Kathy, a colleague of ours from Brisbane was in town today and we went for lunch as a group. We were meeting at the front door to work's building. I arrived there with Jan, the person at the next desk to me and went to go outside. Jan asked if I was going out for a smoke and I said "No", just going out.
After lunch when we came back three of us got into the lift and for some reason Jan asked why I hadn't had a smoke. Kathy piped up "He's given up smoking" which led to a funny exchange
Jan: Have you given up?
Jan: Why did you lie when I asked if you were having a cigarette before?
Me: I didn't lie. You asked if I was having one and I said "No". Then I didn't have one.
Jan: When did you give up?
Me: Two weeks ago. (OK, a slight exaggeration it won't be two weeks until late tomorrow night)
Jan: No, when did you give up?
Me: Two weeks ago.
Me: When did you last see me have a smoke?
Jan (To Kathy): How did you know he gave up?
Kathy: He doesn't smell of smoke any more.
OK, work guessed before Tessa. Always a possibility as there are 4 of them and only one of her, but I wasn't expecting someone I only see every few months to be the one to work it out. I've asked the people in the lift not to mention it to the others. I do feel sorry for Tessa. I was hoping for a day or two pressure free, tops. Now it's gone on for nearly two weeks and I'm quite worried that she'll feel hurt when she discovers I didn't share for so long.
An earlier version of this posting was originally published on Quit line on Thursday 18 September 2014.