Archive for February 22nd, 2011

The Smoking Zone

Ever seen a smoking zone?

That special space in office areas specially designated for people who need their two puffs before they can make it through their next task ? An area of seclusion, of peace, little chatter and much pondering. Of people grouped together, but all in their own little space. Of cigarettes shared, lighters lit.

I’m envious.

Not because they get to smoke and I don’t (not that I WANT to), but because their urge to smoke forces them to spend some time away from their desks, reflecting on what they are doing, what needs to be done, what they’ve accomplished and and what they haven’t. One friend even confessed to spending this quality time listing the movies he’s seen and the ones he hadn’t!! How rad is that??

I mean,I’m burning the office chair, working my butt off, fretting over the tasks assigned and whether the kids had their meals on time or not. And here are these guys who take time off work, walk all the way to the smoking zone, light up a couple of ciggs, let the smoke clog their lungs and wonder about life and all things important. Now you would say, who’s stopping me from stepping into the smoking zone and doing some reflecting myself?!


Aw c’mon! Really!

A non-smoker in a smoking zone? Passive smoking? Is it worth the trouble?

But that isn’t what my rant is against.

I hate the smoking zone in my office complex because its such an awesome place to be in. It has these large granite benches, complete with backrests, a covered overhead, flowery bushes behind and placed in a location between two towers, which ensures that there’s always a cool draft blowing through that zone. Every time I pass that way (that  is twice a day, morning and evening on my way to/from the parking) , I walk a little slower, just to absorb the atmosphere, the cool breeze, the lovely picturesque skyline. I can feel my feet dragging, begging me to settle on one of those black granite benches, soaking up the silence and sometimes,  the minimal conversations taking place. But a quick look confirms that the place if full of men (and I mean, really full!) with barely any place for a podgy momma.

Its soooo romantic!!

The office smoking zone is something like the one above, only, better benches and covered 🙂 . The one above is sourced from Google images 😀

The BF feels I’ve lost it when I mention to him my deep desire to have the smoking zone to myself. Kids and work seems to be taking a toll on me, he figures. Bed rest is what you need, he advises further.


Little does he know!!

Just look at the scene above. Doesn’t it evoke the strong desire to grab a mug of coffee, your favourite book and immerse yourself in it to become a part of the picture?


Well, it must just be me then 😦

But just imagine, what if that dumb “Smoking Zone” sign was removed? Then?

He He. Now you know what I’m talking about 😉

But the best part of my grouse is this  – the men have hogged the smoking zone. And there is NO OTHER such area where the women can sit. A few brave women smokers huddle in some corners, but seriously girls, you gotta take over much more than just the last bench on the corner turn! The non-smoking women have a few metal benches to sit on (note the metal bench part) with no overhead cover. So though we might think of stepping out and gobbling some greenery, the only way to do it is standing on your two feet, because your posterior would never forgive you if you tried resting on the benches 😐

I guess I’d be less rant-y if we had smoking zones like these :-

Cool, aren’t they? A wee claustrophobic for my choice, but then, what am I smoking? But can you imagine how it would feel to be cooped up in there while you did your drags?

Am sure the ventilation system is state-of-the-art . These modern smoking zones look pretty serviceable. Much like using the loo. You come in, do your job and walk out 😀 . And if you want to ponder standing, then ponder away good friend 😀 .

I’ve come to the part now where I’m done ranting about the lack of quality space for women in office areas. Frankly, I have no idea how to end this post. Should I be doling out suggestions on where a working woman can go rest her tired, achy feet or throw a few choice cuss-words at the injustice of it all or should I just throw caution to the wind and claim one of the smoking-zone benches as my own?!!

Much as I’m tempted to do the latter, better sense prevails, still. I guess the BF wouldn’t take too kindly to a wife who reeks of Four-Square or Wills, not that he would notice the difference anyway! Unlike his wife whose father puffs away packs and a brother who seems to be giving the pater the chase . It isn’t doing them any good, but then, like all smokers, our admonitions roll off them like water off a duck’s back 😦 . Pity.


I can live with a little cigarette smoke. There’s a lot less of it than the fumes I breathe in and out everyday on my way to work. And frankly, I’m not repulsed. I kind of like the smell, specially when I just catch a whiff of it and nothing stronger. Though I cant say the same for smoker friends whose clothes smell as though they’ve been through a round of the dryer with a carton of cigarettes hidden in it. It helps that I keep a jar of mints on my desk where the guys drop by gratefully for one. Helps keep the air a tad bearable 🙂

Aaah!! I figured finally out how to end this post!!. I just claimed to do my bit for the benefit of humanity, didn’t I? I provide mints to guys who’ve had a tad too much to smoke and make the air comfortable enough for other people to work in.


Philanthropy and me walk hand-in-hand (if you hadn’t guessed already)


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