A long-standing feud between smokers and non-smokers about the fairness of cigarette breaks at work has finally been resolved.
On Wednesday, new smoking-on-the-job guidelines were released by the Ministry of Labor, Employment and the Social and Solidarity.
These stipulate that in the interest of equality, non-smokers should get just as many cigarette breaks as smokers.
However, Ministry staff determined that it would be silly and confusing if non-smokers simply stood outside without anything to do.
“To make it clear that non-smokers are taking their legally permitted cigarette breaks, they will need to pretend they are smoking,” said Ministry spokesperson Tessy Paus.
Paus says that these non-smokers will have to do more than pretend to puff on imaginary cigarettes.
“They’ll need to really inhabit the body and mind of real nicotine addicts,” she said. “For example, several minutes prior to going outside, they will need to repeatedly look at the clock while showing signs of decreasing patience.”
“They should then abruptly stand and announce to no one in particular, ‘Right, I need a cigarette,’” she added.
Paus says that non-smokers must then discreetly signal, perhaps by use of telepathy, to other non-smokers that it is time to congregate outside. “If they can stand right in front of the main entrance and block the door like real smokers do, all the better,” she explained.
Paus says that non-smokers should keep in mind that smokers are like a religious cult and that as such they have rituals and rules that non-smokers should imitate.
“First, you need to stand in a circle or semicircle,” she said. “Only the eldest member may call an end to a session and indicate that it is time to return inside.”
Paus says she believes that non-smokers will soon master the art of minimizing time spent being productive while at work.
“I'm sure that after a few weeks, every workplace in Luxembourg will have a whole new batch of non-smokers spending 10 to 15 minutes of every hour outside and not working.”
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