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Employer says I am not allowed to heat up my breakfast
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KittyKatty123 · 09/11/2021 16:21

I work full time, 9-5, computer facing all day, work that requires a lot of concentration. I understand the important of taking regular breaks to get away from the screen but don't take the mickey with this. I can't eat first thing in the morning so I have always eaten mid-morning, at my desk, sometimes something cold, sometimes something that needs a minute or two in the staff microwave.

Past employers have never had an issue with this.

I'm fairly new to this job but in the past two months that others have observed me doing this, including my line manager, no-one has ever raised it as an issue. We have access to a microwave and toaster so sometimes I'll bring in a tub of beans, or eggs that I've already put in a bowl and whisked at home so it takes 2 minutes in the microwave to heat them, sometimes I'll do some toast at the same time. All during the space of time it takes me to make my first cup of tea of the day - which is taken after having already put in 1-2 hours work since I got in that morning.

All of a sudden my line manager took me aside and said "it had been noticed" that I was heating up my breakfast and that I was no longer to do this as it was in work time, that the microwave and toaster were only for lunch breaks, unless I decided to split my break over both. This seems ridiculous to me as it takes max 5 minutes and I then bring it back to eat at my desk whilst working. I have seen colleagues gone for much much longer than this if they get into social conversation with colleagues.

Also, this instruction was directed only to me, not as a general "heads up" to the team or department as a whole, so it very personal.

In my mind, from an occupational health point of view, it is very important to take regular breaks throughout the day from VDU work, to make tea, go to the loo, chat with a colleague etc, so why is heating up food whilst making my tea any different.

Am I being unreasonable here? Do others do this at work with no issue? As I said, past employers have never had issue with it and I don't take the piss with it. Thank you.

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Am I being unreasonable?

AIBU

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Greenmarmalade · 09/11/2021 16:32

I hate micromanagement like this. So incredibly petty.

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Carrottop73 · 09/11/2021 16:32

Don’t you have to stop work/ work less to eat it though?

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FlaggRF · 09/11/2021 16:32

However, I wouldn't have a problem with someone eating a cereal bar or a croissant at their desk. They don't smell.

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Starcaller · 09/11/2021 16:32

I think it's shit when employers micromanage employees' time to such a degree. A few minutes to heat some food and make a tea out of a full day of work is hardly taking the piss. If it was a smell issue then fair enough, I suppose. But their problem seems to be you taking time to do it? Could you take that time to go do something else as long as it's not the microwave or toaster? Confused What's the difference?

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PenguinLove1 · 09/11/2021 16:32

You are taking the piss by having an additional break that you arent entitled to - you may think its only a couple of mins, but by the time you go to the kitchen get your food out the fridge, heat it up, put on a plate, eat it at your desk (and you wont actually be working while eating something like that) then clearing up your dishes, id bet you are essentially having an extra 15 min paid break.

Id be annoyed if i stuck to allowed breaks and the person next to me was cooking breakfast while they were supposed to be working.

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Anoisagusaris · 09/11/2021 16:32

Yabu for eating eggs in the office!

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FindingMeno · 09/11/2021 16:33

If its on their time, they call the shots.

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TheYearOfSmallThings · 09/11/2021 16:33

Eggs smell in the microwave. So do beans. So does porridge (my personal bugbear).

In my office we opt to put up with it, but I do find it a bit stomach churning in the morning.

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Lollyneenah · 09/11/2021 16:33

My colleague does this too and tbh I don't like it. Wanders off for 10 mins then strolls back taking 10 mins to eat it.
I think it is slightly piss taking and doesn't make you look very serious about a new job.
One thing to quickly scoff an alien bar with a cup of tea but somehow sitting there with a bowl looks lazy.
Sorry!

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VanillaSpiceCandle · 09/11/2021 16:33

I think it’s probably the perception of it taking ages to cook/eat/wash up and generally faff around plus the smell which someone’s objected to. In addition I bet it’s because you’re new and it does look a bit like taking the piss when you’ve not been there long. Please don’t be the person who microwaves eggs. Just have something cold instead and eat it before you start.

