Poking the belly of the beast.

Rich

The Living Force
Yesterday I started something I have never done before and in all honesty don't really think it will go anywhere. There are two things bugging me at the moment.
In the town I currently live there is a relatively old department store on the high street. It sells a wide range of indoor furnishings, appliances, gadgets, toys, cookware and that type of thing. On the 3rd or 4th floor there is a coffee-shop and eatery that adjoins a balcony. The balcony has a fantastic view of the surrounding hills. fields and the odd crane. A couple of images are here but don't give a good picture of the vista: martells.co.uk/clouds-coffee-shop
A month or two ago I fancied a coffee and a nice view. So I found the waiter there and bought a coffee which I took onto the balcony where I found a comfy chair where I sat. I started enjoying the drink and lit a roll-up to accompany it. Comfy chair, nice view, coffee and cigarette. What more could you ask for? But, ater a couple of minutes I was interrupted by a staff member who asked me to put out my cigarette because I was in a no smoking area. I did but didn't really understand what the problem was: It was outside and as far as I could tell wouldn't bother anyone. I finished my drink and then left sporting a grumpy face.

I am aware of the anti-smoking killjoys and legislation that has slowly crept into society which (for me) has been quite tolerable until that day I just described. I shall call it "No smoking on balcony day". I suppose it reaches a point when a line of sanity is crossed where one feels impelled to do something about it.

I looked on the web for the legislation that had been passed that had resulted in this. I found that the UK Health Act 2006 was in the naughty bin. I searched to find out who the MP is for this area and found a Tory chap called Nicholas Soames. I know little about him except by looking at theyworkforyou.com we see he
I think I used this "write to them" site to start my first message to him. I simply wrote something like "Please amend or delete the Health Act 2006!

Yes, I imagine he gets a few such requests of various descriptions and may occasionally send a reply of "thanks for your request, the next opportunity I have to ask my comrades is in a few years time and I'll be more than willing to present your request and will see how I get on. Thank you for being a wonderful person. I love you, please vote Tory, we're awesome! :).

I don't know. I think I'll be lucky to receive any acknowledgement back considering it would go against what he has previously supported.

My other issue is the packaging on ciggarettes and tobacco which has pictures of people dying and slogans such as "Smokers are expletives" or "smokers burn in hell" or that type of emotional-laden nonsense that simply isn't true!

So I am not expecting anything to come of my opening serve in this "Tennis match" but I'm enjoying the fact that I've made a start. I am reminded of the quote, "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread" but why not?
 

Tuatha de Danaan

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Hi Rich. Interesting read. Nicholas Soames, from what I can gather, is a member or related to the Churchill family which means he is a professional politician. I don't imagine he would be very interested in the smoking problem.
At the moment I'm reading the latter half of THE CONTROVERSY OF ZION. which shows Winston Churchill as a man who went with the winning forces .i.e the Zionists. The book is so overwhelming in showing the grotesque manipulation of humanity that I have to stop reading every so often and go for a cigarette which is still allowed outside my back door.
It will be very interesting if you get a reply, but more interesting if you do, what the contents will be.
 

Gruchaa

Jedi
I did but didn't really understand what the problem was: It was outside and as far as I could tell wouldn't bother anyone

Hi Rich. Maybe there were another people who do not like the cigarettes smell? Personally I am not a smoker, so I do not like the smoke smell while I am eating i.e. So if there were another people who do not smoke, I understand why waiter approached to you.

However, if there were no people, I agree with you that this was a big exaggeration by the waiter.
 

DianaRose94

Jedi Master
Are you under a lot of stress lately? Personally, I feel like you overreacted a bit. It reminds me of people at work who claim that it's impossible(!!!!) for them to do their job because the light is too bright/dim or the air too stuffy and feel entitled to moan all day long about it to people that can't do nothing about it.

Besides, I guess other people might see it differently, but it seems to me that it's a lot of energy that you could be investing somewhere more important (family, children, your job...etc). Maybe the eatery where you went has a very strict anti-smoking policy due to various reasons, maybe the waiter was jus overzealous, maybe as Gruchaa said they were people underneath that you couldn't see. At the end of the day, you could just go to a different place that allow smoking.
 

