Our CEO is away at the moment and I wish he'd come back already. If he doesn't, I am quite certain his PA could peg on us. You see, my office is right near hers, so every time she trudges out with a ciggie between her fingers, huffing and puffing along, I see (and hear).
Alice* is a smoker. Not just a social smoker. Not a mere "every now and then" sort. Oh no. When her boss is away it rises to a whole new level. It's practically half hourly. She is early 60s and looks like shes in her mid-70s. She literally huffs as she walks. I thought I struggled with the odd bout of breathlessness. Please I am an AMATEUR - this lady is actually battling to breathe and her panting is punctuated with a hacking smoker's cough. The worst is that quite often she likes to have a post-ciggie chat. She comes into my office and I kid you not - no exagerration at all - the entire room stinks of camel cigarettes. And honestly, the smell lingers for a good 20 minutes after she leaves.
Alice is rather deluded on the issue of smoking... she's not your typical, slightly sheepish, always-intending-to-quit-but-never-getting-round-to-it, always-conscious-of-stinking sorts of smokers. Oh no. She has actually told me that she believes her smoking keeps her from getting colds and flu (well that's great but I'd take flu over emphysema??). She has also said that in fact it's STRESS that's the killer and smoking is therefore good for her health as it relieves her stress. The best was the other day where she went on a rampage about how the anti-smoking lobby is merely a political ploy to gain pats on the back. "It's absolute rubbish. Some studies have shown smoking to reduce alzheimers but you'll never hear about that will you?" (Cough, hack, cough cough). "And what about alcohol. That kills more people but you can drink where you like and drive drunk and noone says anything (really?). Drinking is the evil" (incidentally, yes, she does drink and, no, I don't get the logic either).
If ever there was a reason to not start smoking, it must be the sight of this prematurely aged woman trudging past my office constantly, cigarette dangling between her fingers, panting and coughing, the foul odour of smoke surrounding her, mouth shrivelled from 4 decades of addiction. It truly is a sad sight.
CEO, if you are listening, please come back... else Alice might peg.
* Names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent. Alice was chosen as for the very obvious reason that this woman smokes Camels.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
thoughts of Caz at Thursday, July 16, 2009