to feel annoyed by colleague?

(37 Posts)
RattyRoland Sun 27-Jan-13 08:55:58

I work full time. I leave work at 430 most days as this was approved by my manager as I only take 30mins for lunch, so can go home earlier(though I often take a very short lunch) or not at all and still have to leave at 430, no earlier.

One of my colleagues works part time and finishes at 2pm every day (works 845-2pm). However, he has no lunchbreak as he agreed this with boss/HR as an employee working under 6 hours per day is allowed to do this apparently. All fine there. But what I find annoying is he still goes to the cafe downstairs and buys lunch and eats it at his desk?!

I know this may seem trivial, but essentially he is doing exactly the same as me and many others for lunch, but whereas I lose half an hours pay he doesn't. Surely if he finishes at 2 and has chosen to take no break then this is unfair, he should either eat lunch after he's finished his shift or take an official break?

Maybe I'm being petty here and should forget it, but it annoys me when I'm at work everyday...

ginmakesitallok Sun 27-Jan-13 09:02:20

Annoying yes, your business? No.


I dont have a 'lunch break' (not that I could alter my pay) on any shift as I always eat at my desk (alone in my office so no annoying others with it).

I still have to eat. However the.time I spend eating I am also answering calls, emails, doing paperwork. I dont get a break but I need sustanance.

Shakirasma Sun 27-Jan-13 09:05:48


As long as this person is working while they eat what's the problem. It would be very unfair to make somebody work those hours without allowing them something to eat, not to mention unhealthy for them.

You may eat and work too but that is your choice. You could take a proper break away from the office if you wanted to, so the circumstances are not compatible IMO.

nefertarii Sun 27-Jan-13 09:05:51

You are being extremely petty. I. A 6 hours he is by paw required a break. Even if its a walk to the canteen.

You choose to not take your half an hour. Take it. You can't remove your lunch break from your working day as it is too long.

You are not in the same position and he should have to not eat because you decide to eat at your desk.

MrsMoosickle Sun 27-Jan-13 09:06:19

Might be annoying, but essentially its irrelevant to you.

That said,you can get out on your break, your colleague can't. I certainly wouldn't begrudge anyone a snack at their desk.

HollyBerryBush Sun 27-Jan-13 09:06:44

Legally you are entitled to a break after 5 hours - but what your collegue has negotiated and also the renumeration package really isn't your business. Are you whiter than white and never have a coffee or slice of birthday cake at your desk?

"Condensed" hours are becoming increasingly the norm now, as people want their down time.

Adamit Sun 27-Jan-13 09:06:57

listen, everyone who works outside the home sees a colleague do this kind of thing ... yes its annoying yes its not fair but its the way of the world. i see it myself in my work place but what i have learned is to just put MY head down do MY work it will be spotted or perhaps is being monitored as we speak. this very situation used to happen to one woman in work was gone everyday at 2 but by one o clock would till up finish work make herself tea and eat her sambos. she was pulled up over it about 3 weeks later.

you can of course draw it to a manager's attention if you wish but you have to work with these people so its up to you.

nefertarii Sun 27-Jan-13 09:07:16

By law not paw. grin

JeezyOrangePips Sun 27-Jan-13 09:07:20


I think YABU. I can eat and work. He's probably away from his desk about the same length of time as a trip to the toilet.

prozacbear Sun 27-Jan-13 09:08:08


It is not up to your employers to compensate you for break that you choose NOT to take. So if you have your half hour, take it, it's that simple.

I wouldn't expect anyone working for me not to eat for that length of time - he isn't taking the piss IMO. You need to be less of a martyr and take the break you are owed.

Sorry to be harsh, but we get a lot of this where I work, "Oh I never take my lunch break so why this or that bla bla". Take your lunch break, this is how we structure your employment!

nefertarii Sun 27-Jan-13 09:08:40

adamit what exactly is this person doing wrong?

Megatron Sun 27-Jan-13 09:09:47

YABU. Not your business.

HollyBerryBush Sun 27-Jan-13 09:10:05

Ask to condense your hours, ie foregoe (sp) your lunch hour so you can leave earlier too.

Adamit Sun 27-Jan-13 09:10:23

he is obviously taking a lunch break though it wasnt agreed to in his terms of his workhours.

RattyRoland Sun 27-Jan-13 09:11:48

Ok thanks for putting this in perspective, I accept that iabu and it will help me not feel annoyed at work next week.

chicaguapa Sun 27-Jan-13 09:12:47

Look upon it that if you wanted to take half an hour, to have a chat with a colleague over lunch or make a long phone call to the bank, you can do so. Your part time colleague doesn't have that flexibility.

IDontDoIroning Sun 27-Jan-13 09:13:08

Does he work through while eating lunch or just sit at his desk to eat but not work.
If he is actually working then y may b a little u.
However if he isn't then yanbu.

RattyRoland Sun 27-Jan-13 09:13:59

Nefer - he is having a lunchbreak even though he had agreed to no break and so is being paid. The rest of us don't get paid for our breaks. But iabu.

Shakey1500 Sun 27-Jan-13 09:14:00

I'm bucking the trend and saying YANBU to feel annoyed. I would too.

However, there's not a lot to be done is there? Can't you do the same?

Shakey1500 Sun 27-Jan-13 09:14:54

Oops misread sorry! You do have a lunch break. Perhaps, have an extra tip to the canteen yourself for a post lunch crème egg grin

IDontDoIroning Sun 27-Jan-13 09:15:55

Actually thinking about it why can't he wait til 2to eat. I regularly did a work pattern like that when pt and dc were younger. I used to have a cuppa and biscuit around 11 and that would see me through. So I never ate lunch in work.

