Vent: People that choose not to take breaks or lunch

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Posted 12/5/2012 by Michelle Rae in NSBR Board
 

Michelle Rae
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Posted: 12/5/2012 4:38:24 PM
Just venting...

We get 50 minute lunch 30 minutes of which is unpaid and two 5 minute breaks. My temp chooses not to take his. He does not eat ever during the day he eats breakfast and dinner only. He tells use very day that he has never been one to take break or lunch. Only on rare occasion does he take one.

But every single day he comments something like...there she goes on ANOTHER break. If he takes his rare lunch as he did today he will tell anyone in the office..."finally i get a break I havent had one in months". When i leave for break he will say, "This is her second break today and this old goat hasn't taken one break in 2 months. She doesn't let me have a break." He says it very serious like too. Irritates me to no end. Today I said outloud,"poor Tom the martyr" lol

But it just gets me how he chooses not to take his break and acts as if I abuse it when taking what I am told to take.

I've worked other places where people don't take breaks and act so put upon when others do.

Thanks for listening. Lol


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pennyring
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Posted: 12/5/2012 4:54:44 PM
Ooh I would probably lose my shit on poor Tom the martyr. How annoying.




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Posted: 12/5/2012 5:11:18 PM
I don't take breaks or lunch but I don't say anything to anyone about it. I just have too much to do


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Posted: 12/5/2012 5:16:20 PM
I would say 'the company allows you breaks it's only your own fault if you choose not to take them' every single time he says something. I would use the same phrase never varying until he got tired of hearing it.




Rhonda

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Posted: 12/5/2012 5:19:30 PM
Does a temp get breaks by law? Some places force regular people to take breaks so they are not breaking laws if they are investigated, and so the practice does not become de facto and force others to skip breaks.

Are you his superior? Tell him to either take his breaks or stop commenting when others take theirs. His choice, and he needs to be quiet about it. The martyr comment just fed his martyr complex...




Nicole in TX
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Posted: 12/5/2012 5:36:28 PM
I would say loudly, "Just because you are CHOOSING not to take your breaks, do not DISPARAGE anyone else from rightfully taking theirs granted by the company."



jalapenette
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Posted: 12/5/2012 5:54:56 PM
At least in Washington you are legally required to take your breaks. I guess that is so people don't feel pressured not to take them by their employers. That co-worker sounds like a real gem.


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Aleighl55
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Posted: 12/5/2012 5:58:34 PM
I usually eat at my desk while I'm working because I would rather work my 8 hours and go home than take an hour to sit in the break room doing nothing. I do not complain to others or say anything about their lunch breaks.

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Posted: 12/5/2012 5:59:40 PM
I would probably loudly say, "it's not my fault you're not smart enough to take the time off you're allowed."

If you are his superior, I'd probably actually take him aside and say that he's now required to take his break, even if he just sits and does nothing. He could easily come back later and ask for back pay for all those breaks he worked if he's not getting paid for that time.


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busypea
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Posted: 12/5/2012 6:01:50 PM
A company should not allow hourly employee (which a temp almost certainly is) to decline their breaks. It opens them up for claims of wage/hour law violations.

He's an annoying twerp and he *would* be going on breaks if he worked for me.

Georgiapea
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Posted: 12/5/2012 6:03:40 PM
How annoying! If he's a temp worker will he be going away soon? In a lot of places not taking a break or lunch is not allowed.

Neither I nor my 2 co-workers take breaks away from our desks, or lunch either, but we do take quiet breaks mid morning and we do eat a lunch, just at our desks. We have a fridge, microwave and coffee pot in our back room and there are only 3 of us.

Really though, it sounds like he is joking in a very droll manner. Maybe you aren't in tune with his personal sense of humor. I would respond to my not letting him take a break with "Yeah, and when I come back I'll be checking to make sure your foot is still nailed to the floor".

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Posted: 12/5/2012 6:08:06 PM
I would just tell him that it sounds like a personal problem when he makes those comments, and just go on to your break. If he choses not to take a break, that is his loss. Don't let it get to you.




