One of the things I firmly believe in is that if the guys get to do something, women should be able to do as well. This recently led to an interesting post-work office mixer. I work with a truly great group of guys. They’re the kind of guys who would beat up any guy who did anything to hurt one of the girls who works in the office and also give us the shirt off our backs, but they also like to have a good time. Sometimes their idea of a good time is thinking up ways to aggravate their female co-workers.
Every two or three months we try to have a big, non-work get together where we can just hang out and be friends. A few months ago the guys decided to plan the event. Apparently they decided to see just how far they could push the gender equality issue because they planned an entire day hanging out at the lake. This sounded like a great idea until I got a list of the activities they had planned. The list included fishing, beer brewing, and sampling cigars and cigarettes.
I can’t speak for the rest of my female co-workers but the list wasn’t full of activities I would normally enjoy. I’d never gone fishing, so at least that would be a new experience. I don’t mind the occasional beer so that part of the list I could handle. But smoking? I’ve never smoked a cigarette in my life and wasn’t in a hurry to start.
I got together with a group of girls from the office who shared my concerns and we sat down and discussed how we would handle the list. One of the girls happened to mention how she knew someone who had just gotten a rule passed that permitted e-cigarettes in office meetings and was now allowed to smoke indoors during working hours. She said that the reason the e-cigarettes in office policy was allowed stemmed from the fact that the electronic cigarettes weren’t considered dangerous, that using them wouldn’t compromise the health of the non-smokers.
I was intrigued by the whole e-cigarettes in office concept and did some research. Although there is some concern about what the long term impact of inhaling vapor juice might be, nothing I read made me think I would be compromising my health if I vaped for during a fun day at the lake, and since I could get nicotine free vapor juice, I didn’t have to worry about the possibility of becoming addicted. I talked it over with the girls, and we all agreed that during the lake outing, we’d try electronic cigarettes. We pooled some money together and bought a starter kit and several different vapor juice flavors. Since we used a discount code, the expense was actually quite minimal.
While our electronic cigarettes might not have been exactly like the stinky cigars and cigarettes that the guys tried out that day, we still felt like we were participating in the same events and ended up having a fantastic weekend.