AuntieMaggie Sun 27-Jan-13 09:18:37

Why are you eating at your desk? You get the option of eating away from your desk so why don't you?

He is allowed a break as he works over 5 hours so he gets his lunch then and eats at his desk. That is not a lunch break.

Cheeryble Sun 27-Jan-13 09:21:07

Presumably the employer accepts that he can have the odd break for tea etc? So if in practice he uses it at lunchtime and carries on working whilst eating, from the employer's point of view it's more or less the same thing. I bet he takes less time off than people who have smoking breaks.

Shakey1500 Sun 27-Jan-13 09:22:52

Can you renegotiate with your company? As in, say "I'll forego a lunch break so that I can be paid the extra, like Brian does? And being as you don't have a problem with him eating at his desk, I assume that's ok for me" grin

prozacbear Sun 27-Jan-13 09:27:30

This just such a non-issue - there are work problems, and this isn't one.

As long as this man is working as he eats (he could be googling bollocks all day, who knows), what's the problem? People make cups of tea, gossip in the canteen, go out for fag breaks - all technically 'breaks' but not really.

atacareercrossroads Sun 27-Jan-13 09:29:35

I may be wrong, but um sure someone working those hours is entitled to a 10min break. Yabu anyway, its a quick working lunch not a full blown dinner hour

Bobyan Sun 27-Jan-13 09:33:50

So as everyone else has mentioned, why don't you ask to do the same? Or is it he's actually earning less than you?

nefertarii Sun 27-Jan-13 09:35:36

op eating at your desk is not a lunch break. The fact that you choose to eat your lunch at your desk doesn't mean that others who do are having a lunch break.

So, no, he isn't doing anything wrong.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Sun 27-Jan-13 09:40:43

Try working in an office where people are allowed to go for ten minute fag breaks as often as they want. We have people who are out there every hour. Calculate that for lost work time which they're still getting paid for. Management won't address.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Sun 27-Jan-13 09:43:12

It's impossible to sit at your desk during lunch in my office. They will know I'm taking my lunch and happily Mumsnetting but someone will still come up with work stuff so I end up having to deal with it. hmm

RattyRoland Sun 27-Jan-13 09:46:20

I'm not allowed to take no lunch break as I'm full time, thirty minutes is the minimum whether I take it or not.

Hohoho, I agree about the long smoking breaks too.

I think when my colleague agreed his hours with hr it was thought he would have lunch at 2, when he finished his shift. But as he's a non smoker and doesn't take lots of other breaks I agree iabu and thanks for all who have put this into perspective for me.

Sabriel Sun 27-Jan-13 10:24:16

YABU. I do exactly the same as your colleague. We don't get actual tea breaks because we are allowed to go and make tea/ go to the shop/ go to the toilet when we need to. 2 colleagues on my team smoke so they pop off at least 3 times during the day.

It is the law that you have to take a 30 min break after 6 hours work, so working FT you have to take a lunch break (and if you choose not to you are a) being a bit stupid and b) breaking H&S rules which could get your manager in trouble).

Actually I felt a bit guilty last week because we didn't have anything in at home for me to take for lunch so I had to walk to the sandwich place in another building. I'm aware I don't have a lunch break. But your thread has reminded me that the full timers who do get a lunch break choose to go to the shop/ coffee shop during the morning, and don't clock out. So everyone is doing the same.

I keep my nose out of what the smokers are doing so I would expect other people not to be clocking me (except my own manager who would be the only person entitled to quiz me).

Imaginethat Sun 27-Jan-13 10:33:33

You would have a field day with me. I take breaks whenever I feel like it for however long it suits me. Your colleague seems v proper.

LucieLucie Sun 27-Jan-13 10:46:35

OP in my workplace he would be entitled to 2 x 15 min breaks which could be used together back to back over lunch to allow him to eat.

All workplaces are different but the minimum break time he is entitled to is 15 mins - time he is using legitimately to go buy his food. What he does in his break time is irrelevant. At least he is back at his desk and available for calls, emails instead of swanning off for ages like some piss takers.

theoriginalandbestrookie Sun 27-Jan-13 10:49:09

I can see your point OP. Legally you are allowed to work for up to 6 hrs without a break so on 3 days a week I work 9 - 2.30 without a break.

However I can't go that long without eating so I try to bring my lunch most days with me so whilst I do eat at my desk I am still working. Sometimes I forget/don't have time so have to nip down to the canteen to get something. So shoot me.

In my defence I am made to act above the grade I am paid and manage two contractors who are paid significantly more than me so I think the company can stand me the five minutes or so that I take to get my lunch. Also they arrive in on the dot of nine whereas I'm generally in 15-20 mins earlier and quite often have to work over my paid p/t hours.

In your case I wouldn't let it bother me. You already have a good deal because you get to leave 30 mins early. I bet a lot of other people only have time to take 30 mins for their lunch but don't get that so I would just be grateful for what you have and keep out of it.

plantsitter Sun 27-Jan-13 10:53:01

All this is the fault of the workplace culture not the individual person. I don't know what you do, but if it is a question of getting work done rather than hours sitting at your desk, who cares? I suppose I can see why people get a bit annoyed at people going off for endless fag breaks, but nipping off to buy a sandwich? really?

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