Motherfuck this fucked-up workplace.

Today, Brat, CTL and I got hauled into F/OM’s office because we were “caught” smoking at the corner. Jesus H.

Now, this is not a new thing, for us to smoke together. Smoking is our favorite pastime, and that we can do it collectively, on occasion, all the better. But then James walked past us this morning and tried to make light of the fact that basically, we shouldn’t be doing it. Whatever.

So poor F/OM (yes, I feel sorry for him) had to waste a half hour of his time, reminding us of the policy that nobody is allowed to take breaks, and that if we wanna smoke, we have to do it during our lunch half-hour, which must occur between 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Brat sat there absolutely silently throughout the duration of the meeting. I was silent for awhile, but of course I exploded. Said that everyone else takes their little prayer breaks to get through their day, but the rest of us who happen to cope with our day by having a smoke break are persecuted. I said that people will probably go and smoke in their cars, which I can’t because my lease is five lots away from our building.

I was so pissed. CTL stated his peace, too, that he doesn’t take a lunch break and instead takes a couple of smoke breaks during the day. We do not get paid for a half hour every day; we should get to do with it what we want. I totally agreed, because I don’t take a lunch and frankly, Brat only last week started taking a lunch break. Further, we’re good performers, we stay late, and we’re here, getting our shit done. And CTL pointed out that our breaks last all of about five minutes.

I kept glancing at Brat … he was seething. He laughed every time I went off on a rant, but that was about the only sign that he wasn’t about to blow a gasket on us. CTL stayed behind and chatted further with F/OM. We talked later about that side conversation — CTL said that if that’s the only reason they can find to fire him, fine.

My personal opinion is that we are so accustomed to getting bitch-slapped with stupid shit that this doesn’t matter, that this too shall pass. I get mad that they’re always criticizing my work (didn’t do this the way they wanted, didn’t do enough of that, shouldn’t have done that, blah blah blah), but to intervene into my personal time is just a line you do not want to cross with me.

CTL told F/OM on the side that he is not going to quit smoking just because this stupid agency disapproves of smokers. I told F/OM right in front of them that we have about 25 smokers, and it’s a shame that those of us who don’t spend half the day out there are being reamed out. F/OM pointed out that “as the leadership of the organization” (gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!!!!!! do I have to keep hearing this shit?!?!) that we have to set the example. I told CTL late today that I do set an example of going out twice a day for five fucking minutes each.

F/OM recognizes that casework staff, who travel, can smoke whenever they damn well please, and we’d never know about it. But it is those of us who are chained to the office who are under surveillance. He said he’s gonna talk to HR about this, but he can’t promise any accommodations. We don’t want accommodations; we want to be left alone.

I was a good girl and waited until after hours to smoke. I walked over to Sheridan-Kirkwood and got my beloved car, where I smoked 2 cigarettes. And CTL and I went out a few minutes ago for 2 more. CTL informed me that Brat was out there at 1 p.m., during one of our scheduled break times, having a smoke. I don’t think he even punched out for it. LOL CTL said that he knows Brat is furious but that he won’t be deterred. CTL is going to smoke during work hours across the street, behind National City Bank.

Sad, isn’t this?

I think I’ll schedule myself out of the office more. Fuck this crap.

Wobin says I had more independence at age 8 than I do at nearly 28. She said they continually treat us like babies, and pick on us because we look and behave differently than the upper echelon.

I remember when I was new, this shit came up at a director’s meeting, how it was such a disgrace that our people were around the corner, sneaking smoke breaks (we cannot smoke in front of the building). But when I piped in, “I smoke, and I go around the corner with the others,” they shut up. Fast. Now that I’m out of the upper echelon, now suddenly the issue has risen again.

I emailed Shawn to see what their smoking policy was. It was, and I quote, “We don’t care when you smoke. No one here rules with an iron fist at all. All I ask is that you let me know before you leave to have a smoke, just so

I know where you are, if I need you.”

I’d told him that his words wouldn’t exactly make or break my decision, but rather that I was looking to enlighten the workplace here. Oh, my daily report/time analysis was a hoot … I emailed to F/OM that I spent 20 minutes on this, an hour on that, and five hours brooding and sulking about the smoking travesty. I told him what Shawn said. And I ranted some more.

This place is a mess. Props to Charolette for her assessment that they hire fuck-ups, and for her desire to find a job where the fuck-ups will be the ones who clean her office after she leaves for the day!

Assholes. Assholes. Assholes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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