Thursday, January 10, 2008

Thank you for smoking

The anti-smoking movement has been around for a number of years, and, recently, it has been gaining a lot of momentum and support. From new treatments to help wean people off of cigarettes to public locations such as restaurants and bars going smoke-free, the number of places where people might run into second-hand smoke is dropping steadily.

At least, it is in America. In Germany, which still allows smoking in the offices of small companies, there's no such luck. Three German workers learned that the hard way when they tried to get their office of ten people to go smoke-free.

The three workers were fired, because the manager didn't want to "be bothered with trouble-makers". He also said that it was taking a measure of revenge against all of the people who have been anti-smoking as of late, and swore to only hire smokers from now on.

Well, it's just that kind of antiquated thinking that we can use in today's world. With everyone looking ahead to things like their own personal future and the preservation of the planet, it's comforting to know that there is an employer out there bringing bold and fresh views from the 1950s to our workplaces. That exact lack of innovation could one day be a strong leader in the world of not being willing to accept that time has moved forward.

What's next? Mandatory bell bottoms? People being encouraged to have a cocktail or two during the lunch hour to help calm them down? A reunion of the surviving Bee Gees, with Ricky Martin singing in place of Maurice? Oh, if only we had some way of looking at the past and learning from things that happened then, possibly leading to innovation and a dedication to the future.

What a wonderful dream that would be.

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