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dietcokejunkee
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Posted: 12/5/2012 6:08:55 PM

I usually eat at my desk while I'm working because I would rather work my 8 hours and go home than take an hour to sit in the break room doing nothing. I do not complain to others or say anything about their lunch breaks.


This. And I feel like I take "breaks" when I stop and chat with the school nurse on my way to the mailroom, or with a coach who stops in the office and chats. And when I think about needing a recipe and pop on allrecipes for a few minutes. It all adds up to the equivalent to a break/lunch in my book. And when I eat at my desk I usually read my personal email account, so I am not really working at that time.

I would be totally annoyed and tell him to stop.

schooby
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Posted: 12/5/2012 6:43:08 PM
I can understand skipping the break and working through lunch to get off earlier to pick up kids or make life easier by getting home earlier. But "bragging" about it, and being derogatory to the permanent workers? That's wrong. He's trying to make himself look better, to garner a permanent position. Trouble is, it's backfiring. He sounds very disgruntled. If I were in the position, I would recommend getting a new temp when his contract is up. We got rid of a contractor for doing something very similar. The office was a much happier place.

ETA - He can't be THAT busy. He has enough time to keep track of how many breaks everyone else takes.

Michelle Rae
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Posted: 12/5/2012 6:45:37 PM
It is a law in PA. We get emails frequently reminding us. Boss tells him weekly to take them. He will be leaving in a few months. I do like him but it annoys me when he does this.

I'm not his superior although I give him his work to complete.

He just says it every single day and today it really got old. Lol.

When I worked for local govt a lot of people didn't take breaks then would ask their supervisor to leave early because you know... I never take my breaks. Then it was abused and a mandatory break was enforced.

Thanks for letting vent. Lol


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Posted: 12/5/2012 6:51:34 PM
What an annoying nut.
There are legalities around paid breaks that your company needs to follow, regardless of his noble behavior.

How I would handle this situation: I would have a full on conversation with him about it. I would ask to meet with him and discuss it and how it makes you feel. I would make him verbalize what it's all about and why he feels the need to say these things.

He counts on you backing down and feeling weird about it. He does not expect you to confront him (in a nice way) and actually talk about it. He enjoys making you uncomfortable. He knows he's being a prick, he thrives off it. Imagine living with him. Ugh.

I'd let my boss know about the conversation too.

busypea
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Posted: 12/5/2012 7:08:47 PM
Actually, since he's a temp, his agency should be informed of his behavior and they will deal with it. They would most definitely want to know since they also could have legal liability for him failing to take breaks.

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Posted: 12/5/2012 7:15:16 PM
What is the agreement with the temp agency? I have the ability to 'force' any contract workers to take a break and if they are non-exempt, I MUST have them take a break.

I would just start setting a time for him and make sure he takes that break daily, though I have literally never heard of a 5 minute break before. 15 minutes is the norm everywhere I have ever worked. I mean really, what can you do in 5 minutes? It would take me that long to get out of my building and through security to the street and back up if I were in the office on a 5 minute break.



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melanell
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Posted: 12/5/2012 8:01:30 PM
Oh man....he sounds incredibly irritating.

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Posted: 12/5/2012 8:32:12 PM
If the temp is an independent contractor, he is not subject to many of the laws/regulations that affect employees. However, he should not be allowed to disparage the employees. Whoever deals with the agency that supplied him, should discuss his comments with the agency.


Lois

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Posted: 12/5/2012 8:37:21 PM
Temps from an agency are generally (technically) employees of the agency and are subject to the same wage & hour rules.

True self-employed independent contractors are not, of course.

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Posted: 12/6/2012 7:07:41 AM
Not everyone who doesn't take their breaks act like this. It's nobody's business but mine, and I don't mention it. I often work through lunch and eat at my desk. I'm also at work at least half hour early and start working then. No big deal. The work has to get done and I'd be more stressed if it wasn't.

And this:


IME, people who don't take regular breaks and lunch find ways to sneak free time and justify it because "I don't take breaks or lunch". Leaving early, coming in late, taking off for an appointment without clocking out. And truth be told, it's often MORE time away from work than the prescribed breaks would be. I'd seriously be watching that one.


