David Randall: The many benefits of the cigarette break
[...] we go outside primarily because we want a fag. But – those whose time spent discussing The X Factor, tweeting, eBaying, Facebooking, or YouTubing is not being similarly registered and made into An Issue should note – there are other things we do outside besides lighting up, inhaling, and stubbing out.Quite.
First, we talk. Ideas are hatched, problems solved, theses unpicked, and gossip exchanged. We confide and commune, and get to know each other. There are shyster companies charging organisations exorbitant prices for "bonding weekends" which do not achieve a fraction of the camaraderie forged on the pavements of commercial Britain. As a result, tip-offs are received, channels opened, and paths smoothed. Here, indeed, is a fully functioning network of the naughty; a masonry of the outcasts which works to the advantage of all.
Of course, Barbara Righteous in accounts, who turns up at 9:01 and has her running shoes on by 4:59 after spending the day watching the big and little hand crawl round the clock, will never understand this.
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