this dislike by giving blue shirt some advice that would get him fired. The smoker is reacting to this by insulting him…you know, non-smokers aren’t cool. I don’t think this is really an OK Boomer/Millennial situation.

    Most works places do have a ‘secret spot’, or at least in all the places I’ve worked. Coincidentally, one place was the manager’s office.

  2. They have (or had?) a secret spot on the roof for relaxing/goofing off. But since Cooper isn’t a smoker, he wouldn’t want this guy going up there and turning it into a smoking spot.

  3. Even if he’s no fan of smoking, this Cooper guy could have tried to be helpful to his colleague. I think it would be nice if places had a decent spot for people to go do their smoking. One company/small manufacturer I could see from the window of my last job had installed a structure like a bus shelter at the side of their building, so people could smoke in relative comfort. This, however, would have gotten them in trouble with the city, had they been busted. It’s illegal for any smoking shelter to have more than two walls and a roof.

  4. “Even if he’s no fan of smoking, this Cooper guy could have tried to be helpful to his colleague.”

    I completely agree! However, aren’t the characters in this strip mainly miserable di*ks? I only know the strip from what I’ve read here, but they always seem to act self-righteous and superior towards anyone they speak with.

  5. You’re right, Stan. They ARE insufferable d*cks. Every one of them seems to think that doing their job is beneath them. I’ve had jobs I hated but didn’t take it out on my customers or my colleagues. It was management I hated.

  6. The new guy is not really Cooper’s colleague. He just got his new job, so they have not been working together; and it’s probably at some other store, anyway.

  7. Only 15 percent of U.S. adults smoke, as of 2015. That number has been steadily decreasing for a couple of decades, so it may be even smaller these days. As a non-smoker, I never took smoke breaks at my job, and had no idea where smokers went to do so. Our campus was actually smoke-free, so I think people went out to their cars or something. But if there was a secret place, I had no clue where it might have been. Now Cooper could have been a little less snarky, but he didn’t know this guy, had probably never seen him before. And he did give him a helpful answer first, the only one Cooper likely knew. When the guy pressed him for something he didn’t know, he responded with sarcasm rather than saying “Don’t know, dude – I don’t smoke.” That should have been obvious to smoker guy, since 85 percent of Americans choose to not fill their lungs with carcinogenic gases. (We’d rather eat ourselves to death. 🙂 ) And if Cooper had responded that way, we’d be asking “What’s the joke?”

  8. And blue shirt guy (I guess we can call him Maynard – AFAIK he’s never appeared in the strip before) must think all the cool kids smoke, and so he’s calling Cooper uncool. Has “square” re-entered the slang lexicon? It was common in my 1960s childhood, meaning someone who was straight-laced, sober and out of touch. I haven’t heard it used that way for decades. Maybe I’m still out of touch, or maybe Norm Feuti is old like me and is just using very dated slang? Either way, perhaps Maynard is looking for a place to light up one of those funny cigarettes that are now legal for recreational use in several states, and doesn’t want to do so in public for fear of losing his job or something. Since Cooper doesn’t catch his drift, Maynard dismisses him as a loser.

  9. When the guy asks “where do they really go?” he’s asking for a secret spot, that’s not actually outside, and twenty feet from the entrance. I can see why Cooper doesn’t want to be helpful to that request.

  10. In addition to this guy looking kinda like Maynard G. Krebs, Krebs was also known to call folks “squares”.

  11. Would Maynard G. Krebs be more obscure than Gilligan? Or is there a generational difference? I’m more familiar w/Dobie Gillis than with Gilligan’s Island, myself, being a Late Boomer.

  12. Maynard G. Krebs is more obscure than Gilligan. But I believe larK is suggesting calling him “Gilligan” and expecting the reader to draw the connection that the same actor played both characters – that’s more obscure than knowing either character individually.

