Thursday, April 29, 2010

Carriage Wit Classics: Non-Smokers : The Oppressed Majority

Today's Carriage Wit Classic comes from four years ago, during my days as a corporate wage-slave.

"Cover for me for a few minutes, I'm going to take a smoke break."  If I had a dime for every minute I covered for a co-worker so he could go outside and fill his lungs full of tar, I'd be making a lot more than minimum wage.  A LOT more. 

With new scientific evidence pointing out that second-hand smoke is EVEN MORE HARMFUL than originally thought, I wonder why at jobs we actively encourage smoking by letting people take five minutes off of work whenever they feel the urge to light up a cancer stick?

"But David, they feel so much more relaxed after a smoke."  Well yeah..that's called getting a five minute break from a stressful job.  Let me go stand outside for five minutes without anything to worry about and I'll be a lot more relaxed too.

"But David, they're so addicted that its impossible to go any period of time longer than an hour without smoking something."

Wow. That's really sad on a lot of levels.  Fine, let them take their smoke breaks.  But as a nonsmoker (and thus as an employee who doesn't tire as quickly, has better breath and teeth for customer service, and is far less likely to get cancer and suck up sick leave or company life insurance), I deserve to take five minute breaks whenever I'm sick of my job too.  Instead, I stay behind and have to cover the job of two people, instead of just myself.  Do I get paid more for my efforts?  Nope.  Its just part of the job.  Its what I get for not sucking on a stick of burning chemicals.

Another thing I was thinking about today as I swept up literally dozens of cigarette butts from the front of the store...Why does smoking give you a carte blanche on littering?  If I were to walk by and throw a candy bar wrapper on the ground in front of people I'd get glared at at best, and forced to pick it up and throw it away at worse.  But when someone finishes a cigarette, its perfectly acceptable to flick the toxic stub casually onto the sidewalk or road or wherever it is you are standing.  Anyone who's ever volunteered to clean up a highway can share my frustration here.  JUST BECAUSE YOU'RE TURNING YOUR BODY INTO AN ASHY JUNKYARD DOESN'T MEAN YOU CAN TRASH THE OUTSIDE WORLD TOO!

Its bad enough you're giving us cancer just by walking by, but do we have to do your jobs and clean up your cigarette butts too?

Why is it that whenever a restaurant is forced to prohibit smoking on the premesis it makes the papers and causes a huge fit about civil rights, but everyone accepts the above incidents like its just the natural part of life?

Your rights end when they infringe on mine.

(This has been a public service announcement from our good friend Common Sense)


  1. I'll probably die of lung cancer because of the 4 months a spent in China breathing second hand smoke. I never saw a chinese man NOT smoking, and even on the trains. I have been on twenty hour train rides where I was inhaling smoke the ENTIRE time.

    Gross, I hate smokers. Yeah, I said it.

  2. Pretty much all of France smokes too. Saddest sight ever was at the high school where I teach at where all the kids would be standing outside in the cold, smoking during their 10 minute break between classes.

  3. Whenever I walk past someone on campus smoking, it instantly takes me back to Paris... Then I'm tempted to cough for about 5 minutes straight to make a point, then yell, "UTAH CLEAN AIR ACT!" at them.

  4. Yeah, I can relate. I used to work in a restaurant when I was in college and resented my coworkers who got to take breaks to smoke when the rest of us didn't get any breaks.

    Michigan just went smoke free May 1st and I am SO excited. :)

  5. Man, I hate that, too. In the military we had to mandatory details (cleaning up the road, buildings, public restrooms, and any other thing they were too cheap to hire someone who wasn't already working 14 hour work days). There were thousands of those little butts everywhere. I have never smoked a single puff, and I never will. To add to your point, why can't we get an instant pass that lets us out of those duties by being non-smokers?

  6. There are apparently areas of Disneyland where you are allowed to smoke. I accidentally passed one, and almost died. It seems as though every smoker in Anaheim must congregate there.