Smoking ban brings entertainment to the office

View out the office window

Yet another appallingly blurred photo from my mobile ‘phone camera. I really don’t know what’s up with it, but I shall be getting a new ‘phone soon. Hurry up iPhone!

Anyway, the ban on smoking in public places came into effect in Northern Ireland on the 30th April. One side effect of this has been that many pubs have suddenly opened up seating areas outside for smokers.

Our office in Belfast is right slap bang next to a Witherspoons pub. If you are not familiar with this chain, they offer drinks at incredibly cheap prices. Like pints for £1.50 and so on. While I’m all for cheap drink, this particular pub attracts a certain clientele, and the pub is frequently closed due to fights breaking out, etc.

Anyway, Witherspoons have opened a seating area right downstairs from my desk, which is weird as it a) takes up half the pavement and they don’t seen to have required planning permission and b) it’s not a particularly attractive view, seeing that it is right beside a busy road.

But, one benefit of this smoking area has been that it has provided us with some interesting entertainment. Take Monday for example. People had been drinking since 10am in the smoking area. Come 2pm, and we had seen the following:

  • a woman throw a drink at a man at the next table
  • another man spit at a woman
  • a man come round and pull a woman’s top down

Nice! Or not.