I’ll admit it: I’m low-key envious of smokers. No, I’m not jealous because they are taking years off their lives by ripping darts designed to blacken their lungs until they can’t breathe anymore; I’m jealous of the fact that they can take smoke breaks and not get judged. We have a guy here that takes anywhere between 3-5 smoke breaks a day. When you account for your typical 10 to 15 minute smoke break, this guy is getting a lot of extra downtime, and no one bats an eye.
I’m not asking for much here. All I’m asking is that us non-smokers get the same treatment that smokers do. If I want to take a quick ten to go munch on some goddamn Cheetos, I want to do it without Cindy from HR giving me the stink eye like I’m using precious company time to do what I could be doing at my desk. Listen, Cindy, if Steve can casually walk out the door to light up a cig, I can do the same with my bag of cheesy deliciousness. I wouldn’t even take more than two of this kind of break.
Think about it. For those of us who dip, we see it on a daily basis. Here I am throwing in a horseshoe and getting looks of disgust like I just threw a giant turd in my mouth. Yet a smoker is ripping cigarettes in front of the building for the whole world to see, and smell, and inhale, and no one really thinks anything of it. How no one can see the hypocrisy of this is beyond me. The money you’re paying these people to smoke is being directly filtered back into buying more cigarettes, resulting in continued smoke breaks.
Let’s turn the tables here to the other side of the tobacco world: cigars. What if someone smoked a cigar (which is more acceptable socially) for forty-five minutes a day (three smoke breaks x 15 minutes each) on top of his lunch? He’d be viewed as a glutton, and possibly a baller.
There’s also the after-effects of the smoke break. If you were just eating Cheetos outside of the building, no one sees you come in and thinks, “That dude smells like Cheetos.” Sure, you may have some orange dust on your pants or shirt, but at least you don’t smell like tobacco and additives. Score one more for team snack break.
My demands are rather simple, corporate America. I’m not here to take away from the smokers. In fact, let them smoke as much as they want. We non-smokers just want a few added bennies. Could this be an extra day or two of PTO? Of course it could. If you want to extend our lunches to two hours instead of one, I’m perfectly okay with that too. Do what’s right. For too long, we non-smokers have been oppressed. It’s time to take a stand against smoker privilege. Maybe Rex Ryan was on to something when he said “let’s go get a goddamn snack.” Maybe I’ve just gone mad.
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