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Car pool etiquette in Canberra?

By ThatUniStudent 15 June 2011 30

A short and sweet one before I go to my exams today. I drive the car in a car pool to uni. I usually have between 2 and 3 passengers. Most of the time it works well. We all know each other a bit, we get on well, and we’re all going in the same direction. For my passengers the car pool is cheaper than the bus, more convenient as I pick them up from home instead of the bus stop, and drop them at work or uni, it is warmer than the bus, they can chat with each other, they still get to look out the windows and on really cold days I’ve been known to bring hand warmers and home made egg and bacon rolls to warm us up before the heater kicks in. For me, it means they share the cost of fuel, which is pretty damn significant when you’re a uni student. As an added bonus, I have a lot of leeway when they can’t pay their share of fuel. One guy was getting worried because he was broke and could not afford to come into uni but I said I understand as long as he catches up next week. Mind you I don’t let them get away without paying full stop. I don’t want to be a push over.

The problem is that one of my car pool passengers smells bad. He’s a smoker, and despite being asked not to, he smokes before he catches the car pool. I can see him putting away his cigarette before he gets in some days. He really stinks the car up. Recently I’ve told him that he needs to make a decision, does he want to smoke before the ride, or does he want to ride in the car pool? Because as far as I’m concerned, the two are mutually exclusive.

I’m in two minds about this, on on hand I figure it’s his life, he has a right to smoke. But on the other hand it’s my car, and asking him not to smoke in the ten or so minutes before the ride isn’t that unreasonable. My other passengers have complained about the smell too. So, give him the flick and loose the much needed fuel money, or put up with this? I’m inclined to tell him he’s made his decision by smoking and that he’ll have to bus it instead.

I think I’m being reasonable, what do others think?

What’s Your opinion?


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30 Responses to
Car pool etiquette in Canberra?
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zllauh 2:56 pm 28 Jul 15

A request because it is reasonable to everyone in the car + it is your car. you have got all the rights dude.
For a non-smoker, it is hell lot of a stink.

NoImRight 10:21 am 21 Nov 12

Necrothread and its timely solutions!

Mike Bessenger 8:21 am 21 Nov 12

Back when I was at uni we couldn’t afford cars. Ah the joys of being a modern day uni student.

Mav 7:32 am 21 Nov 12

How about presenting him with an alternative? Give him a pamphlet on the virtues of smokeless electronic cigarettes, they actually work for both parties. The smokers can happily suck down their nicotine and the non smokers don’t have to put up with the foul stench of the smoke and smokers stink.

The refills cost less than a packet of cigs and they have an added bonus for the smoker that they can smoke whilst inside a building or car without causing any problems of secondhand smoke.

poetix 11:16 pm 20 Nov 12

sportsmum said :

Time to follow through and don’t let him in the car anymore. Some people will just keep taking advantage of you and your good nature until you stop tolerating it.

Hopefully not for about 18 months though!

sportsmum 10:08 pm 20 Nov 12

Time to follow through and don’t let him in the car anymore. Some people will just keep taking advantage of you and your good nature until you stop tolerating it.

L_Observer 7:48 am 16 Jun 11

Do you think it might be time for you to go and get a life? I was with a car pool to the ANU in the early seventies and used to drop off a couple of the guys to protest against apartheid outside the South African Embassy – gee, some people even smoked in the car. One of them (the dux of our high school) became a geologist and then unfortunately died in a helicopter crash more than a decade later. Does it really matter that you can smell cigarette smoke? How often do you bathe/wash you hair? Have you asked your smoker whether your personal hygiene habits affect him? Presumably you are an accounting student or someone who is hoping to get into the public service.

m_ratt 3:49 am 16 Jun 11

MissChief said :

I once worked with a lady who complained bitterly if anyone in the office wore perfume – apparently something to do with an allergy – which really just made me wonder how she ever managed to leave the house. Anyway….

Sounds like my fiancee’s new boss – might be acceptable if this lady didn’t smother herself in ‘organic’ perfume which makes everyone else choke.

And as I non-smoker, I can assure smokers that the smell of their smoke hangs around on them for hours, not minutes or moments. Even worse when you have to work in close proximity to them.

LSWCHP 12:44 am 16 Jun 11

Havok said :

I smoke and I know I don’t smell that bad. And I know this because I regularly ask my friends and housemates as I’d hate to be a stinky person. So he either doesn’t wash his clothes regularly enough or he’s smoking inside as well.

Sorry mate. Really, if you smoke then you’re going to have a pervasive aroma that’s pretty offensive to non-smokers. I can remember almost gagging when a heavy smoker friend leaned over my shoulder and breathed on me, and that was in 1980.

Either your friends are being polite to avoid hurting your feelings, or they are suffering from partial or complete anosmia.

ImagineThat 7:53 pm 15 Jun 11

As a non smoker I tend to smell smoke on people for up to 10 minutes after they have finished a cigarette. The person themselves isn’t necessarily smelly but rather I smell the stale cigarette smoke which clings to their clothes and hair for a short period of time.

At work, more than once I have entered an empty lift which reeks of cigarette smoke presumably from the last inhabitant/s. This is despite the fact that the person would have smoked outside the building in the ‘condoned’ smoking area and would have had a 2 or 3 minute walk from the smoking area to the lifts.

I think it is reasonable that if it is your car you can choose who you invite into it, regardless of the reasons behind your decisions. If you have been nice about it without success, I would agree the next step is to ‘vote him off the island.’

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