Sunday, August 14, 2011

Why am I the "bad guy" ?

I abhor the smell of cigarette smoke.

I have had many experiences in my life that have contributed to this overall disdain for the odor, but suffice it to say, I have my reasons and they are VALID!

As a Mormon I choose to follow the "Word of Wisdom," which is a commandment to abstain from coffee, tea, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and really any other "addictive" type of substance.  Coffee is the only one that ever even remotely appealed to me, but just because I really like the smell and the concept of all the different flavors.  I don't like "hot drinks" much though, so I've never tasted a sip of any coffee, etc.  But I do enjoy that smell.
Not cigarette smoke though.  Not at all!

And so, as part of my regular routine at work, I do something that may occasionally get me frowned at or looked down on for.  I DO NOT hold the elevator for people coming into work from the "smoke shack" (that's what people call the approved smoking area outside our office ... in Cleveland they call them "Butt Huts" ... that makes me giggle!)  I do a quick scan of that area as I'm swiping my badge to come into the office.  If I see anyone heading from that "shack" I will speed up to get on the elevator and ride up to the 3rd floor (where I work) without having to smell their smoky clothes.  I will even push the "Close Door" button to ensure I don't get stuck with that odor!

My frustration is that some (not all) smokers find what I am doing to be rude or in poor taste.  And I have to wonder how I became the "bad guy" in this situation?!

I am making no judgements of you as a person on the basis of your decision to fill your lungs with "cancerous air" and to stain your teeth and to "waste" money on such an unhealthy activity.  I don't think it is a good decision in the least, but it is, ultimately, your decision!  You might still be a super awesome person and wonderful member of the human race.  You might save people's lives and do charitable work that would make Mother Theresa feel lazy.  You have a right to do whatever you choose.  So why am I not allowed the same right?!  Why am I wrong for not wanting to be in your stinky presence in an enclosed space where I'll end up smelling like that all day?!

Sidebar Non-Smoker Business Idea
I've told my wife Karen that what I really want to do is create a "stink bomb" of sorts that perfectly replicates the malicious odor of meconium baby diapers.  I'd put it in spray cans that enable you to shoot the odor just as far as cigarette smoke travels and then non-smokers could use it "against" those smokers who take offense at our not wanting to have to breath their "dirty air."  Just imagine the uproar that would occur in the media and among smokers when they found out that I was deliberately polluting the air with a foul smelling toxin!  I'd be the most hated person since _______ (fill in the blank with the first name that comes to your own mind).


Let me ride my elevator in peace and without the offensive smell.  At the very least, allow me to exit when I realize you are covered in smoke-smell.
I'll take the stairs.  None of the smokers ever seem to find their way into that space so I should always be safe there!  :)


1 comment:

  1. I definitely see where you are coming from - it's a very tricky, difficult line to walk, where you try to respect other people's choices, yet still have the freedom to make your own, to do what you feel is right for you.