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to have told the new guy to please leave me alone as I'm on lunch?

(88 Posts)
musicboxwoundbyakey Sat 04-Jan-14 00:00:22

So because the weather was so shitty today and most people are still off work (so had no-one to go out with at lunch) I decided to stay in and eat lunch at my desk and read my trashy magazine.

The new guy (who has been here 2 months now so not too new) came up to me and asked me a question about work, I helped him out and then went carried on eating my lunch. 5 minutes later he came back and asked me another question.

Irritated by that point, I did help him but also said look I'm on my lunch break and don't want to deal with work related stuff right now. (It was obvious I was on my lunch, I was eating and reading)

I feel bad but I wasn't the only colleague around and the job I do is customer facing so can have people ranting at you all day so you need a break just to de-stress.


cees Sat 04-Jan-14 00:24:48

Mutton, op helped him both times, she then informed him she was on break. I don't see how she was rude.

MuttonCadet Sat 04-Jan-14 00:24:59

I may well be projecting my own work environment, so apologies.
I eat whilst I work because no-one here has time to take any kind of break. It tends to be 11 hours a day, so 55 hours a week plus homeworking at weekends (no, I'm not a teacher).

stayanotherday Sat 04-Jan-14 00:25:32

Why shouldn't people have uninterrupted lunch breaks? It's your own time and it's the law.

musicboxwoundbyakey Sat 04-Jan-14 00:25:33

Would have killed you to just help him out because he needed advice, without giving any snidey comments and then eaten your lunch

I did help him though. Snidey comments? How was it snide? I said how I genuinely felt.

(I've had a really shit week so not feeling myself so wondered if I had been rude)

musicboxwoundbyakey Sat 04-Jan-14 00:30:01

I have started new jobs (in the same career) several times - and every place is different so it's taken more than 2 months to encounter every policy and system.

I never said I expected him to know everything about the job or that I would never help him. I would help out any colleague no matter how long they had been there.

But as I stated in my OP there were other colleagues around not on lunch and we all work in the same team and so the same job so he could have asked them.

RaspberryRuffle Sat 04-Jan-14 00:31:50

Yanbu. You really do need to take the time to switch off from your work. He could have asked someone else or waited. Maybe he asked you as you are generally more approachable than some of the others. Anyway, he has also learned that he doesn't have to answer work questions in HIS break so he has benefited too!

Salmotrutta Sat 04-Jan-14 00:35:09

All I was trying to point out OP is that it's difficult sometimes being new.

AND - if you want a proper lunch, don't stay at your desk.

I dream of a proper lunch...

MoreCrackThanHarlem Sat 04-Jan-14 00:35:23

I think YABU.
I often get less than 10 minutes of my hour lunch break because I have to deal with work related issues.
I never thought to tell colleagues or children to ask someone else since I'm on my lunch break!

woozlebear Sat 04-Jan-14 00:40:53

Ywdnbu. He should have the courtesy and common sense to ask someone else or wait.

Fucking hate people doing this at my work. My boss will just march right up and say 'when you've finished your lunch can you do blAh blah blah ...' Which invariably takes 5 mins to listen to, requires you to stop eating and note down what she's saying and engage in complex discussion about it.

Or people from other depts come in, hover by your desk while you're eating and trying to ignore them until you're forced to acknowledge them at which point they feign surprise and say 'oh, sorry, are you on your lunch' while clearly meaning 'I don't care if you are, i'm going nowhere'.

I religiously retreat elsewhere with a book, now. And I get the distinct sense that some people think that eating at your desk while surfing the Internet is somehow more dedicated than going somewhere else. Like I'm decadent or something.

Mrswellyboot Sat 04-Jan-14 00:46:34

I am a teacher and often go to my car at lunchtime to avoid this sort of thing. Yadnbu

footballagain Sat 04-Jan-14 00:47:41

Depends what environment you work in.

I used to work in a very busy, high stress office environment. Sitting at your desk eating a sarnie didn't mean no one was allowed to engage with you.

Of course you are entitled to your break. Perhaps it would be best ensured if you took it away from your desk?

I think you were rude too.

also,you say you only stayed in reading because there was nobody to go out with.Well,maybe the new guy felt the same and suspected the same of you so thought he'd approach you but only done so with work questions!

Shinyshoes1 Sat 04-Jan-14 00:51:37


Shinyshoes1 Sat 04-Jan-14 00:51:51


badtime Sat 04-Jan-14 00:58:27


You helped him each time he asked, and then let him know you were on lunch. I genuinely do not understand why people think what you did was rude.

He must have known you were on lunch and kept asking you questions anyway. Now, that is rude.

MistressDeeCee Sat 04-Jan-14 01:01:02

On the other hand if you're eating a meal and reading its obvious you were at lunch. This man was clearly able to see that but made a decision to impose on you anyway rather than go to colleagues who weren't on their lunch break.

You do have a right to personal space and time, so what if you were at your desk it doesn't give anybody the right to determine your lunchtime as work time, to suit themself. I wouldnt dream of approaching a colleague eating their lunch for help. I'd apply common sense. No OP you were not being unreasonable and I suspect many would react the way you did, even if they claim they wouldn't. There's actually nothing wrong with being assertive. Nor were you rude, as you answered his queries. Don't worry about what he'll think. He knows your feeling now and you'll all just get on with your work hopefully

TooOldForGlitter Sat 04-Jan-14 01:04:29

I don't think you were rude at all. If your lunchbreak is out of the office you aren't disturbed so to politely point out that you were taking lunch at your desk and similarly expect a break from work isn't rude at all IMO. New or not, unless he is fresh from school/college then new guy can respect a lunch break!

tracypenisbeaker Sat 04-Jan-14 01:11:49

Yanbu. Breaks are... you know, breaks?

Bumply Sat 04-Jan-14 01:14:07

I always eat at my desk rather than the communal area (which isn't large enough for everyone).
I'll answer a quick question, but generally people apologize before they've even finished asking the question when they realise I'm eating and/or surfing on my iPhone.

Bodypopper Sat 04-Jan-14 01:21:46

I am a TA and go out to my car for lunch in the winter or to the play area up the road in the summer. I don't get paid my lunch break but that wouldn't stop kids/teachers/lunch supervisors asking for help.

As a nurse and a cm before I never had lunch breaks as such.

If you want peace move from your desk.

wobblyweebles Sat 04-Jan-14 03:03:49


If someone is clearly eating lunch at their desk I apologise and say I'll come back later, or ask someone else.

It's ok to be clear with someone that you're not available. Better to be clear like you were than help out but be resentful.

DisgraceToTheYChromosome Sat 04-Jan-14 08:07:18


But then I can be prosecuted for engaging in work during my lunch break.

uggmum Sat 04-Jan-14 08:18:59

At work we each have a laminated sign to stick on our monitors which says 'lunch break'

Therefore, everyone knows we are on a lunch break and we don't disturb eachother.

snakeandpygmy Sat 04-Jan-14 08:21:37

I don't think that you were either rude or unreasonable.

A colleague of mine got so fed up with people interrupting her (very obvious) breaks that she made a little flag which says 'At lunch, please come back later' which she sticks to her computer monitor. If anybody approaches her when it's up she just points to it and goes back to her book/lunch/internet surfing. It works surprisingly well.

Personally I always go out in my lunch hour, just to get away from my desk.

MrsCampbellBlack Sat 04-Jan-14 08:21:38

I don't know. I've never worked anywhere really where you had a defined lunch break - most of the time if you're at your desk then you're working.

Perhaps that's why he thought it was ok to ask you questions.

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