  13. You see, while Gilligan is actually less obscure than Maynard, the only way you’d be able to see the connection is to take the step through Gilligan to Maynard, so you’d have to know two pieces of culturalia, and you get to feel smug that while the hoi-polloi will think they understand the Gilligan reference, only one of your magnificence truly gets the reference…

  14. Oh, you didn’t see my comment when you wrote yours? I thought “one of your magnificence” referred to me. Oh well…

  15. I actually took a class on Popular Culture in college . . . it was, I remember, a fun class, but I’ll be darned if I remember anything from/about it except the teacher, Prof. Thomas Noer, who is a well-known and published [is that redundant] history and foreign policy expert. I think he enjoyed the ‘history lite’ aspect of the class, too.

  16. My office was next to a VP’s corner office several jobs ago. He and another VP would go in there, close the door, and smoke, violating state and local law. I came very close to calling the fire department on them, finally got someone to tell them to cut it out.

    The other approach I considered was throwing the door open (it would not have been locked) and spraying a fire extinguisher. I’m willing to bet that my job would have survived–I was supporting 40% of our revenue single-handedly (on the old, “boring” product line). But wasn’t quite worth the tsuris.

  17. I started working at Megacorp in 1981. Over 36 years, I got to witness the change in smoking rules. Originally, you could smoke at your desk (and we were in bullpen seating) which was pretty bad if the guy (while some women worked there, none smoked that I ever saw) behind you was a smoker.

    At some point, they designated some small rooms as smoking areas. A smoker quipped that if you forgot your pack, you could just go in there and breathe the air.

    Then smokers had to go outside the buildings. This meant that they clustered around the entrances. They were their own worst enemies there. Not only was there a gauntlet of smoke to get through for non-smokers, but the perpetrators tended to ignore the receptacles and throw butts on the ground. I knew that wouldn’t last.

    Finally, no smoking on the property was allowed, not even in cars in the parking lots. For some buildings with large parking lots, people often drove off the premises.

  18. Norm Feuti is ending this stri[pnext month so all of you who have never worked retail can find some other strip to criticize.

  19. 1. This is a site dedicated to commenting on comics. All who enter here should abandon hope their favourites will be treated with kindness.
    2. Worked retail for a while and customer service for more years than I care to admit. That customers couldn’t see your face and you got to sit down meant CS was better. That said, I didn’t have a hate on for customers in either case. The workers in this strip are horrible.
    3. I heard it was ending. I wonder how I will fill the void in my heart.

  20. Bill, the cognoscenti know that both were the same actor, so it was never Maynard saying square and Gilligan not, it was Bob Denver saying square, and so he could damn well say it again if he wanted to. Referring to Bob by a character he played and purposely confounding it with another character he played is post ironic hip; Gilligan is a mere construct.

  21. Since the coming end of the strip has been announced the discussion on the strip on Comics Kingdom has been heading more and more into nastiness, ruddiness and arguing. The end is near and armageddon has started there.

    If it was live face to face discussion fisticuffs would have already started.

  22. We eat lunch daily at a local Wendys – Sundays at a different one (and usually Saturday dinner at yet another different one). The main one we go to is located at a bus stop and apparently near some mental health agency. While one cannot smoke inside the Wendys often people near us (who are obviously clients at the agency) will reek of cigarette smoke. The other day one gentleman was seated next at a table adjacent to us and I smelled the smoke most of the rest of the day – even sniffing at my clothes at home later to see if I should change my sweatshirt (worn over my tee shirt to keep me warm and worn for more than one day) to get rid of the smell.

    I grew in a house where dad smoked pipes and cigars and when very young mom smoked cigarettes (dad apparently did also – he impressed her while dating by lighting two cigarettes as in “Now Voyager”- per her.). Their smoke never bothered me – nor did cigarette smoke in general back then – now it makes me so sick when I smell it.

    (My sister marks yes for if mom has ever smoked on medical forms. Robert and I took mom to a doctor and he was caught on the smoking. I told him that mom stopped smoking around 60 years ago,but he kept coming back to it – and nothing she was there for had any relation to same, but now the doctor thinks of mom as as”a smoker”. I will also mark yes if it says ever and then note she how long ago she stopped, my sister apparently does not think to do that. )

  23. By the way – Maynard Krebs reminds me – when Robert had the trouble in late 2018 with his shoulder and back he started watching old TV shows on his Roku to take his mind off his pain. We found the “Many Loves of Dobie Gillis” on same, mostly the same as we remember.

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