Friday, June 3, 2011

There's "Smoke-Free" And Then There's... Not

I hate conflict. Seriously. I avoid it whenever I can, but sometimes I can't.

One of those times was yesterday. My house is just north of a day care center. They've been good neighbors, but some of their employees have been using my driveway as a smoking commons while I'm at work. I come home to find cigarette butts in splotches of 2 around the concrete.

The day care center has a policy that their staff may not smoke anywhere on their premises. It's unhealthy for the kids and it looks bad to parents to see staffers sucking on their smokes. On the other hand, that places an unfair burden on adjacent property owners. I really don't mind people smoking in my yard. I only mind them tossing their litter on the ground when they're done. I think the proper thing for a company to do in those circumstances would be to require employees to smoke in their cars. I know that could still be off-putting to parents, but the day care center doesn't have the right to define usage policies for neighboring properties.

Yesterday, after coming home from a workday filled with trivial stress, I found that the number of cigarette butts was growing exponentially. I walked next door to the day care center and asked to speak to one of the owners. The lady who opened the door for me took me into her office and heard my complaint. She understood and said she'd take care of it.

I hope my direct approach has led to a problem solved. I suspect that the owner is going to tell her staffers to smoke in the parking lot of the office buildings on the other side of the day care center. As long as my driveway isn't being trashed up, I'm not going to complain.

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