MusicMan

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Hello Rich, I'm surprised that you didn't go to the source of the problem (the waiter) and tell him to eff off. If he persisted, it would then be within your ambit to escalate the matter to the management of the establishment. Then you would directly find out the origin of the ban. Obviously, they have the right to entertain people as they see fit on their own property.
 

seek10

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
So I am not expecting anything to come of my opening serve in this "Tennis match" but I'm enjoying the fact that I've made a start. I am reminded of the quote, "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread" but why not?
It looks some body spoiled your "perfect" moment and you reacting to the situation emotionally. We know there are many agenda's ( smoking, floride, vaccines etc.) that are rubbed on us has no rational basis, but the politicains/activitists are put there to give us a "illusion of control". you may receive a reply that may satisfy you, but nothing may not happen or people like us keep writing, thus flooding the politician mail boxes forcing them changing the laws. At this point, people ( politicians and average) already bought the smoking narrative deeply.
 

Chad

SuperModerator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Hey Rich, i pretty much agree with the others that, for you and in your situation, you're probably making more of this than is necessary. The anti-smoking propaganda is so entrenched that writing a letter to an MP is probably going to do little, even if they are on your side. And if you were to do so, then it'd probably be best to spend as little time on it as possible, send it, and then basically let it go. It's likely there are other, more constructive things that require your energy than this particular incident or issue. As you probably know, the smoking-ban is just one of an increasing number of infringements on individual liberties.

A workaround would be to find an establishment that you know permits smoking - you can ask them before ordering - or even better, when the weather allows it, take a thermos, go for a walk in nature and find a spot with a great view (since you say that was why you liked that cafe) to enjoy your drink and smoke.

Also, considering the other event at the pub, i'd be hesitant to get into disputes that you can avoid, just to be on the safeside. You said yourself the other incident was puzzling so it may be that there were cues or things going on there that you may have missed. Maybe not, but the fact that there are two similar situations now should at least give one pause for thought. By doing so you'll free up energy to do other things in your life that you know require your focus and energy right now. Pick your battles and all that.
 

Gawan

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
The best thing is, just to avoid this coffee-shop when you like to smoke. You cannot change them and most likely the waiter just follows the rules and likes to keep his job, which is understandable. And as itellsya wrote, pick your battles that are worth fighting for.
 

Ant22

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Hey Rich, I too agree with others. Even if the cafe staff acted unreasonably, I don't think this whole thing is a good use of your energy and time. You are unlikely to affect legislation in any meaningful way so the only benefit to you would be feeling better because you gave them a piece of your mind.

Personally, I like the approach described by Castaneda. The below quote came to my mind because your reaction to the cafe staff member's request to not smoke seemed like something that wasn't "included in your expectations". You most likely have read it before but I thought that a bit of reinforcement may be helpful:

"This predator," don Juan said, "which, of course, is an inorganic being, is not altogether invisible to us as other inorganic beings are. I think as children we do see it, but we decide it's so horrific that we don't want to think about it. Children, of course, could insist on focusing on the sight, but everybody else around them dissuades them from doing so.
The only alternative left for mankind is discipline. Discipline is the only deterrent. But by discipline I don't mean harsh routines. I don't mean waking up every morning at five-thirty and throwing cold water on yourself until you're blue. Sorcerers understand discipline as the capacity to face with serenity odds that are not included in our expectations.
For sorcerers, discipline is an art; the art of facing infinity without flinching; not because they are strong and tough, but because they are filled with awe."
"In what way would the sorcerers' discipline be a deterrent to the flyers?" I asked.

(...) "Sorcerers say that discipline makes the glowing coat of awareness unpalatable to the flyer.
The result is that the predators become bewildered. An inedible glowing coat of awareness is not part of their cognition, I suppose. After being bewildered, they don't have any recourse other than refraining from continuing their nefarious task. If the predators don't eat our glowing coat of awareness for a while, it will keep on growing.
"Simplifying this matter to the extreme, I can say that sorcerers, by means of their discipline, push the predators away long enough to allow their glowing coat of awareness to grow beyond the level of the toes. Once it goes beyond the level of the toes, it grows back to its natural size.


