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Cigarette breaks!

(28 Posts)
Fratelli Sat 28-Nov-15 19:58:28

I'm in no way bashing smokers, I used to be a smoker myself.

However, I'm really sick of all the smokers at work just going out for a fag when it suits them. I'm a carer which as you can imagine is very physical and emotional. We are naturally understaffed and underpaid. We work 7 hour shifts with a 20 minute break (fair enough). However, all the smokers get a 20 min break plus however many fag breaks they can sneak out for. This adds up to probably another 20 mins. The manager doesn't see as she can't see the smoking area from her office. So a resident may need someone or whatever and we can't find another staff member (some residents require 2 staff members).

Aibu to find this annoying and irresponsible of them? I feel as though I can't say anything as I'm fairly new!

SallyStarbuck Sat 28-Nov-15 20:02:55

YANBU. And I say that as a smoker. I take cigarette breaks at work (easy office job, tbh) but never when it's hectic and I try and take 10 mins off my lunch break to make up for it.

Is there any way you can, pretending you don't know where people are, ask around for extra help when they're outside so it brings it to the manager's attention?

Fratelli Sat 28-Nov-15 20:06:43

That's a good idea. I haven't really had the opportunity yet as I've mostly done evenings and weekends when no management is in. I'm on days next week though so I'll try it!

ZeldaTheWindBreaker Sat 28-Nov-15 20:08:31

Used to happen at my old job - except the manager did know about it; it was her rule actually.

They were allowed a 5-10 minute smoking break every 2-3 hours. I asked if i could have the same and was told no, it's a break for smoking only. I got so fed up that i just went in one day and announced I had decided to start smoking overnight. then I'd take the 5 minute 'smoking' break out the back of the shop and just get some air/a drink. Was quite boring actually. But I felt as though I had to take the breaks just to prove a point. Only stayed a few weeks after that though as it was a temporary position. Not sure I could have pretended long term! grin

Grossly unfair. Not sure how to advise but I'm angry for you.

IonaNE Sat 28-Nov-15 20:22:06

YANBU. Non-smoking people should be allowed the same amount of time to take out - for whatever they want.

Fratelli Sat 28-Nov-15 20:49:06

Haha zelda I might just do that!

Iona I think so too. I think we should be allowed to even just sit down for 5 minutes or something!

redexpat Sat 28-Nov-15 22:58:20

Youre sector isnt "naturally" underpaid and understaffed. Its underpaid because there is no political will to improve things. Dont accept the status quo!

And YANBU about the breaks.

redredblue Sat 28-Nov-15 23:41:05

Pretend to start smoking and have a "fresh air break".
That's what I did when I worked somewhere like that.

Motherinferior78 Sat 28-Nov-15 23:44:43

It's not fair - when you add up their breaks they're getting substantially more time off than you each year!!

LucyBabs Sat 28-Nov-15 23:48:31

You ex smokers are worse than non smokers wink

Agee though that non smokers and smokers should have the same breaks

LucyBabs Sat 28-Nov-15 23:49:21

agree obvs!

MummaB123 Sat 28-Nov-15 23:51:45

YANBU. I've never understood the extra breaks smokers get!
Also, as a district nurse, I dislike how many careers come into their houses stinking of smoke. I know I wouldn't want people providing personal care to me smelling like that! (This is not meant to be rude, just in my experience, in my area, we know a lot of the local carers and the majority are smokers).

VinoTime Sat 28-Nov-15 23:58:49

As an ex smoker, I don't think you're being at all unreasonable. The management in my workplace are all terrible for doing this. They'll take their full breaks plus enough cigarette breaks to whizz through a 20 pack! I''m sure you could imagine their reaction if the rest of the workforce did this - it would be totally unacceptable.

Oh, and a manager who has recently joined us has actually started smoking so that she doesn't miss out when the other senior team members head outside for a 'chat'. I didn't realise people were that stupid, but there you are.

<shakes head>

ScOffasDyke Sun 29-Nov-15 00:40:07

Smokers have cigarette breaks.
Others stand around chatting for the same length of time.
Some will post on FB or MN.
Others will go for a poo.

It all evens out; as long as the work is done, does it matter?

wafflyversatile Sun 29-Nov-15 01:04:35

I'm a carer which as you can imagine is very physical and emotional. We are naturally understaffed and underpaid. We work 7 hour shifts with a 20 minute break (fair enough).

It's not really fair enough and such shitty working conditions are not the fault of the smokers. I'd be getting more angry about this than people taking a few minutes break here and there adding up to a whopping 20 mins a day.

DeepBlueLake Sun 29-Nov-15 01:15:54

Yanbu, if they want to smoke that up to them, but they need to do it in their breaks.

We've got a few smokers in our dept, most of them don't take the piss and normally take there smoking break in their actual break or only have a smoke if it's convenient, i.e not busy and have taken time time off their lunch hour.

I worked with one woman years ago who would have a smoke every bloody hour, no one pulled her up on it and it took about 10 minuets as we worked on about the 11th floor so she had to wait for the lift, have the smoke, get the lift back up etc.

Akire Sun 29-Nov-15 01:28:11

I would defo make a fuss if you need an extra pair of hands it's not fair for people to be made to wait if they should be on shift and getting paid for working.

itsbetterthanabox Sun 29-Nov-15 01:47:04

Scoffasdyke. Yes of course smokers physically can't chat or go on the internet and they definitely don't poo do they. Smokers don't have bowels or bladders.
It's extra break away from the actual working area adding up to about an extra half hour a day for most. Paid as it's not picked up as break. Some still piss about and do no work too! If you are having a day working hard and have to cover for people who take extra break then that's pretty unfair and will mean less work gets done.

Akire Sun 29-Nov-15 01:50:24

Plus in that sort of job breaks are at set times or when things are quiet so if people are just randomly going outside its much more difficult than just leaving your paperwork on your desk. If someone needs turning or help going to the loo and carer is off on a smoke that's just bad

Fratelli Sun 29-Nov-15 02:14:20

Thanks everyone! I can't reply to all but will to some!

Redex - unfortunately I don't think there's much I can do about it. I do love my job though, I do think we're under appreciated!

Mumma - agreed about the smell! Since pregnancy it's turned my stomach!

ScOffas -'we can't stand around chatting as we're too busy - if we do it's with the residents. We also can't have our phones on shift.

Waffly - I think the 20 mins a day is fair not the rest!

saraht84 Sun 29-Nov-15 05:25:45


My office has the same problem, smokers take all the breaks they like. I don't even get 5 minutes to go to the loo because there's nobody to cover me.

dontcallmecis Sun 29-Nov-15 08:11:03

It's pretty rank to pop out for a fag when you're a carer. You're up close and personal with someone stinking of smoke.

chipsandpeas Sun 29-Nov-15 12:24:35

i can go for a quickie smoke break quicker than it takes someone in my team to go for a cup of tea
they have more tea per day than i have ciggies

goodnightdarthvader1 Sun 29-Nov-15 12:33:50

Snorting at the assertion that having a bowel movement is on a par with a smoke break. Ridiculous comparison. They should clearly hold it until the end of their shift. Not like it's an essential bodily function or anything.

specialsubject Sun 29-Nov-15 12:50:51

I also used to do fresh air breaks.

drug taking should not be done on work time. But as usual, your problem is crap management.

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