Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Smokers outside my window

One of the few perks of my job is that I have a window, which I guard jealously. I also retain the ability to open it when, at this time of year, it's beautiful out, but not so hot that I will feel guilty about the air conditioner running more.

The downside is that my window is over one of the two doors out of my building.

Last few years, our office was down to a single remaining smoker, all the others having either quit or... well, quit. And he had an office at the far end of the building, ensuring the other door was far, far more convenient for him to go smoke out of. Thus, I always wondered why he would, time after time, come smoke under my window instead. He had to go out of his way to do it. I complained, and he'd go to the other end for a little while, and then start again, over and over.

This year, we have two new employees, and both of them are smokers. We were so close to nirvana! It's so frustrating. And they're all coming down to my window to smoke. Plus our new cleaning service is one girl who is only here for an hour or two each day, but manages to smoke at least 3 cigarettes outside my window during that time.

All day long I'm opening and closing the window over and over. It's maddening. Maybe I should be more tolerant, but it just gets under my skin that we even have smokers still. Some irrational part of my brain insists on thinking of smoking the way I would about polio or feudalism, as something we used to have but thank goodness we don't anymore. And then they have to bring it to my window.

So here's my question. Get a list of the arguments that smokers use to justify their "right" to smoke in my presence, and for each one, substitute "urinate". The arguments all work just as well, and most of them better, since urination is a natural function necessary to life, and the sterility of urine means it poses no real health danger. So as far as I'm concerned, if you want the right to smoke in front of me, the cost is having to endure people peeing on you, with as gracious a smile as you can put on. Fair deal.

1 comment:

MightyFrog said...

Hmm, maybe a better metaphor would be "eat really stinky food" instead of "urinate." Cigarette smoke bothers the hell out of me; I always feel just a little bit nauseous at that first whiff. I suppose the smoker's argument is that if they're smoking outside, they're really only harming themselves--that amount of secondhand smoke is a nuisance, not a health risk. On a fundamental level, I don't really understand why people smoke either. They say it relieves tension, but that's a mighty expensive, dangerous stress med.