Smoke and Meetings  (continued)


Smokers, for the most part, are not a noisy bunch.  Except when the smokers have a meeting to expound their views or the individual smoker vents his or her frustration vocally, there is almost a funereal air surrounding smoking.  It is almost as if the smokers realize that they are an endangered species and they are smoking less for their own pleasure and more in memory of their former companions who have smoked their last butt.   


Meetings are rarely silent (except when those present are participating in a moment of silence).  Some meetings tend to be raucous and in the absence of a firm gavel or a strong chairperson, the meetings spiral out of control.  Most meetings are controlled events with an agenda although there is a degree of sound associated with them.  Noisy meetings generate a lot of sound although sound meetings generally do not generate a lot of noise.   


The smokers are seeking a release from their tensions but the very fact that there are restrictions on their habits must aggravate many smokers.  Workers who smoke need to schedule their time to draw the most intakes from their limited outings.  Some smokers are very organized and come prepared with the necessary accessories.  Some smokers are less organized and always seem to be searching for a match or in more desperate instances for a cigarette.  Smokers generally tend to be a cooperative bunch.  They seem to have the magnanimous instincts of persons who want to spread the cheer and not to begrudge anyone the chance of smoking a cigarette, because no one knows when it will be the last cigarette that they will smoke.


Meetings are also mostly organized and many of them, especially those that are held on a regular basis, tend to follow a certain pattern.  The earliest arrivals are usually those that are scheduling the meetings and they have the most at stake.  The next participants are the more focused and involved members who feel there are opportunities to be gained from the meetings.