Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Thank You For Not Smoking.

Let's get one thing straight: I don't care if you smoke.

I don't care how many packs you smoke a day.
I don't care if you started when you were 13.
I don't care if you want to quit or not.

However, it'd be nice if you took other people (namely, your fellow g/e brothers and sisters who don't smoke) into consideration the next time you light up.

For example, try timing your cigarette breaks accordingly. Deciding you need a smoke while the rest of the crew is scrambling to get the next shot up? Not cool. Stepping off for a cigarette while we're waiting on you to finish that cable run? Or leaving the set without having anyone cover for you while you light up? That just makes your whole team look bad. And don't think running back and forth between the set and the smoking area will make you look any better either. All that does is make you smell like cigarettes and sweat, not to mention that you're now panting your nausea educing breath in everyone's face. Ew.

And be aware of your surroundings if you smoke. By the generator? Not a good idea. Standing next to racks of costumes? Still not a good idea. Around kids (or more specifically, the lead kid who happens to have an asthma problem)? That's an even worse idea.

And above all, just recognize when it is appropriate to smoke and when it is not. While it's nice that you'll occasionally say the words, "Do you mind if I smoke?" please take note that unless you're in the company of a pregnant lady, 99% of the time the people around you will say "no," even if they do mind. Why? Because if you're in a group of people, no one wants to be that guy.

So please just use your best judgment. Standing in the middle of a parking lot? Outside on the sidewalk a good few yards away from open doors and windows? On a rooftop babysitting a light? Those are all acceptable places to smoke a cigarette.

Sitting in a crowded pass van in the middle of stop-and-go LA traffic?

Not a good idea.

And can someone please explain to me why smokers never seem to carry a lighter??


Michael Taylor said...

What irks me is the continual smoke-breaks some of my occasional co-workers take all day long. Every twenty minutes they head off stage to stand outside and smoke for five minutes. That's fifteen minutes per hour, eight to ten hours a day (on rig or wrap days), and it adds up.

So what are the rest of us used-to-smoke-but-quit ex-smokers doing for those two+ cumulative hours of smoke-time?

Working -- picking up the slack for our huffing and puffing friends.

When I quit, I swore on a stack of bibles that I wouldn't become one of those preachy, holier-than-thou newly-reformed ex-smokers who constantly harp on tobacco junkies to rid themselves of the habit. And since carping about all those smoke breaks could easily slide into this queasy territory, I just make sure to take extra long bathroom breaks with the same metronomic regularity, needed or not.

If you can't beat 'em -- and apparently you can't -- then join 'em...

Nathan said...

I'm not going to comment on most of this post (since I'm a smoker myself), but smokers who forget to carry a lighter? That's like a golfer who forgets to bring a putter. Dude! Take some pride in your hobby and come prepared!

A.J. said...

Michael - Agreed. I usually don't mind when my co-workers sneak in a cigarette during lengthy takes, but on busy days or during rig/de-rigs? That's when it becomes very apparent how many "breaks" they take.

I'd be tempted to follow your lead and take extra long and frequent bathroom breaks, but I think it'd just lead to embarrassing "Are you feeling okay??" questions.

Nathan - Exactly! I wouldn't be half as annoyed with smokers if they just stopped interrupting conversations every ten minutes asking "Do you have a light?" That one person will usually go from group to group asking the same damn thing, then get frustrated when no one can help him. Eventually, he'll stumble upon someone who has a lighter (ironically enough, it's often a non-smoker) and the poor guy is suddenly swarmed with smokers, all with unlit cigarettes in their hands. About a half hour later, the ritual repeats.

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