Thou shalt not smoke

Just when you think you’ve experienced it all…well, then, something new happens. Magnus moved into our current office a few months ago. We were in the old one for over 24 years and the new one is definitely an improvement over the prior office, in most ways. The new office is in a 2 story, glass fronted building; it even has an elevator. When we arrived, we encountered an unexpected problem – smokers. They were congregating outside, near our office, creating a gauntlet line of smelly smoke. And, the smell permeated our office. After I reminded the property manager of the Florida Clean Indoor Air Act, he took action that resolved the issue pretty quickly. We thought all was well… until we smelled the marijuana. Some new tenants moved into a suite which was vacant when we moved into the building. One afternoon there was a hint of marijuana, the next day it was stronger. Then it became a daily nuisance. Okay, I get it, medical marijuana is legal and perhaps someone has a prescription. I know medical marijuana works miracles for many people. But, prescriptions don’t trump the Florida Clean Indoor Air Act. As an asthmatic, it doesn’t matter what kind of smoke (or vape) it is. I’m allergic to it. Clean air is clean air. Smoke isn’t clean. Beyond that, we found ourselves a bit high on this second hand smoke. It was more than a small distraction. This time, Melissa complained to the property manager and at first, he didn’t believe us. Then one afternoon, when we were out of the office, the property manager got a full whiff when he walked through the hallway. He tried some non-confrontational methods of sending a letter to all tenants about eliminating “pungent” smells. That didn’t work. He finally had a one on one with the tenant most likely to be involved and, guess what, the smell went away. Strangely, we haven’t seen the tenant since then either.

Magnus’ former office building offered few opportunities for interaction with the other occupants of the building, which is a small, 1 story structure with 4 individual office suites.  Although the on site property manager smokes cigarettes, he is always polite enough to smoke outside.  For the entire time Magnus has been in business, we never had to consider the problem of smoke, whether the source is tobacco or marijuana, until we moved into our present office.  And, because we are among the newest tenants in our building, we were hesitant about complaining about the smoke and the smokers until we could no longer tolerate the situations.  David emailed the property manager about the cigarette smokers who congregated a few feet outside our office, including quoting the Florida Clean Indoor Air Act that I had looked up in order to have the correct definition of what it prohibits.  The statute clearly states that smoking must take place “more than 20 feet away from entrances and windows.”  Interestingly, the cigarette smokers are employees of the property management office, such that David’s complaint was made to their boss.  Thankfully, most of the smokers have been kind to us upon realizing their smoking could trigger David’s asthma, with potentially fatal consequences.  As for the marijuana smoke, I never thought I would be working in a professional environment where some people conduct themselves like high school stoners!  I took the lead on this problem, sending the property manager an email that mentioned I would call the Broward Sheriff’s Office the next time I smelled marijuana smoke if he was unable to control the situation.  Luckily for all of us at Magnus, the property manager smelled the “pungent” odor one evening when the only other occupants of the building were our neighbors across the hall, thus, he no longer had to wonder about the source.  Here’s hoping it is “goodbye forever” to stinky smoke in our office building!

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