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To tell colleague to at work to leave me alone I when I am clearly having a break?!

(189 Posts)
acaiacai Sat 31-Oct-20 09:33:15

I work for a global company...I cannot WFH but I sit at a desk for 70-80% of my job. We take our lunch breaks at our desk now. We used to go to the canteen but due to social distancing rules etc if you have a desk you eat there so that those who don't have desks can use the canteen.

Colleague keeps coming up to me while I am on lunch break to talk work stuff, looking for me to sign paperwork etc...it is clear as I am eating, chatting with colleague next to me (we tend to take lunch at the same time do we can have no work related chat etc)

It's starting to bug me..she has only started on our team recently but came from another dept.

I want to be nice about this but surely she should have the common sense to leave a person alone on lunch break! I mean If there was no Coronavirus then I would be in the canteen and she would come looking for me there!! (Well at least I bloody hope she wouldn't!!)

OP’s posts: |
TikTakTikTak Sat 31-Oct-20 09:34:17

"I'll get back to you after lunch"

Done.

Smallsteps88 Sat 31-Oct-20 09:36:03

Just say “I’m on my break, I’ll deal with it when I’m back at work”

BigPlanes Sat 31-Oct-20 09:36:05

Can you get a document on your screen and/or screen saver which says in big letters

“On lunch break- I finish at X time” ?

ZolaGrey Sat 31-Oct-20 09:37:03

Wear headphones? Phone the colleague next to you and use a headset? Oooh passive aggressive "on lunch" sign?

Personally I'd just tell her to leave whatever it is on my desk and I'll do it at 1.30 or whatever. And I'd be grumpy about it.

acaiacai Sat 31-Oct-20 09:38:47

@TikTakTikTak I have tried that one she just keeps rambling on...its so grating and frustrating. sad

I have literally said, "sally (not real name) come back in 20 mins and we'll go through it then" then she said..."oh I'm going to be at a meeting" and then "I'm getting lunch" 🤯

And fwiw she is not senior to me...

OP’s posts: |
CrazyOldBagLady Sat 31-Oct-20 09:39:31

It's completely the norm in an office to ask someone to wait or come back after your lunch. Especially with persistent offenders.

Hahaha88 Sat 31-Oct-20 09:39:32

Surely this is as simple as saying I'm on my lunch break right now ill come find you when I'm finished

Ohtherewearethen Sat 31-Oct-20 09:40:01

Have you told her you are on lunch when she does this? I think you need to make it clear to her that it is not a working lunch, this is your lunch break at your desk. Just say something like, yep, my lunch break finishes in 20 minutes, I'll do x,y,z then.

bloodyhairy Sat 31-Oct-20 09:40:14

This is really so very easily dealt with.

Tryingourbest23 Sat 31-Oct-20 09:40:30

"I'm going to stop you there (put your hand up as she approaches your desk grin) ... I'm on my lunch break - a break from all work matters this is my rest time to refresh me. I will be back working at 2pm please come back to me after then '

Maybe you all need lunch flags grin that you put up on top of your screen on your desk when on lunch so ppl don't approach you with work stuff

NewlyGranny Sat 31-Oct-20 09:40:38

Write "At lunch" in biro on the palm of your hand and raise it at the first sign of her approach?

But seriously, what Smallsteps says. With a tight but polite smile and turn away. On no account take anything from her hand!

Hahaha88 Sat 31-Oct-20 09:41:12

acaiacai

*@TikTakTikTak* I have tried that one she just keeps rambling on...its so grating and frustrating. sad

I have literally said, "sally (not real name) come back in 20 mins and we'll go through it then" then she said..."oh I'm going to be at a meeting" and then "I'm getting lunch" 🤯

And fwiw she is not senior to me...

Sally if you don't want to discuss it on your lunch break why do you think I do on mine?

SebastianTheCrab Sat 31-Oct-20 09:41:18

I think maybe have a quiet word with her? (Possibly while she's eating her lunch?)

sueelleker Sat 31-Oct-20 09:42:30

."oh I'm going to be at a meeting" and then "I'm getting lunch" "OK, I'll come and find you at your lunch".

acaiacai Sat 31-Oct-20 09:42:57

@zolagrey I would but lunch break is the only part of my day where I have nothing on my head or face...😫 I have to wear a mask most of the day and when not at my desk I wear a hard hat etc so I just want a chill out.

@BigPlanes it's a good idea but she stands at the opposites use of my screen to talk to me as I'm against a wall. She would have no need to see my screen.

I'm normally very straight up but due some reason I feel like this girl will cause ructions...(my intuition is normally right too)

OP’s posts: |
rottiemum88 Sat 31-Oct-20 09:43:10

Sally if you don't want to discuss it on your lunch break why do you think I do on mine?

This. Stop being a pushover. You just say "That's a shame, I'm on my lunchbreak right now so we'll have to sort it out later".

36weekswithno2 Sat 31-Oct-20 09:43:36

I think you'll need to be firmer.

"I won't be doing that / talking about that just now, I'm on my lunch break"

"I will call you when I've finished my lunch break"

DreadingSeason2020sFinale Sat 31-Oct-20 09:44:01

* Sally if you don't want to discuss it on your lunch break why do you think I do on mine?*

This is what I was just about to write. Draw her attention to the fact that she expects an undisturbed break so why wouldn't you.

Sally: "I'll be on my lunch break by then"

You: "Well then it can wait until we are both free"

museumum Sat 31-Oct-20 09:45:17

She’s probably come from an office culture where lunch breaks just don’t happen. I’ve never worked in an office where they do. Everywhere I’ve worked people have eaten while continuing to work then maybe popped out for ten mins fresh air if they’re lucky.
I would think this calls for an all office email to say that for health and well-being reasons lunch breaks should be respected. Can you all take the same lunch even? I know some companies with wfh staff have stated a ban on calls 1-2 or 12-1.

acaiacai Sat 31-Oct-20 09:45:44

I think maybe have a quiet word with her? (Possibly while she's eating her lunch?)
Yes...I think this will have to happen

Ah god I'm so tired, I can't believe I can't even sort this...it's Saturday morning and I'm STILL consumed by it!! THIS IS SO NOT ME!!

OP’s posts: |
N0tthe0nlyfruit Sat 31-Oct-20 09:45:48

She's testing you. Sounds like a potential bully who enjoys stressing others out. Be firm, smile broadly, do not get sucked in.

Shiverywinterbottom Sat 31-Oct-20 09:47:41

Do it back to her when she’s taking her lunch 😁

Sally872 Sat 31-Oct-20 09:47:42

Sounds like you have tried nice/polite requests at the time. Speak to her Monday morning rather than at the time.

"Please do not speak to me about anything work related when I am on lunch. I want the break. Hope you understand I need to set some boundaries because I am being interrupted regularly"

BigSandyBalls2015 Sat 31-Oct-20 09:47:57

I was sitting in our canteen once, eating lunch and reading ... a colleague actually sat down opposite me and moved the book shock

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