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How to politely decline giving cigarettes to colleague?

(130 Posts)
ChangingLivesOneday Sat 28-Nov-15 16:05:24

I work with a woman who is otherwise a great colleague and friend in so far as our working relationship goes but over time I've noticed that she asks me a bit too much for a cigarette. On the first few occasions I didn't think much of it and just gave her one if she asked but now I have a sneaking suspicion that she's purposefully asking me my lunch plans so she can tag along and bum a smoke.

I don't smoke during work hours, only during lunch and on the way home. But she'll occasionally come to my desk and ask if I have a cigarette which I invariably do.

I have tried only having 2 cigarettes in the pack, as such when she's asked I've been able to respond saying, "I only have two, one for lunch and one for walk to tube" (not that I should explain that to her but I feel the need to). However, I fear she'll catch on and indeed why should I only carry 2 cigarettes at a time.

I don't mind it occasionally but I can't afford to subsidise her smoking habits. As I said, she's otherwise a great colleague and we do get along but I feel myself being put off because of this smoking issue.

I'm not for the famous MN line of 'No' is a complete sentence so would welcome something a bit more tactful but indeed if the case is that I should just say 'No' then how should I handle it?

Wolfiefan Sat 28-Nov-15 16:07:34

Have a cigarette case. Put one in there for lunch break?
Get in there first and ask for one from her?
Tell her she's had loads off you and you would appreciate you buying you a pack next time she is out.

ladygracie Sat 28-Nov-15 16:08:21

You can just say, "no, sorry I only have enough for me." That's completely fine I think. Surely she wouldn't ask how many you have???

DrGoogleWillSeeYouNow Sat 28-Nov-15 16:08:39

If you feel she's purposefully Sissinghurst out your lunch plans to bum a smoke, then why do you care if she catches on to you saying you only have 2. The only way to deal with someone so bloody hardfaced is to be equally as hardfaced back. Carry as many cigs as you like, you don't need to show her the box.

ladygracie Sat 28-Nov-15 16:09:20

Or exactly what Wolfiefan said.

DrGoogleWillSeeYouNow Sat 28-Nov-15 16:09:54

*checking out your lunch plans...

Don't know what happened there!

StillStayingClassySanDiego Sat 28-Nov-15 16:10:16

Tell her 'I really can't afford to keep giving you my cigarettes'.

You could just carry 2 fags as you only need two, there's no reason to stop doing that.

She's a cheeky mare, you'll have to be brave and brazen this one out I reckon.

Oysterbabe Sat 28-Nov-15 16:09:58

I was going to suggest asking her for one too.

MistressMerryWeather Sat 28-Nov-15 16:10:51

Tell her you are trying to cut down and only take two with you so you are not tempted.

Make sure to tell her how brilliantly it's working.

She will stop asking eventually.

unicorn501 Sat 28-Nov-15 16:10:37

I think I'd just start saying things like "sorry I've only got a few left and these have got to last me til the end of the week" or something. Hopefully after turning her down a few times she'll get the message. Does she ever actually have her own? Or is she one of those annoying "social smokers" who just pinches other people's?

INeedNewShoes Sat 28-Nov-15 16:11:14

You could buy a spare pack and next time she asks say, 'Actually I've ended up with a spare pack - do you want to buy it off me?'. It might gently give her the message.

Cigarettes are blimmin' expensive nowadays; no way should she be frequently asking you for them without offering you them in return or giving you the money.

KeepOnMoving1 Sat 28-Nov-15 16:10:53

I think just keep saying what you already are saying. Sorry I don't have any spare should work as well.

Wolfiefan Sat 28-Nov-15 16:11:08

Or say that's the third time this week. Perhaps you could give up and save us both some money?

alltouchedout Sat 28-Nov-15 16:11:48

Just say "no, I only have a couple left". I have non smoker friends who suddenly on nights out become smokers- but not enough to buy their own, apparently. It's annoying.

BondJayneBond Sat 28-Nov-15 16:14:49

Start asking her for one.

PreAdvent13610 Sat 28-Nov-15 16:17:04

You wont say 'NO' because you may upset her? hmm
How do you cope with men propositioning you?

Wolfiefan Sat 28-Nov-15 16:17:59

Pre that's not the same at all! confused

Piratespoo Sat 28-Nov-15 16:19:49

The perfect reply is, "oh, I was just going to ask you that!" With a big smile....every time she asks!!!!

sharonthewaspandthewineywall Sat 28-Nov-15 16:19:55

Give up solving the issue and aiding your health wink
Just thought I'd be the first...

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 28-Nov-15 16:21:14

Could you switch to e-cigs?

gamerchick Sat 28-Nov-15 16:22:24

I usually say 'fuck off these things are expensive' with a hmm face.

Or just say you have none spare.

It's a cheek, they're going up around 23p once a month or so stealth like. Don't worry about upsetting her.

ChangingLivesOneday Sat 28-Nov-15 16:25:57

I have asked her in the past just to test the waters and she did offer one up but as I always have my own I don't want to enter into a game of even-scores iyswim.

I have only carried two but what if I decide to go out in the evening after work or something, I should be able to carry as many as I like. I know I don't need to show her the pack to prove a point but my aim is just to stop her asking entirely. Smoking these days is bloody expensive and it's one the reasons I intend to quit but in the meantime I feel a bit used. Maybe not quite the right word but I do.

Not to drip feed but it's probably my own fault. Some months ago I went to Europe and did a bit of a bulk purchase - they've since run out but she must have assumed as I got them so cheap at the time that I wouldn't mind sharing. The problem is they've now run out and also I don't want to give her any even if they were being sold for pittance.

WorraLiberty Sat 28-Nov-15 16:30:18

I have only carried two but what if I decide to go out in the evening after work or something, I should be able to carry as many as I like.

You can.

Stop making this so complicated and just tell her you only have enough to last you for that day.

Failing that, carry two packs - one with 2 in it and a spare pack if you want to go out after work.

She's not going to dig down your bag is she?

goodnightdarthvader1 Sat 28-Nov-15 16:31:52

Quit now. Problem solved.

OddSocksHighHeels Sat 28-Nov-15 16:33:00

Just say you can't afford to. They aren't cheap!

I hate people who do this repeatedly. I don't mind offering up the odd fag but don't expect me to have a never-ending supply of them.

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