In love with a vaper [Ep. 2]

The boy next desk

“Am I new?”How dare this newbie ask that when I have been in this call center for almost three years! And everyone thinks he is so funny and friendly! I can’t help my annoyed thoughts ramble on and on.

“Are you talking to me?” I retorted back, then immediately left my seat before he could answer. Usually I don’t get affected by unthinking boys and those deliberately trying to act stupid just to look cute. But there is an air of entitlement, arrogance and smug in the way he asked me that got into my nerves.

Days pass and this new “boy” (he became a “boy” to me now because he pissed me off), continuously sits beside whichever computer I choose. He sits beside me but has never asked help from me yet, even though he only came out from product training and I am a tenured employee. Is he really that good at work or is he trying to show everyone that he is, I mused as I was finishing my latest caller notes.

“Hey Jay, break is only 15 minutes wanna come with us outside?”, Jojo a teammate asked this newbie sitting beside me. Jojo’s wife is also a tenured agent like me, and is my wavemate back 2008 when this call center started here in Iloilo. “Dina, do you want to join us outside?”, Jojo turned to invite me. “No thanks Jo, I still need to wrap up some callbacks”.

Jojo and his beautiful wife are nice and friendly people. They can charm anyone they are talking to – Jojo with his wit and jokes while his wife with her good looks and sweet demeanor. Something off happened right now.

Jojo never invites me to hang out with them during breaks because they go to the smoking area to smoke. Now they all know that I do not smoke, so why all of a sudden, did he ask me to join them? Don’t get me wrong, I am civil and diplomatic to all my officemates, and I sincerely love a good laugh every now and then.

But I am not “darling of the crowd” like Jojo’s wife. I scowl and look like a hit man in a rush to complete his kill list before the day ends – as once described by a friend. To be honest, I know that most people avoid me for being weird or edgy.

I once slapped a former mom officemate for touching my butt and the front of my pants. Everyone was shocked because that woman was “only joking” and she touches everyone’s genitals when she is playful and everyone is ok with it. Well I’m not! She should be thankful I did not report her for sexual harassment or acts of lasciviousness.

So yeah, my office mates might not like me and may think I’m a war freak. My thoughts drifted as I was beside the office photocopier to get my papers reproduced. It’s been 10 minutes and the operator is nowhere to be found.

I was starting to be irritated and anxious as I needed to get back on my calls asap, when Jay the newbie walked up to me and asked if I needed help. “What are you going to do, look for the operator? I already did and no one knows where he is”, I retorted.  Jay took my papers, opened the photocopier and said: “I can photocopy them for you”

To be continued…

#ILV #InLoveWithAVaper

This project is made for NCUP in partnership with DGiTalk. Watch How a Non-smoker Lives Harmoniously with a Smoker and a Vaper here.  Voice out your opinions and be a member of our NCUP Facebook page. Join the discussion of the latest news about vaping and smoking on our YouTube channel Nicotine Consumers Union. Keep informed of your nicotine rights through our NCUP news website.

Walking up to the manager of a famous commercial bank and inviting her to refer you to their big depositors in exchange for a hefty commission is no easy task. But that is just some of the things I do to build a strong client network in real estate. You see, as a licensed broker, I have to put on my most confident smile, in front of top bosses I saw for the first time and act as if I eat CEO meetings for breakfast.

I get rejected most of the time of course, but that does not stop me from reaching success. Little did I know that the same resilience will come handy in my love life.

Call me Dani. I’m part of a local initiative now known as the Nicotine Consumers Union of the Philippines (NCUP). It started as an idea my friend Anton had been talking about a few years ago.

In order to have equal freedom of expression, smokers should also be allowed to enjoy their adult vice. Given that they do not litter nor blow smoke into other’s faces. In fact, there are a lot of other vices with a very toxic effect on the planet and society. Illegal drugs poison and alter one’s mind.

It not only destroys the user’s body, but gives him false hallucinations that lead him to commit heinous crimes to another living being. Smoke belching is very toxic and deadly to living beings within meters of its vicinity. While garbage littering destroys the planet and kills everyone living in it.

Am I a smoker or a vaper? Nope. But I am living with my smoker mom and it has been a love-hate relationship for years. I am very neutral with smoking since it does not make one do criminal things and it does not poison the air like smoke belching does.

Thus I have been very lenient with her vice because after all, it’s her money and freedom. But at times she forgets, I have asthmatic tendencies and I might actually die if she smokes in front of the electric fan or beside me. And that is really, really aggravating and suffocating.

I thought my mom is the only smoker I will have to debate with, the rest of my life. Same mistake I made, when I thought sales is dominated by women. Spoiler alert: IT’S A MAN’S WORLD; so put on your BIG SHOES and stop being a cry baby.

So you can see why, I would rather dream of success and financial freedom than weddings. Nonetheless I always find myself attracted to healthy, tall and agile men. 11 years ago, when this tall, lean, new workmate was doing headstands and skimboarding to impress me; I let myself be impressed. He was smart, had the same principles as me, considerate, God and family oriented, physically fit, has alpha qualities and the list goes on. But he is so mysterious. He chose to sit on a desk beside me but would not talk.

He is friendly with everyone else though. Ugh, men and their confusing mixed signals. One day at a team meeting, he was sitting at the center and coyly laughing along with everyone else at a joke; he suddenly asked me: “Are you new? Why haven’t I seen you around?”

[To be continued…]

This blog is written for NCUP in partnership with DGiTalk.

Voice your opinion and be a member of our NCUP Facebook page. Join the discussion of the latest news about vaping and smoking on our YouTube channel Nicotine Consumers Union. Keep informed of your nicotine rights through our NCUP news website.