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Author Topic: Meal breaks  (Read 11768 times)

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Re: Meal breaks
« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2012, 08:39:51 PM »

Yes, expecting to be able to eat a sandwich when you work from 9-3 is perfectly reasonable.

The first thing I would do is check your local labour laws, because many areas have regulations about breaks, even for part time or shift work.

Then, I would talk to your employers, but be very careful about how I approached it. Maybe something like "I wanted to clarify the lunch/snack break arrangements with you, as I've noticed that a lot of the kids are uncomfortable stopping to eat, and productivity drops later in the day, as people get hungry and grouchy and can't concentrate as well.

That way you aren't asking for permission for a perfectly reasonable request for basic functioning; you're asking how best to schedule it. That way your boss can't slide around it - they have to say right out "My employees are not permitted to eat lunch", after which you can act surprised at their demands.

If they do ban lunch, and have the right to keep their employees from eating, then personally, I'd be tempted to arrange with my coworkers to cover each other while we ate our sandwiches.


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Re: Meal breaks
« Reply #16 on: December 29, 2012, 06:05:51 AM »
Thank you for validating my need to eat a midday meal.  I do wonder if this is a power thing on the owners' part - "I can go eight hours without eating, so those who can't are not as awesome as I."

It wouldn't surprise me, as many people seem to have this attitude about sleeping. "I can get by on 5 hours a night." Well good for them, but I can't, and I still want a proper amount of space between shifts.

I don't know where you are that allows employers to deny you an eating break for a 6 hour shift (sounds barbaric to me), but I agree with a PP who suggested asking them how best to schedule time to eat, and add that it's just not possible for you to go 6 hours without eating.


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Re: Meal breaks
« Reply #17 on: December 29, 2012, 07:29:10 AM »
The OP did say that legally they are ok without giving a break, so I presume she has checked them.  I know where I live a 6 hour shift they don't need to provide a break (most do, especially if over a normal meal time) but 6 cut hour and 1 minute they need to provide a break - many employees are aware of what the off legally is and will schedule shifts around this


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Re: Meal breaks
« Reply #18 on: December 29, 2012, 08:02:15 PM »
I would be up front with the owners and tell them that you need to eat something midday to keep from feeling ill.  Don't try and hide it and let them "catch" you eating.  There's nothing wrong with your request; demonstrate that you don't abuse your break, and they should be fine with it.


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Re: Meal breaks
« Reply #19 on: December 30, 2012, 05:26:39 PM »
If the employers really aren't ok with a meal break, and I have had some jobs in retail where I was the sole employee on duty, and couldn't take 30 minutes all at one, I have a couple of suggestions:

Take a sandwich, but cut it up into quarters or smaller- that way you have bite size you can chew and swallow discretely.

Small containers of fruit, cut up into small bites.

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Re: Meal breaks
« Reply #20 on: December 30, 2012, 05:50:30 PM »
I find it sad that people, me included, have to find a way to eat.  I have done what SyFygeek has suggested and it still feels odd.  But it does work.


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Re: Meal breaks
« Reply #21 on: December 30, 2012, 07:16:49 PM »
I work full time and have an hour lunch, but when we have special events, I can only grab a few minutes to eat. I believe you owe it to yourself to assert your need to have a quick break to eat. I can't work six hours (especially on my feet) without eating something fairly substantial.

I buy thick-cut chicken, turkey, and cheese from the deli and cut it in matchstick pieces, add some tomatoes or carrots and it is easy to eat quickly. I also make trail mix to take with me.
ďAll that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost."
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Re: Meal breaks
« Reply #22 on: December 30, 2012, 07:21:46 PM »
I'm sometimes in situations were I have to go a long period of time without having a break for meals.  I bring protein shakes (like an Atkins shake) and then just chug it down quickly when that happens.  It is filling and keeps me going.



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Re: Meal breaks
« Reply #23 on: January 02, 2013, 10:33:44 AM »
It's also possible that the owners are not vindictively withholding breaks and not letting people eat just because they go without lunch for 8 hours.  It could be that because they live and work that way that it hasn't occured to them that others might actually prefer to eat.  Especially if no one at the work place has ever asked.  The lack of asking may actually be reinforcing their perception that everyone else is cool working with no meal break.