Social Question

Dutchess_III's avatar

What would you have done in this situation?

Asked by Dutchess_III (42477points) October 28th, 2016

The strangest thing happened to me today.

Ok, as you know I have been looking for a job for quite some time. I feel like I got a break when I was given a 6 week temp assignment at at “technology” industry. They create custom, precision tools and small parts for the giants, like Boeing, Spirit, etc.
I think they’re impressed so far, and I’m hoping for a permanent position.
I started on Monday.

Rick and I smoke. They don’t make cars with ash trays any more so we have one of those plastic ash tubs. They fit in the cup holders. There is a lid that screws on that that is shaped like an inverted funnel, and there is a small hole in the center of the funnel, just a bit bigger than a cigarette.

This morning I went out at my break to take a short drive to smoke. Well, when I got to the car, which I hadn’t locked, and got in the driver’s seat, I noticed that there was a neat cone of ashes on the passenger seat…as though someone had taken the little container, turned it upside down and shook all the ashes out!
It was the strangest damn thing! I told Rick about it. He was more upset than I was, said they have surveillance video and we need to go talk to someone and yadda yadda.
I’m thinking, though, that I don’t want to start a fuss when I’m in such a precarious position of getting a job! It didn’t hurt anything, except there are ashes all over the car.

Of course, I’ll be locking it from now on, but still. The cars are parked in plain view of all the manager’s windows, and in plain view of anyone coming in and out.

WTH? And what would you do?

Please save the insults and criticisms for another time.

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41 Answers

chyna's avatar

I’d let it go and keep my doors locked. You need this job and this isn’t the time to rock the boat.

Dutchess_III's avatar

My thoughts! Isn’t it weird, though? Why would someone do that??

janbb's avatar

Have no idea why someone would do that and don’t care to speculate but I agree with @chyna. Lock your doors and forget about it.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Someone thought it was their right to show you what they thought of smoking, yeah nice but to go into your private car and vandalize it just to show their view is weird, strange, and totally intrusive.
Like others pointed out don’t rock the boat right now, you might find that it is someone you depend on to get full time, just lock the doors and if you remember maybe put the ashtray out of sight while at work,
Thats my two cents worth you go from there.
Oh and what would I have done,unless it’s inside our garage our vehicles are always locked no matter where they are.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

It sounds like a passive-aggressive message from someone to tell you to stop smoking. Why, I don’t know. I’m just going to come out and say this and you can hate me if you must, but smokers can smell of smoking. That can irritate some people. Perhaps this person is one of them. Or, are you taking more frequent breaks than you should to feed your habit or longer breaks? People get seriously pissed off about that.

I used to smoke. I get that it’s an addiction. However, it is becoming a less and less tolerated addiction.

Just thoughts as to why. Not a nice person regardless. Cowardly, nasty behaviour.

BellaB's avatar

Lock the doors and let it go.

Also reconsider taking a smoke drive. Being away from work for more than the time needed to go to the bathroom doesn’t seem to fly anymore. Technicially break time is allowed but it’s not like the 90’s anymore (at least around here). People just don’t take breaks – and smoke breaks – someone’s always going to fuss about those – whether to your face or by some stupid passive-aggressive move.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Earthbound_Misfit I get to work before 7:30, I take a 10 minute break at 10, lunch at 12:30, 10 minute break at 3:00, off at 4:30, usually a bit later, so stop already. That’s the kind of speculative criticisms, so common on Fluther, that I specifically said I didn’t want to hear.

I hear you @BellaB. I watch the clock carefully and I’m back within 10 minutes,but you may be right…although, by law they have to give a certain time break every X hours. I’ll work on that next week and let you know how it goes. I know I can go half a day…even a whole day without a smoke. I did it in the past when I was teaching, so I guess I need to gear up to that again.

It was still so weird. Who would jeopardize their job to do something like that? Like Rick said, there are security cameras everywhere.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

@Dutchess_III you asked why someone might do this. I gave you an answer. I know from personal experience, smokers sometimes take more breaks or longer breaks and I’ve heard people loudly whinging about them taking those breaks. I didn’t say you take too many breaks. I asked you if you did. I gave you a reason why someone might get pissed off. So you stop already.

I’m stopping already answering your questions because too often you get snarky when you don’t get the answer you want.

