‘On the couch’ with Jasminda

DEAR Jasminda,

I FIND it very unfair that the smokers in our workplace get extra breaks.

I’m stuck at my desk all day apart from the fifteen minutes I get for morning tea and the thirty minutes I get for lunch.

It’s like they’re being rewarded for a bad habit.

Julia R.

Dear Julia,

Although many would envy my work-from-home life, there are numerous things I miss about working in an office.

Observing people in their unnatural environment is akin to a very warped David Attenborough series.

One of my former colleagues, who requested we call her ‘The High Priestess of Information Technology’ , was a chain smoker.

Her impressive ideas only materialised after nicotine hits.

She would frequently say, ‘Come outside and have a cigarette,’ to which I’d reply, ‘I don’t smoke.’

Not to be deterred, she’d say, ‘Come outside and watch me smoke.’

I’ll probably die of heart disease caused by passively inhaling her brilliance.

Still, I reckon she was far more productive than the woman who (I’m sneakingly suspicious) carried around the same folder of documents for the 18 years we worked together.

She would flit from room to room having casual conversations and then dash (always with a manilla folder under her arm).

I still have no idea what was in that folder, or how she was on a higher pay level.

In terms of productivity, social media addiction would arguably outweigh all other workplace distractions.

The downtime caused by inattention is frightening.

There are many experts paid a lot of money to ensure we are constantly distracted by our mobile technologies.

Returning to smoking, a study by the Institute of Psychiatry at the University of London, found that social media multitasking decreased IQ at a higher level than smoking weed (not that I’m suggesting this as a replacement for Casual Dress Fridays).

The point is, worry less about the smokers and focus on your own output (if any of us can focus these days).

Your colleagues will probably lose those cigarette break gains in the long run when they prematurely succumb to the longest break of all.

Carpe diem,

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