That might be your experience, but generally, it is just one huge pile of bullshit. I work my ass off and spend less time pissing around than most of those who do take full breaks.


Nancy


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Posted: 12/6/2012 7:45:07 AM
If you are in the following states, you are required by law to enforce the lunch break: California, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Tennessee, and Washington.



craftsbycarolyn
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Posted: 12/6/2012 7:58:08 AM
I'd say, "What are you, the break nazi?"


Carolyn

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Posted: 12/6/2012 8:02:05 AM
I hate people like that.. They are such the good worker.. NOT.

My office manager has always gone into work at 6:30 and won't leave until the rest of the office leaves the majority of the time. If on one of those rare days she leaves early she will say comments, WELL I did get here at 6:30.. YEAH we know and we don't care!! And in 15 years has only taken one or two sick days... and she doesn't let us forget it.



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Posted: 12/6/2012 8:02:44 AM
I'd walk back in the room and say, "What did you say?" and then lay into him about being a martyr. I have no patience for people like that.

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Posted: 12/6/2012 8:07:54 AM
I said "that might be your experience but generally ..."

It just pisses me off that you people think if we dont take breaks there is something wrong with us. I'd rather not take one and not have to worry about having to fit more in the next morning.


Nancy

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Posted: 12/6/2012 9:45:15 AM
I have to agree that in my experience this is soooo true


IME, people who don't take regular breaks and lunch find ways to sneak free time and justify it because "I don't take breaks or lunch". Leaving early, coming in late, taking off for an appointment without clocking out. And truth be told, it's often MORE time away from work than the prescribed breaks would be. I'd seriously be watching that one


This was especially true when I worked for the Federal government.


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Posted: 12/6/2012 10:44:36 AM
My coteacher at the middle school is like this. He is supposed to get a 25 minute lunch each day, 15 minute travel time each day between his schools, and 250 minutes plan time per week--by law. Instead he gets a 15 minute combined lunch/travel each day, and only 150 minutes plan time per week. And he complains pretty often. Drives me nuts. I finally said, you do realize you're legally supposed to be provided a separate lunch time and a lot more plan? Take it to your union or remind HR. He refuses, says he enjoys his job and doesn't want to rock the boat and then later makes a snarky comment when I rush out to go to my other school. Where I eat lunch at my desk and fully utilize my plan time. He's been so annoying I haven't shown him my schedule until I had to last week for my long term sub, just because I didn't want to hear about how spoiled I was. Dude. Stand up for yourself or STOP COMPLAINING.


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Posted: 12/6/2012 12:45:38 PM
taking a break is the law. If you negate to take your breaks throughout the day including your lunch that is your PERSONAL decision and does not make you a martyr.

I've known managers who force their employees to take a break during specific hours of the day to avoid lawsuits. It's a classic lawsuit waiting to happen, employees will say, "I couldn't take my break because I'm too busy; I have too much work". Employees who do this help hide larger issues at hand. For one, that employee may not be a good fit for that job; there may be time management issues to consider. Or, that position may very well require more than one person to complete.

Either way, a manager can't tell what the real problems are because as far as their concerned their simply dealing with someone who doesn't like taking breaks.

And THEN you have an employee who thinks that just because they don't take a break, that they can leave early. um no.

2boysandwill
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Posted: 12/6/2012 12:48:24 PM

My office manager has always gone into work at 6:30 and won't leave until the rest of the office leaves the majority of the time. If on one of those rare days she leaves early she will say comments, WELL I did get here at 6:30.. YEAH we know and we don't care!! And in 15 years has only taken one or two sick days... and she doesn't let us forget it.


when my boss starts acting like a martyr, I say, "yeah...well...that's why you're the director, right?"

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Posted: 12/6/2012 12:53:42 PM
That would irritate me, too!

I figure if youre entitled to the break then by all means take it...I sure would!

My dh is one that generally works through the entire day and skips a lunch break. If other people from his department are all going out he'll go but as a rule he doesn't.

He does get up and walk around from time to time during the day, though. Not a real 'break' where he goes somewhere to relax. More like a stretch your legs kind of deal.

He doesn't begrudge others who DO take their breaks though.


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