Dutchess_III's avatar

You insinuated that maybe I take more breaks, or longer breaks than others, but I somehow just don’t know it. To refresh your memory: “Or, are you taking more frequent breaks than you should to feed your habit or longer breaks?” That is exactly the insulting insinuating Fluther BS I wanted avoid.

I’m getting answers that I am thinking about, such as foregoing breaks altogether, as Bella suggested. Don’t get snarky just because I think yours was insulting Fluther bullshit.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I think you ran afoul of a militiant anti-smoker. It doesn’t surprise me the way America has become so full of piss ants of this type. Like dumbshits who think horseback riding is cruel to horses, or keeping laying hens is synonymous with Auschwitz. Just let it go. Someday some sonuvabitch even crazier than they will shove a lit cigar up their ass.

jca's avatar

Does everyone get the same break time you do? If they do, then what you do with your time is not their concern. If they don’t get a break and you (and other smokers) are taking a smoking break, then possibly the non-smokers are resentful.

I worked someplace once where non-smokers were not supposed to take a break but smokers would go out for a smoke. My solution was that I hung out with the smokers, so when they went out, I did, too. The boss didn’t complain. If she did, my response would have been that I’m taking no more or less time than the smokers.

Then another department in the municipality that I work in came up with a controversial plan. Smokers’ breaks would be deducted from their lunch hour. If you take two fifteen minute breaks, your lunch hour is now a half hour. I think the smokers got around that one by staggering their smoking breaks so it was harder for bosses to keep track of.

@Dutchess_III: I thought you became a real estate agent?

Coloma's avatar

Wow, that is very strange, but I agree, don’t rock the job boat.
I would keep an eye out to see if you notice anyone lurking around your car or making snide remarks about your smoking. Bottom line, it is nobodies business and to actually go inside someones car and dump their ash container is seriously inappropriate and it would bug me too, not knowing who the culprit was.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Count yourself lucky. Lock your doors from now on. And ease on down the road.

Buttonstc's avatar

Having lived in inner city areas for many years, I have a different take on things. It might not have anything to do with smoking at all.

I have no idea how far into Kansas the resurgence of the heroin epidemic in the Midwest has spread but unlocked cars in parking lots are prime targets for those looking for anything small of value to steal, even spare change.

From the way you describe your container, it wouldn’t necessarily be immediately apparent that their are cigarettes and ashes below that funnel. When someone is rifling through a car, speed is paramount so dumping out the contents of the container hoping for a bunch of quarters and other change wouldn’t be out of the question. And doing it on the seat rather than the floor makes sense in that context.

It’s just another possibility which you can mull over. But, lock your doors from now on. That’s just common sense regardless of where you live.

MrGrimm888's avatar

@Dutchess_III . You might have pissed off some non smoker who doesn’t like where you ash. My neighbor used to throw his butts everywhere, so one day I put all of them on his doorstep.

Or, someone could have been looking for joint roaches. Either to steal them, or see if you smoke weed.

A homeless person could have been looking for a butt to smoke.

Yes . Lock your car.

chyna's avatar

Actually, @Buttonstc makes more sense than someone at work doing that. It does seem like someone was looking for something, perhaps change.

Coloma's avatar

Oh…druggies/thieves rifling through your car, well geez, goes to show how naive I am, I never think about this stuff living in my area. It does make more sense than just some random ashtray vandal. haha

Dutchess_III's avatar

@jca No, We don’t take breaks at the same time, unlike factory workers. I’m in the admin side. But I’m thinking about what @BellaB said…..it’s like no one else takes any breaks. But my first day the HR rep asked what time I wanted a break. I said “One at 10 and….3:00?” She said “OK.”
I think I’ll quit taking breaks altogether.

@Buttonstc You couldn’t even dump a dime through the funnel, and nothing else in the car was disturbed. There were a couple of one’s and coins in plain sight in the cubby below the dash, and they weren’t taken. It was just SO weird! Like…someone was freaking out because I didn’t lock my car or I smoked or something?

@MrGrimm888 I take a quick drive to smoke, so I don’t “ash” any place. There are no homeless people around here that I’ve ever seen, and if there were I would think an industrial park would be slim pickins’ for them. Plus I had an entire pack of smokes in the cubby below the dash. The dang car was in the open, highly visible for anyone to see.

