Re: Smoking Ban
March 07, 2004
Good letter, Sandra McCloud! You've stated the immediate ill
effects suffered by many non-smokers exposed to secondhand smoke.
You've also mentioned what many of us non-smokers miss, and that
is being able to go out and socialize (or work!) in places like
bars or restaurants where the experience would otherwise be enjoyable
were it not for secondhand smoke.
I worked at a local lodge/restaurant for a little over seven
years. I was the "safety director," among other things,
for several of those years. I was required to attend weekly managers'
meetings wherein several managers, including the general manager,
smoked. After one particularly bad day (physically) for me after
sitting in a small, smoke-filled room for two hours, I finally
got the guts to tell my boss that I would no longer attend those
meetings. She replied that that was just fine, because they were
not going to quit smoking. At the end of the day, the g.m. produced
a memo to all managers which stated that my presence at the weekly
meetings was no longer required. There was no mention made that
it was I who had chosen to stop attending.
This memo and the inequity of the situation offended my sensibilities!
I decided to quit, and the following morning gave two weeks'
notice. (At that point, I had been working in the administrative
offices where smoking was also allowed.) At the end of my work
day I was told that because my job as administrative assistant
entailed making the daily bank deposits, I was now a "liability"
to them, and my presence as of the next day was no longer desired.
To have been dismissed so suddenly gave the impression that I
had been fired. Some people think that I was fired, since I was
not allowed to work my final two weeks. Fortunately for me, I
found work at another hotel/restaurant operation in town within
an hour of leaving the other job. But that was small comfort
after having been treated so poorly by my boss. I had been named
"employee of the month" twice in the preceding 18 months,
and I was considered a solid team player EXCEPT at the end when
it came to tolerating secondhand smoke.
In retrospect, I should have taken the matter up with a lawyer,
but I did not. You can guess which side of the debate I am on,
though. I think smokers should no longer be allowed to impose
their self-chosen poison on others in this town. At the very
least, a person should not have to choose between their health
and their job.
Thank you for allowing me this forum to tell my story,
Ketchikan, AK - USA
Smoking Ban by
Sandra McCloud - Ketchikan,
AK - USA
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