You glance longingly over to the empty cubicle next to yours. Nobody’s home.
Why is it that your cubicle neighbor is always there less than you? It’s not because they are busy with important meetings or running errands for your boss, but because they are outside with their smoky treats. They are determined and persistent, weathering not only the good days but the rainy and stormy days as well to feed the daily habit.
Do not misunderstand; many smokers take only their two allotted 15 minutes break in addition to their lunch break. However, those that take advantage of this system get under my skin. Unfortunately for the work smokers (and I cannot deny that I was in that category at one point in a past stressful job), there are other consequences than just criticism for frequent smoke breaks.
* Smoking can be a sign of weakness to management.
* It creates a certain perception at work. Smoking is a controversial topic these days, and it depends which person is making the perception whether it is good or bad. Regardless, there is always a stigma attached to the title of “smoker.”
* You smell. Sorry, I don’t have a nice way to say it. Although I have given up work smoking completely, I enjoy the occasional with a beer. I smell when I do it, and so do you.
Some employers are completely banning smoking areas at the work site, while others are looking for employees to sign non-smoking clauses to cut down on health insurance costs. The heyday of smoking at work is over. Coming from a fellow nicotine addict, I understand how difficult it can be to kick the habit. However, if you have certain aspirations at work, that should be reason enough to keep your smoking habit separate from your work life. If quitting still isn’t an option, use only your allotted break times and freshen up afterwards.
Are we in agreement?
This is a guest post by Lauren Kleinman.