@Coloma I don’t think about that either. And again, it’s not like it was parked in a dark parking lot. It was in the wide open, just a few yards from several entrances, with 50 other cars. I mean, if there was some person trying all the car doors to see if they’re unlocked someone would have seen them and reported them, and nothing was taken. Just the ashes dumped out…...It’s just so weird.

I’ve been debating about saying something, but I agree about going with my first instincts. Don’t say anything, except mark the date. In a year or two, when I become VP Of Something I’ll ask them to pull the tape!

Rick and I are getting ready to leave, and he’ll see the inside of the car for the first time in a bit….. :(. It’s just ash, though.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Uh…yeah. Rick just now saw the inside, and he’s pissed! It’s a 2016 VW Passat. He’s passated. :(

Dutchess_III's avatar

Shit and damn

He’s pissed! IT’S JUST ASH!! Sigh. This too shall pass.

jca's avatar

@Dutchess_III: What happened to being a real estate agent?

BellaB's avatar

@Dutchess_III ,probably a good idea to go to the Dollar store and get one of those car vacs that runs off the lighter or off a laptop (or one of those outlets in the glove box). 10 minutes of cleanup would have saved a lot of annoyance.

Coloma's avatar

Yep, who ya gonna call…Dust Busters! lol

Dutchess_III's avatar

@jca well, it died. My broker just was so damned incompetent. I was getting frustrated because he had nothing on the market but a couple of vacant lots, and a commercial building that had 5 office spaces for rent. If we got any of those rented it would have brought me some small monthly income. We finally had someone interested, but then my broker demanded all kinds of ridiculous stuff from the renters like their business financials. Their profit and loss, P&L. Needless to say they walked away. I would have too. That information is nobody’s business but theirs, their banker and their accountant.
We lost a 2nd possible renter for the same reason.
Plus his wife is a total nut case. She’d just SCREAM at him, cuss and scream. This was on the second floor of bank building that had other offices rented. People would start slamming doors to block out the sound.
He would spend half of the day trying to figure out how to log into different things (he’s 76 or so.)
It just go so disheartening. I finally quit going in.

@BellaB I didn’t even know they made those. I will certainly look into it and get one. Thanks.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@chyna There was change and couple of bucks in plain sight. Nothing else was touched.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Definitely a militant anti-smoker. Same type of person that will harass men on subways for not sitting like prissy little cotillion girls with their knees tightly together.

BellaB's avatar

@Dutchess_III – in a pinch, grab the one they label as a keyboard vacuum ($2 here) – it works for stuff like crumbs/ashes. Mine has a 2’ cord on it. Just enough for really minor front seat cleaning :)

janbb's avatar

A regular dustbuster that is battery charged would be fine too. It’s not rocket science to clean out a car.

Dutchess_III's avatar

No one said it was rocket science, @janbb. Did you think I was asking how to vacuum out a car?

BellaB's avatar

There are quite a few out there – I found it handy to have one in the car, especially in the days where I was regularly taking dogs/neighbour’s kids to the b.e.a.c.h.

All the way from the $ store cheapie to much nicer Armorall (my favourite brand ) ones.

janbb's avatar

Well, I was just confused about why the ashes were still there since you said they upset Rick so much.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Yeah and if ya don’t want to spend anything on a portable vacuum , just stop at the car wash and use their vacuum probably only cost ya about 50cents.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I just hadn’t gotten around to vacuuming them up @janbb. Rick’s headed out now to do that and run some other errands.

Yeah, I sure wish I’d had a little dust buster.

MrGrimm888's avatar

You could always quit smoking @Dutchess_III .

It’d be nice, as you have children, and grandchildren, and other Flutherites .

Dutchess_III's avatar

I will, @MrGrimm888.

Well, it’s Monday. I just didn’t take a break. I’m home at lunch right no.
I put my ash bucket where you can’t see it.
I locked my smokes up in the cubby and shut the door.
I locked my car.

Coloma's avatar

^ and are you walking softly but carrying a big stick too? haha

Dutchess_III's avatar

No. Just walking softly.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Thanks. I know the first 2 or 3 days of going a 5 hour stretch without a smoke will be annoying, but I know from experience that your body learns to adapt to that habit. I won’t even think about it until 12:15. Then I’ll think about it, and look at the clock and say, “Ah! That’s why it suddenly crossed my mind.”

BellaB's avatar

That non-smoking break time may also give you a good chance to suss out the office dynamics.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh, I’m sussing the hell outta it!

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