I don't smoke cigarettes. Never have, never will. Growing up, my dad always smoked and it was the first thing I would smell in the morning when my alarm would go off, his cigarette smoke as he sat in the kitchen reading the newspaper, drinking coffee and smoking a cigarette. Nowadays, he would never consider smoking inside the house but back then no one seemed to think much about it. It was sorta the way that we thought it was perfectly fine to sunbathe with baby oil and throw litter outside our car windows as we drove down the highway. Ah, it was a simple world back then. Over the years, I have been in a couple of plays that required me to smoke cigarettes but it was always so disgusting that it never made me want to consider continuing the habit after closing night. Nope, cigarettes are not something I ever wanted to take up until last last night when I noticed that the bartender got to take four or five cigarette breaks during the course of our five hour shift while I was stuck inside working.
Surely I am not the only one who notices this reverse discrimination. Yes, smokers have been delegated to one square foot where they are allowed to puff and it has to be so many feet from the building entrance and then they are not allowed to throw their butts on the ground, (Speaking of butts...) but they do get to leave their jobs several times a day to do it. It's not fair for those of us with clean lungs, longer life expectancy and more spending money. Observe:Smoker: Hey boss, I'm gonna go out to the sidewalk and have a quick cigarette break for a few minutes and I'll be right back, okay?
Non-smoker: Hey boss, I'm gonna go out to the sidewalk for a few minutes and I'll be right back, okay?
Boss: Are you gonna smoke a cigarette?
Non-smoker: No, I don't smoke so I'm just gonna pace back and forth.
Boss: Get your ass back to work.
You know it's true. Smokers have this unspoken permission to run out for a quick smoke break any time they want and while they're out there they get to other things that we non-smokers are not allowed to do at our jobs like talk on the phone or look at a magazine. Man.smokers have all the fun. Maybe people allow them to do it because they feel sorry for the chain of addiction that is wrapped around the smoker's lungs and they know that for every cigarette they smoke that person is losing eleven minutes of their lives. But I want my four or five mini breaks a day, goddamn it. I knew this guy once who was from Hungary. He told me that every man there had to serve in the army as a teenager and he soon realized that the smokers in the army got several sanctioned breaks throughout the day. So what did he do? He bought a pack of cigarettes and started to smoke. Actually, he would simply light a cigarette and hold it just to get away from whatever the others were doing. It was the army in Hungary so who the hell knows what that was. Push ups? Breaking rocks? Eating goulash? The point is that even in the Hungarian army, smokers got to take breaks that non-smokers didn't.
It's time that we non-smokers stood up for our rights! The next time you are at work and you see one of your filthy addicted co-workers going out to suck on a cancer stick for five minutes, I say go with them. (Do not stand too close to them though because you don't want any of that nasty ass second-hand smoke to get into your beautiful pure lungs.) If a person goes out to smoke once an hour during a five hour shift, that totals about twenty-five minutes of free time they get that non-smokers don't. Never mind that by smoking five cigarettes they have shaved off almost an hour of their life, we are talking about short term benefits here. We deserve those cigarette breaks too and we don't have to smoke to get 'em. Starting tomorrow, any time someone goes out for a "quick puff," I'm going too. I'm going to buy me some of those candy cigarettes though because smoking is not cool. I just want to be lazy.
Does anyone else see this happen at their job? I want to know. I also want you to CLICK HERE to vote to get me on a billboard in Times Square. Easy with no sign up or registration. Just a click.
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