Around 1999, maybe 2000, one of my employers bought a Flame system with no full time operator to go along with it. I tried to bring in a few people but couldn't get the execs to agree that we needed someone.
So during a conversation about a long-standing dispute over my title (I had been doing "CG Supervisor" work for a couple years and wanted it as my official title), I told my boss that I was going to instead be the full time Flame artist and she could find me in the Flame suite from now on. Then I ended up being that full-time Flame artist for the next two years or so.
Those were some good times. There really isn't a social experience that I can recall in my career that is as fun and rewarding as working with cool clients over your shoulder. The Flame/Quantel/etc mentality is relatively outdated at this point -- the GPU in your computer at home can do what was once a $1m piece of SGI hardware and large, complicated composites are much better done in something like Nuke -- but Flame still has such a great workflow and interface for on-line sessions. It's nice to see it again.