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Why I Took Up Smoking For My Health

I have had a lot of jobs in my life.  I’ve been working since I was 14, and have worked in hospitality, restaurants, state government, a hair salon, corporate, and non-profit work.  And there is one universal truth about every company where I have worked.

Smokers get more breaks.

If you don’t smoke, it feels weird to take a random break.  And if you’re a non-smoker, you don’t dare say a word to the smokers about their extensive breaks because god forbid they miss a break and a cig and then rip your head off and crap down your neck.

It could happen.

A few years ago, on a lovely afternoon, I decided to take a break and read outside of my building on a comfy bench.  As I was enjoying my fabulous fresh air and vitamin D (and let’s be honest, I was probably getting burned in my 15 minutes outside), a fellow employee on her way to smoke shack said “must be nice to sit outside and read at work”.

I looked her squarely in the eye, made a “V” sign with my fingers, brought it up to my mouth, took a drag, and let out a kick ass fake smoke ring (I was a fast learner) and said “I’m not reading, I’m smoking”.

Ever since then, on nice days, my sunglasses, my book and I head outside at break time, and I “smoke” for 15 lovely minutes.  I breathe the non-circulated office air deep in to my lungs, and get caught up in whatever library book I am currently enjoying.  The ladies in my office call it my “faux smo” break.

I occasionally get a smart ass comment from a passing employee, but I always go back to my “I’m smoking” comment.  Most of the time, they laugh and say they too should take up “smoking” for their health.

American workers rarely take all the breaks they are due/afforded by law.  We’re also one of the only societies that don’t take every yearly vacation day we to which we are entitled.  In an effort to make sure my job doesn’t consume me on a daily basis, my “smoking” habit allows me to take a brief breather during the day, recalibrate, and go back in and be able to do great work.  If 15 minutes of sunshine and getting caught up on some wonderful books allows me to give my best, who in the world would deny that has a high return on investment.

And so, I “smoke”.  Day in and day out, I take big drags of air, and I come back better for it.

Faux smo…it’s for your health!

What tricks do you do at work to keep yourself sane?

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14 comments on “Why I Took Up Smoking For My Health”

  1. Heheheh! I have visions of you puffing one of those fake cigarettes we used to get from joke shops as kids here. The realistic “smoke” was provided by filling the little tube with flour!
    Alternatively a pipe. Just an empty, old skool smoking pipe (à la Sherlock Holmes) – also useful for pointing, and making fish noises. Or, my personal favourite, a bubble pipe.

  2. That is for damn sure. I love that you did this!

    At work, I take breaks by blogging and by going for walks with some of my co-workers.

  3. I learned this trick at the ripe old age of 16! I worked at a Pizza Hut where I was the only non drug user.. and one of maybe 4 non smokers. We were slow that evening, all the drivers were outside smoking, half the other staff also. I stepped outside to enjoy the sun a few minutes and my boss asked why I was not inside.. I told him I was taking my non-smoking break.. if EVERYONE else gets to go hang out and play in the grass-ON THE CLOCK.. multiple times a shift.. I was going to get my equal share.. minus the death sentance.. He snubbed his cigarette out and walked back into the kitchen.. I held that job 4+ years! (being 100% sober afforded me a lot of control!lol)

  4. When smoking was allowed at my old job I used to take fresh air breaks.