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Dear Ms. Demeanor,
We love the staff in our building and we really feel they look out for us. However, every day when I walk my son to school, we see one of our favorite doorman at the coffee cart just down the block having his coffee and smoking a cigarette.
It really upsets me, because I don't want my son to have to see someone he admires doing something I don't admire.
It is appropriate to broach the subject with my doorman?
The short answer? No. Your doorman is presumably doing his smoking on his coffee break at a distance from your building. Short of outlawing smoking outside entirely (I am sure Bloomberg would love to give New York that particular Valentine!), there is nothing you can or should do.
Broach the topic with your son instead. Explain that is possible to like and respect someone even if you don't like and respect every thing they do. This a good time for the 'nobody's perfect' lesson.
If you feel close enough and comfortable enough with your doorman, a warm smile and a private, "We care about your health and we wish you wouldn't smoke," may be appropriate.
Stop fuming over someone else's sidewalk fumoir,
Ms. Demeanor is channeled by a longtime Manhattan vertical dweller and real-estate voyeur who writes under the pen name Jamie Lauren Sutton. She is here to commiserate, calm and correct. Please email your quandaries to [email protected] and put "Dear Ms. Demeanor" in the subject line.