01 February 2006

But not Luckys

Several years ago I worked for a company where about 95% of the company smoked. Eventually - sometimes I'm not as bright as you would think - I noticed that all the smokers were each spending about an hour total a day out in the warm sunshine "having a cigarette." So I started telling my boss that I was going out to "have a cigarette." "But you don't smoke." "Uh-huh. I'll be back in a few." And I went outside and sat in the warm sunshine. Ahhhhhhhhhh.

Nowadays I like to compare consuming gluten when one is an asymptomatic Celiac to smoking - I will feel fine today if I eat a donut but the cumulative effects down the road if I eat donuts every day will make me feel very crummy indeed. So now when I deliberately *choose* to eat the Demon Gluten - like at Andy and Andrea's wedding where I defiantly had a yummy piece of wedding cake - I tell people that I'm "having a cigarette."

Times change. Meanings change. But, gosh, that phrase has been good to me.


Casey Jones said...

Have that cigarette, Leta. Have it.

Long as it's not a habit...

Power to ya.

Brett said...

Sadly this faux smoking misses what I believe to be the real element that keeps people smoking in this day and age, the gossip line. You probably don't need it, you stay pretty clued up, but for the less socially inclined those smoke breaks are the perfect place to chat and gossip. If I want to know whats going on, I always ask a smoker.

Liza said...

I've never been a successful smoker, but in my late teens & early, I probably managed to choke down 2 packs worth of cigarettes. I completely got their value as a social lubricant, although I hated the smell and taste. Plus they cost so much more than I thought they were worth.

Maureen said...

I've worked with more than one non-smoker who routinely accompanied a smoking colleague on smoke breaks specifically for the gossip.

And then there are the smokers who seem to spend at least as much time on smoke breaks as on work breaks. C'mon - 30 minutes for a cigaratte? Or are they smoking 2 or 3 per break?

Of course I've also known those who took long smoke breaks but worked later to cover the time. Our chief of staff is one of those - seems to head out every coupla hours for a smoke, but no one could ever accuse her of being a slacker!

Jim A said...

There's only one smoker in my office, but I've said that if she quits, somebody else will have to start, just so we'll have a hint as to what's going on in the larger organization. According to her, the saying is, "What's said in the smokers' lounge, stays in the smokers' lounge." Fortunately for us, that's just not true.