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Mr. Mustache, another librarian blog

I am a reference librarian with experience in both the public and state government fields. I am doing this on a whim, sort of like the mustache I grew when I was 19 and still have in my 50's.

Location: New Jersey, United States

I am a state worker and a librarian.

Monday, August 07, 2006

the Smokers

I've worked in three types of places. The places where you could smoke at your desk. The places where there was one restricted area of the break room you could smoke. And the modern age of outdoor smoking. I don't remember anyone saying smoking at your desk was wrong back in the olden days. But then, I was young and had more to worry about than second hand smoke.

I remember my public library days and the break room with the six feet of table territory where the smokers sat. The smokers would shout their opinions to the non smokers at the other end of the table and the non smokers would then give their opinions on the other. I remember the smokers being the Republicans and the non smokers being the Democrats.

Today the smokers have to smoke outside. The workplace is otherwise banned for nicotine. The smoker looks at the clock. "One hour til I can get a cigarette." Misery. Then he brightens up. "Half and hour til a cigarette." "Holy Mother of Mary! Ten minutes til break." And then break.

The smoker runs to the elevator, notifying even the non smokers that it is break time. The smoker caresses his cigarette thinking of the pleasure that the object will give him in the near future. He gets his lighter ready. A rush at the door. The doors are open. Ecstasy. The first cigarette of the morning coffee break.

The smokers are hardy souls. They assemble in the cold of winter, the heat of summer. They sit on broken down benches. And then they tell the jokes of the day. Gossip and the latest news. Nothing is ever more truthful than the words smokers exchange during coffee break while they create a cloud of smoke; competing with the construction crews and their jackhammers with their own industrial smoke.

Sadly, break is over. They slowly troop upstairs. Two hours til the next cigarette.

Incidentally I have received so few comments that I have changed the restrictions so you can leave a comment without signing a registration form. Let's here those comments!


Blogger The Squeaky Cyclist said...

At the school where I work we had a Smokers Lounge, back in the day. All the cool people hung out there, even the non-smokers. Everyone who smoked retired and died. We don't have ANY lounge now. And the one or two secret smokers drive off campus in their cars to smoke.

8:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved smoking. I miss it. It's not healthy but it was fun. Everyone is so tidy now.
If a comet was heading this way I'd get a carton of Marlboros.
And yes, I used to be able to smoke in my office.

9:53 AM  
Blogger Noah Fence said...

I worked in a college library once that had a staff lounge are with a smaller room attached with a smoke filter that didn't work very well. The whole lounge area smelled like stale cigars. I used to go outside to smoke, much like I do today.

11:44 AM  

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