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April 28, 2009

Close the door to your stinky cafe?

April 28. Day 302.

I was jetlagged, still sick, and buried under deadlines. What I really wanted to do was sleep more. Instead, I crawled out and went to Lestat's for some tea and a bagel, not my usual combo, but it seemed like comfort food. I worked for a few hours, and it was going well, but there was one small problem... the smell.

Ashtrays and old cigarette butts.

I wandered around the cafe sniffing around (looking, I hoped, like a befuddled scholar taking an inspirational stroll, and not some smell obsessed maniac picking up the wafting chemicals in the air). I didn't see any emptied ashtrays (and it's no smoking inside, so I was a little perplexed), and finally I wandered to the back door and it was clear -- the smokers congregated outside, and it smelled like they hadn't emptied the trash all weekend. Somehow the smell traveled 100 feet to where I was sitting, on the other side of the building.

I sidled up to the counter.



"I was wondering, is there any way we could close the back door, or does it have to stay open for some reason?"

He looked at me a little curiously, since I had been sitting on the far side of the cafe, and then replied, "We usually leave it open."

I hesitate a few seconds before turning around. But I decided not to push it, because the smell was subtle, even if unpleasant. And people were coming and going through the open door with drinks and food. Is my convenience really worth the inconvenience of 15 smokers?

I also didn't push it because I was getting a little tired again. Needed a change of scenery. Like my bed.

So I left it at that half-assed ask and left.

Gained: nothing.
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