cigarette pack Smoking Workers. cigarette pack

It's tough getting quality work and even in this environment competition for the best is fierce. Now employers want your social media details and will, if it's sensitive work, run a background as well as credit check. And let's be candid about this, most employers will not offer you a job if they know you smoke - and you'll flunk probation if you lied at the interview.

You can't smoke in any office and many employers have a rule against smoking on their premises, even in your own car if it's in their car park, or while wearing a company uniform. CCTV allows the more intrusive employer to monitor all their land and buildings and those who think that wearing an all enveloping coat gets them out of uniform may find, as some employees discovered, it's not enough: shoes and the slightest peek over the collar is enough to be disciplined. With that sort of employer you'll be at a disadvantage with some workmates; they'll complain about you smelling the place up, or taking fag breaks, even if all you're doing is going outside during coffee breaks.

Those with marketable skills can try the self employed route; there's a whole world of people working from their home doing everything from consultancy, web service provision through click working to web design. And in the "trades" it's far more common to find a smokers. I prefer them, my painter's one as are some of the cleaning ladies and my mechanic, well he's brilliant, smoking a carton of fags in four days. I always bring one or two through duty free, thus guaranteeing a slot of my choice and a mug of coffee while I wait on a couch watching him perform his magic.

However that still leaves a large group who only want part time work just to get out their house. I see them at checkout counters, filling shelves at large stores as well cleaners, support staff, cooks, porters and such.

Some are part of a contract firm that sends in their people to clean hotel bedrooms. They usually get paid on results and while it is possible to earn a living wage, that's only by being super fast. It's cheaper for the hotel to use outside contractors because they only pay for rooms that have been occupied (hence the number of hotels that refuse single night bookings at weekends, because they have to pay more to get them cleaned).

However some hotels still use the traditional route of part time workers to clean their rooms. Most are perfectly reasonable employers that understand all their staff need regular breaks and are laid back about smokers. After all they don't offer many perks, career progression is virtually non existent and personal development is marginal. Training is in house, so their staff stay if there's a good team. If not, they leave at the first opportunity.

Developing a culture where staff feel valued and are treated in a responsible manner is quite tricky, though it results in far lower staff turnover - and advertising, interviewing and integrating new employees is expensive. It also helps with morale, if for no other reasons than those remaining have to deal with the new dynamics in their team, a feeling of rejection as well as envy if the person leaving has bagged better terms and a hike in pay!

It's piss-poor management that constantly monitors employees through a network of cameras, doesn't allow them a chance to sit down, denies them any form of fluids except at 2 hour breaks (particularly vindictive during the summer of 2019), constantly chides them for events they've recorded and generally acts like some sort of omnipresent seeing eye. And has the most basic smoking shelter without seating.

That's exactly what the Lyndene Hotel in Blackpool does. Okay it's two star place that changed hands in February and is managed by Bespoke Hotels. For sure the new owner wants to get a return on his investment, however Bespoke ain't doing him any favours with this article about a cleaner quitting her job, calling her boss an arsehole and laying open some of the very worst management systems I have heard of (01).

Two staff lost, adverse publicity (at least three newspapers carry this story) and a warning to any smoker to avoid the place. Well done Bespoke (02).

Smoking Scot
September 2019.

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