Here’s a crazy story—about nicotine addiction. And an added moral: crime does not pay.
At Mindworks Hypnosis & NLP, I help all manner of clients accomplish all manner of goals. One service I offer is smoking cessation. Aka stop smoking, quit smoking, dump the cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, and vaping. And I’m good at helping!
Over the past 12+ years doing this work, I’ve helped myriads of people to quit tobacco. Here and there, over the years, clients have so resolved: “I’m done with it!” during our session work, that they’ve given me their packs of cigarettes right there in the office. The packs of discarded cigarettes piled up.
I decided to keep one or two packs of cigarettes of each brand given to me for future client testing purposes. I keep them in the office. I’ll bring them out during our work to try to entice smoking desire, and test a client’s firmness in their “No, thank you! Get it away from me!” I was also given tins of chewing tobacco, and vaping pens and oils.
These aren’t just cigarettes, and nicotine products, these are my trophies. I’ve been collecting them for years, as proof of being good at my work. Each one represents successful clients who are now nonsmokers. They are very important to me. I point the cigarette pile out to prospective clients frequently, explaining that any habit change is possible.
So, here’s the story. A few days ago, I had another stop smoking client. Testing time! I asked him: “What’s your brand?” He replied, and I reached for that brand of cigarettes. The pack was still sitting on my shelf neatly stacked in the pile with others. I grabbed the pack, opened it. Empty!
Every pack of cigarettes I had there and had been using in my work for 12+ years, (now approximately 25 packs and brands) was nearly full. And this pack was empty. How? I reached for another pack. Empty. Another. Empty. Another. Two cigarettes in that one. I grabbed one of the random cigarettes and said, “Pretend this is your brand.”
We did our work. It went well. When he left, I examined every pack of cigarettes stacked on the shelf behind my desk where I keep them. Almost every pack was completely empty. Some had one or two cigarettes in it. I opened the tin of chewing tobacco. About 1 teaspoon of tobacco was in there! (It had been full). I looked for the vaping pens and oils. Missing.
My clients are never alone without me present in my inner office, and no one else visits the office but clients and students. Nor are my clients or students the type of people to steal from me. So, what happened here?
I jumped to the obvious conclusion. The janitors! A janitor servicing the office building alone late at night was the only one with opportunity. The janitor(s) were stealing my cigarettes. How desperate was this person, in the throes of some nicotine fit, jeopardizing his job and his company’s reputation (and contract) in deciding to steal my 10+ year old packs of stale cigarettes?
I notified property management and they did an investigation. It turns out that the janitor confessed, and was let go by the cleaning co. It’s still up in the air whether property management will terminate the cleaning company’s entire contract.
Meanwhile, my pile of cigarettes for testing is gone. I’ve asked for reimbursement for the cigarettes from the cleaning company, so I can replace them. But I can’t truly replace what I had. My trophies! Whatever cigarettes I purchase at the 7-11 would not be the actual smokes handed to me by happy clients newly freed from the habit.
Oh, well. See, the janitor made a big mistake. He could have come to me as a client himself and all temptation would have been removed. That would have been a better decision, not only for his life but for his livelihood.
All the Best,
Connie Brannan, CHt.
Clinical Neuro-Linguistic Hypnotherapist
Licensed Trainer of Neuro-Linguistic Programming®
Originator of Designer Feelings®
Originator of Designer Beliefs®
Design Human Engineer™
Professional Conversational Hypnotherapist
Managing Partner, Mindworks Hypnosis