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WhatATimeToBeAlive · 09/11/2021 16:33

I think having beans, eggs and toast is taking the mickey tbh. Just have a cereal bar or something easier, and a bit more subtle. And yes, the smell is probably off putting in an open plan office.

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Flowerlane · 09/11/2021 16:34

Having a cold breakfast at your desk is very different to making a hot breakfast and then eating at your desk. I would take bets on it that there has been complaints about a egg smell.

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ufucoffee · 09/11/2021 16:34

The smell of eggs being eaten in an office would make me heave. I'd complain about it. Just take a cold breakfast in or wait to eat at lunch time.

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delilahbucket · 09/11/2021 16:34

If I was your employer I would take issue with the smell, and eating at your desk full stop. I would be furious if you spilt something or dropped food on your keyboard/mouse.
You could attempt to negotiate a shorter lunch and have a morning break, but it may be denied as once one person does it, everyone starts doing it and it can be a nightmare to manage with lots of staff.

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Iamanicepersonreally · 09/11/2021 16:34

Why can’t you eat at home?
It’s a workplace not a cafe.

You’re being unreasonable and inconsiderate

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Whatsnewpussyhat · 09/11/2021 16:35

If you are that hungry that you need eggs or beans and toast, split your break and eat your meal in the staff room.

It's the fact you are taking it back to your desk and although you don't see it as an extra break, everyone else does.

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Starcaller · 09/11/2021 16:35

I used to work evenings and people would have whole meals at their desk Grin Curry, chilli, reheated pizza, pasta. I always liked seeing what people had.

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Chippymunks · 09/11/2021 16:35

I think you are being U, it’s the smell plus what if everyone starts to do this? Where do they draw the line? Numerous hot breakfasts going on, toasted tea cakes in the afternoon etc.

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Aprilx · 09/11/2021 16:35

I don’t think I have ever seen anyone prepare a hot breakfast like beans and eggs on toast in the office before! So there is possibly a perception that you are spending a lot of time messing around with breakfast when you should be ready for work. But I also think that perhaps the smell is a bit much for everyone right at the start of the day.

I think you should switch to a cold breakfast, like the majority of people have at work.

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BunsOfAnarchy · 09/11/2021 16:35

Ok. Its the eggs op.

Smelly foods are a no no!

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GreyhoundG1rl · 09/11/2021 16:36

You'll be stinking the place out with your mid morning cooked breakfast...
Most people who don't like eating in the morning just skip it altogether. Why don't you just do one or the other?
I'd be unimpressed to have to watch (and smell) you tucking in.

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KittenCatcher · 09/11/2021 16:36

I think it would be better if you split your break, go and make your hot brunch, eat it away from your desk for 15 mins and deduct that from your lunchbreak. I dont think sitting at a desk eating egg beans and toast is very fair on your colleagues and you should be away from your desk to digest it properly.

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TheNinny · 09/11/2021 16:36

Does it always need to be a hot breakfast? Lots of people have a ‘cold’breakfast of cereal and maybe a cup of tea/coffee. I normally save hot breakfasts for weekend and occasionally have a breakfast roll midweek (my work has a canteen and provides this though) at tea break time at 10.30

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gamerchick · 09/11/2021 16:37

You're not U. You are cooking eggs and shit though. Fish is the worst though.

Maybe you're being a bit inconsiderate. Eat at home if you want something cooked or bring a sarnie in in or something.

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Alexis7890 · 09/11/2021 16:38

I agree with lots of others, it’s probably the smell. Those hot options do give off strong smells that are not pleasant. Also they are harder to eat while working whereas a cereal bar or even a bowl of cereal/piece of toast you can eat one handed. Also while eating your breakfast you do reduce the amount you’re working, I say this as someone who eats breakfast working but it’s cereal so I can eat with one hand and read an email etc. Can you not just have a cold option every day? Save the hassle?

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