Friday 28 January 2011

Sauce for the goose

Council bosses in Carlisle have written to their employees suggesting that, if smokers have to clock out for a fag break, anyone wishing to have a ten-minute conversation about the weather should do the same. Certainly over the years I've witnessed some spectacular examples of timewasting through office gassing. The threat wasn't actually carried through, but antismokers should be very careful what they wish for as it could easily rebound on them. And, of course, anyone expected to clock out for a fag break is hardly likely to be prepared to go the extra mile, or even the extra half-inch, for their employer.


  1. I've seen a study suggesting that smokers are actually more productive because they tend to discuss work in more open groups than usual, leading to much improved communications.

    The same argument would go for a pint after work, too. Imagine the fall in GDP that Don Shenker is causing.

  2. Is it not slightly hypocritical though, that across offices along the land people are allowed outside for a ten minute gasper, but if I sat at my desk with a can of lout I’d be straight off to HR for disciplinary? Now I’m not complaining about people having a smoke outside, just asking for fairness and equality

  3. I recently commented on my union rep experience of this kind of issue in your post Smoking In Pubs - What I'd Forgotten, so I won't repeat it here.

    I do wonder, however, whether this is a response by management to non-smokers whingeing about smokers having breaks? Although I've never smoked, I found the intolerance of a minority of non-smokers disappointing and refused to put forward their views. Besides (as I used to remind them), working alongside a heavy smoker who is gasping for a fag is no picnic.


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