Thursday, July 16, 2009

tick tock tick tock


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.


Ches said...

Alice and camels...don't get it?

Ches said...

Alice and camels...don't get it?

Ches said...

I see it commented twice, therefore I must really be stupid ;)

Mrs. Holly Hall said...

I use to smoke camels... then winstons because they went 'all natural' with the ingrediants.

but yeah.


my grandpa was a chain smoker. He use to brag that all he needed was one match in the morning-he could light every ciggarrette from the last one that way.

when he died (lung cancer-SHOCK!)
we had to clean his house. above his favorite recliner in the living room-on the ceiling-was a thick paste of TAR.

all yellow brown disgusting. My dad got on a ladder and scrapped it off. GAAAH!@!@!!

TELL HER THIS STORY-ONLY PRETEND YOU ARE ME AND SAY IT'S AN UNCLE OR SOMETHING. Say it nonchalantly and walk away with a innocent shrug.

or-buy some 'odor eliminating spray' and just follow her around while she huffs and puffs.

she has every right to kill herself, no need to take down innocent bystanders.



Caz said...

Ches didn't you ever sing that endless and very painful song when you were younger:
Alice the camel has (pause) ONE HUMP
Alice the camel has (pause) ONE HUMP
Alice the camel has (pause) ONE HUMP
So Go alice GO bom bom bom
(and then on to two humps and on and on and on and on)
No nothing??

Caz said...

Mrs HH - ya my granddad actually had emphysema so it wouldnt be much of a stretch!
Glad you're off the camels lady, well done!

Hels said...

AH MAN!!! now I have blimming Alice the Camel in my head!! But it was worth it - love the post Caz!

Bruce said...

So strange....that we lost this in the states almost 2 decades ago. You can't smoke inside ANY public building or workplaces anymore. You can only smoke outside, in speciafically designated areas (with signs that usually say, "All Smoking Losers Must Stand Behind The Lines While Getting Your Nicotine Fix".)

Caz said...

oh dont worry - we have the same laws here. she smokes outside!

Tamara said...

Hehehe... I feel chuffed that I got the camel connection.

TSC worked in a building with 32 other people, only 2 of which (aside from him) where non-smokers. He was never particularly anti-smoking before that, but seeing they flagrantly disobeyed the law and smoked in the building, IN HIS OFFICE, he has become the most anti-smoking person I know.