There are three women in my office who smoke. They always go together like a tribe of emphysemic Amazons. Throughout the day they will start to gather by the door near my desk. When they have all arrived, one of them will inform me that they are going out to smoke, and then they will the leave the office for upwards of ten minutes. They do this every 20 to 25 minutes. I realize that a nicotine addiction combined with the social ritual of a smoke break has a powerful allure, but seriously. They probably spend 30-45 minutes a day out of the office smoking. This is on top of the regularly scheduled breaks and lunch. Nobody says anything about this. The rest of the office seems to regard their smoking as if they were diabetics going to give themselves insulin shots.
Frankly, it’s unfair and discourteous to the rest of us who A: don’t smoke and B: are trying to get work done but can’t because our work relies on things these women are supposed to do but haven’t yet because they were out smoking. I’ve started to wonder what would happen if every 25 minutes I stood up and loudly announced that I was going down the hall to masturbate, and then didn’t come back for fifteen minutes. Some how I think this behavior would get me fired, or at the very least, sternly reprimanded.
Again, I think this is unfair. Why is their smoking, which is dangerous and will end up bogging down the company health plan with costs for totally preventable diseases, fine and dandy while my proposed habitual masturbation (a totally harmless activity) is (presumably) frowned upon? Fucking double standards.