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To insist I want a meal break

(134 Posts)
RedRoosterLondon Sun 08-Nov-15 16:50:59

In brief, this is how it is.

My colleague has been employing someone to pick her son from work and take him home. Last week she was informed by her helper that she didn't want to do this any more.

My colleague asked the rest of us to work through our meal break so that we could all finish early. We did this as a one off to help her, as it was an emergency. However, the next day when she asked again I said no. Once I had done that the rest of the staff agreed with me.

She called me a selfish bitch amongst other things, then went to our boss. He says we all finish when the work is done, and anyone who wants to go early on a regular basis will have money deducted. But if we want to work through our break to go early together, that's fine as long as we are all doing the same thing.

I can't stand the daily battle and nor can my other colleagues. We start at seven and work a long day, we need our break and something to eat. What is it with some women that they think the workplace revolves around them and their childcare problems?

By the way I do have kids myself, but I have my life sorted. There is no way I would behave like this at work.

MyNewBearTotoro Sun 08-Nov-15 16:52:47

Definitely not unreasonable to want a break!

I would be happy to skip my lunch break at work as a one off but definitely not as a regular occurrence.

Sirzy Sun 08-Nov-15 16:55:12

Yanbu to want your break but your boss and colleague should be working together to try to find a way to make things a bit more flexible for her if possible.

OnlyLovers Sun 08-Nov-15 16:55:28

She called me a selfish bitch shock

I'd put in a complaint about that, for starters.

Your boss has handled this badly. The only person he should be speaking to about it is your colleague, and then only to ask her to refrain from trying to involve colleagues in her personal issues. If he and she want to sort it, they can come to some arrangement between them.

listsandbudgets Sun 08-Nov-15 17:04:21


Its difficult for her but its her problem not yours. It was fine for you all to work through as a one off but you can not make it a regular thing.

I assume you all work together in such a way that one of the team missing would mean the rest of your encounter problems getting the job done which is why you all have to do the same - i.e. work through your lunch break or not

MillionToOneChances Sun 08-Nov-15 17:07:02

Could she start half an hour earlier?

AngelSparks Sun 08-Nov-15 17:07:16

What is it you do that you all have to work together?

DoreenLethal Sun 08-Nov-15 17:07:21

If you work over 6 hours, it would be illegal to ask you to regularly work without a break. Why are people so bloody self centred?

ilovesooty Sun 08-Nov-15 17:07:31

It's up to her to sort out her own childcare issues and there is no way anyone should expect you to work without your break.

MillionToOneChances Sun 08-Nov-15 17:07:59

Or rather, a lunch break earlier. Just realised doesn't solve the problem of all work having to be finished before she leaves. Seems rather inflexible, though.

Natkingcole9 Sun 08-Nov-15 17:08:07

YANBU some women take childcare issues to a whole new level and it bugs me too.

RedRoosterLondon Sun 08-Nov-15 17:08:21

No we work in a restaurant.

MillionToOneChances Sun 08-Nov-15 17:09:17

So how does working without a break help?

RedRoosterLondon Sun 08-Nov-15 17:10:30

Working without a break means we get cleared up early then we can go.

zebra22 Sun 08-Nov-15 17:11:01

She is being unreasonable, not you

I would put in a complaint about her calling you a bitch and the whole way she has handled it

If you wok over 6 hours a day, it is illegal not to have a break

RedRoosterLondon Sun 08-Nov-15 17:11:34

The team prefers food, tea and a fag for the ones who smoke. Then we clear up - it's always been that way.

2ndSopranosRule Sun 08-Nov-15 17:13:08

YANBU! Your working pattern shouldn't be changed to accommodate someone else. Your colleague needs to sort this and it's up to your boss to ensure that she does.

GasLIghtShining Sun 08-Nov-15 17:15:27

Isn't it a legal requirement to have a break after so many hours which doesn't mean the last hour of your working day.

I presume you can't eat at your work station so working your lunch means no food? If that's the case you wouldn't get me doing even once. Call me selfish but I do not deal with not eating well and can't go from breakfast to lunch without a mid morning snack

I agree about complaining about being called a bitch

Groovee Sun 08-Nov-15 17:17:35

This explains how breaks should be taken!

AngelSparks Sun 08-Nov-15 17:17:57

Could you time the jobs (specific ones like how long it takes to sweep the floor etc)

Then split it put between you and then she can go early?

RedRoosterLondon Sun 08-Nov-15 17:19:00

I did complain and she got told off. But what you all need to understand is I work in a kitchen not an office. When things get heated people aren't always that PC.

Only1scoop Sun 08-Nov-15 17:19:00

Don't really understand why this has to be done on mass.

Surely she could just leave early and miss break? Why do you all have to?

BackforGood Sun 08-Nov-15 17:19:07

As you say - a 'one off' to help someone out in an emergency is fine, but she can't expect you to do that ongoing.
Apart from anything else, employment law says you have to have a 30min break if you work longer than 6 hours.
I also agree that your manager has handled it badly - they are creating a bad feeling when there needn't be one. Ultimately, all parents have to sort childcare when they work - I know it can sometimes be problematic (we've all been there), but it is just what you have to do if you are at work.

ilovesooty Sun 08-Nov-15 17:21:26

There is nothing "PC" about working to Health and Safety law.

RedRoosterLondon Sun 08-Nov-15 17:21:28

No the restaurant owner won't allow that. We finish together when the work is done. Anyone who doesn't like it can job on to another job.

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