Also, I don't know whether you had a chance to read Damasio's Strange Order of Things? There is a thread about it and since I haven't seen you post in it I thought I'd share it: The Strange Order of Things, by Antonio Damasio

The book brilliantly describes the evolution of feelings in relation to homeostasis, as well as the topic of subjectivity. A really useful read IMO. Feelings drive our behaviours but they are not necessarily objective assessors of each situation and I think the book would be a helpful resource to help you understand where your feelings of dissatisfaction came from.
 

Ina

The Living Force
Maybe it was not the waiter. By the way, I believe that he lost his tip as well after the incident. So, as I was saying, maybe it was the manager who sent the waiter as a shop rule enforcer. Anyway, my point is did the coffe shop have any signs with no smoking on the terrace? Did you ask for an ashtray?
 

Matthew

Jedi Master
Maybe it was not the waiter. By the way, I believe that he lost his tip as well after the incident. So, as I was saying, maybe it was the manager who sent the waiter as a shop rule enforcer. Anyway, my point is did the coffe shop have any signs with no smoking on the terrace? Did you ask for an ashtray?

In the UK, smoking in workplaces is illegal and has been for some years. For restaurants and cafes, many of them have an outside area where it is allowable under law. I am not sure how a balcony such as in this case fits in though. Rich would probably know better than I since I am not a smoker. I believe that if a workplace allows someone to smoke in a restaurant or cafe then it is the establishment that is prosecuted but I may be wrong on that. If so, then an establishment might err on the side of caution. Or it might be their policy irrespective of what the law says. Since Rich enjoys going there it might be a good idea to ask to see the manager for clarification on the matter.
 

Rich

The Living Force
Thanks all for your replies.
Hi Rich. Interesting read. Nicholas Soames, from what I can gather, is a member or related to the Churchill family which means he is a professional politician. I don't imagine he would be very interested in the smoking problem.
At the moment I'm reading the latter half of THE CONTROVERSY OF ZION. which shows Winston Churchill as a man who went with the winning forces .i.e the Zionists. The book is so overwhelming in showing the grotesque manipulation of humanity that I have to stop reading every so often and go for a cigarette which is still allowed outside my back door.
It will be very interesting if you get a reply, but more interesting if you do, what the contents will be.
Thanks Tuatha de Danaan. That's interesting to know since I knew nothing about him. The THE CONTROVERSY OF ZION is a great read and can see why you need to take breaks from it. No idea about a reply but agree with you it would be interesting if some reply shows up.
 

Laura

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
You obviously have way too much time on your hands; lots of reading you could be doing.

Volunteer to go around and pick up trash in parks or on the roadside or something if you need to get out and do things. Make yourself useful to the universe.
 

Rich

The Living Force
Hi Rich. Maybe there were another people who do not like the cigarettes smell? Personally I am not a smoker, so I do not like the smoke smell while I am eating i.e. So if there were another people who do not smoke, I understand why waiter approached to you.

However, if there were no people, I agree with you that this was a big exaggeration by the waiter.

Thanks Gruchaa. There weren't many there so I think it was just the waiter being a jobsworth (
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jobsworth said:
those who uphold petty rules even at the expense of humanity or common sense.
.
 

Rich

The Living Force
You obviously have way too much time on your hands; lots of reading you could be doing.

Volunteer to go around and pick up trash in parks or on the roadside or something if you need to get out and do things. Make yourself useful to the universe.
Thanks Laura. Yes you're right there!
 

Cosmos

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
You obviously have way too much time on your hands; lots of reading you could be doing.

Volunteer to go around and pick up trash in parks or on the roadside or something if you need to get out and do things. Make yourself useful to the universe.

I couldn’t agree more. I think Laura pretty much summed it up there. There is a lot more useful stuff you could do with your time Rich.
 
Top Bottom