Author Topic: Do not speak to me in the lunch room!  (Read 6552 times)

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goldilocks

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Do not speak to me in the lunch room!
« on: March 06, 2014, 01:19:51 PM »
Am I being unreasonable?

I am a manager in my dept, there are 2 managers.   I very seldom leave for lunch, usually I bring my lunch and eat in the breakroom while reading the paper.  Almost everyone knows not to bother me with work-related items during this time, unless it is an emergency, of course.

Now, I don't mean that someone can't say hi, or comment on the weather, etc.   But do not come up to me and say "hey did you see that email from John, blah, blah, blah".

So, enter newgirl (8 months now, so not really new).  Who is also the one that will send you an email then come to find you to tell you she just sent you an email.   She came into the break room and said Hi Goldlilocks.   I replied Hi.   She then said, "I'm going to send you.. --- and I said STOP.   She looked rather blank, and continued "about the XX project"  --- and again I said Stop.   I added - you can send me whateve you want and you can come talk to me after lunch, but you cannot speak to me now.

She gave me a look as if I'm a b****.   Now, I'll admit I could have handled this a little better - but am I unreasonable to ask people not to speak to me about work-related items when I'm in the breakroom?   If it makes any difference, Newgirl works for the other manager.

Kaymar

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Re: Do not speak to me in the lunch room!
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2014, 01:23:15 PM »
As someone who eats at my desk and gets constantly interrupted, I truly can't imagine telling someone they can't speak to me while I am eating about work items.  I've never worked in a place where that would be OK.

goldilocks

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Re: Do not speak to me in the lunch room!
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2014, 01:28:36 PM »
That is one of the reasons I move to the break room and not my desk.   I can understand people seeing me at my desk and thinkging I am working ( which I probably am), and also I cannot ignore a ringing phone so I'll pick it up even if I'm trying to eat. 

I just not sure that it's unreasonable to ask someone to wait 30 minutes until I finish lunch.  If I left the building every day for lunch, it'd be at least an hour that I'm gone.

wx4caster

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Re: Do not speak to me in the lunch room!
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2014, 01:29:44 PM »
It's not unreasonable to want a work-free break but not everybody is militant about sticking to that rule.  In this case, it would have been better to let NewGirl know that you do not discuss work while eating your lunch. And repeat that firmly if she tries to "yes, but.." you.
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perpetua

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Re: Do not speak to me in the lunch room!
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2014, 01:30:24 PM »
Well. First of all, she's fairly new. Secondly, she doesn't work for you, she works for the other manager, so she maybe isn't aware of this quirk you have. Thirdly, you were *really* rude to her. If someone put their hand up to me and interrupted me with 'stop' - not once, but twice - it'd earn a massive eyeroll.

I don't think you're unreasonable not to want to talk shop on your lunch break, but she probably doesn't even know that, and you talked to her like a child.

perpetua

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Re: Do not speak to me in the lunch room!
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2014, 01:31:29 PM »
That is one of the reasons I move to the break room and not my desk.   I can understand people seeing me at my desk and thinkging I am working ( which I probably am), and also I cannot ignore a ringing phone so I'll pick it up even if I'm trying to eat. 

I just not sure that it's unreasonable to ask someone to wait 30 minutes until I finish lunch.  If I left the building every day for lunch, it'd be at least an hour that I'm gone.

Then you politely say 'Hey - I'm having my lunch, I'll come and talk to you about this when I've finished'. Not put your hand up and say 'STOP'.  That's just really rude - she isn't a child.

goldilocks

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Re: Do not speak to me in the lunch room!
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2014, 01:36:57 PM »
Yes, I was rude, however, I'm pretty sure everyone in the building knows this quirk of mine.  when I say buildling - I'm talking about 25 people, not a massive dept.

My question was more along the lines of - is it really so bad to have this rule? 

And I have to admit - I have a special pet peeve about people who either tell me they are going to send me an email, or people who come to tell me they just sent me an email. 

TootsNYC

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Re: Do not speak to me in the lunch room!
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2014, 01:40:48 PM »
Well. First of all, she's fairly new. Secondly, she doesn't work for you, she works for the other manager, so she maybe isn't aware of this quirk you have. Thirdly, you were *really* rude to her. If someone put their hand up to me and interrupted me with 'stop' - not once, but twice - it'd earn a massive eyeroll.

I don't think you're unreasonable not to want to talk shop on your lunch break, but she probably doesn't even know that, and you talked to her like a child.

I agree with this.

And you would have been better off to say, "I don't talk about work when I'm at lunch. It can wait until I get back to my desk."

Instead of "you cannot talk to me now." You *were* rude; I'd have looked at you like that too.

Yes, I was rude, however, I'm pretty sure everyone in the building knows this quirk of mine.  when I say buildling - I'm talking about 25 people, not a massive dept.


So, like, everybody? They already know it; they learned it a while ago. Oh, right, awhile ago when this new person didn't work here yet.

Not rude to have that rule. Not at all.
But really, really required to express it politely.

Zizi-K

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Re: Do not speak to me in the lunch room!
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2014, 01:42:34 PM »
I don't think its bad to have this rule, actually I like it a lot. As long as you also allow your subordinates the same courtesy, I think it models work-life balance well.

However, there's no reason in the world you couldn't have been more polite about it. Obviously she didn't know your rule. You could have said, "Goldi, I'm going to stop you right there. When I'm on lunch, I prefer to relax and take a break from work matters. In the future, unless its an emergency, please hold off until after I'm back from lunch. Please go ahead and send me whatever you need to send me, and I'll attend to it when I get back."

I think you owe that person an apology for snapping.

The email issue is another one altogether. Next time she does it, simply say, "Goldi - the beauty of email is that it arrives without our having to have a conversation about it. Please don't come and tell me that you've sent an email, please be assured I will receive it and deal with it in due course."

TurtleDove

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Re: Do not speak to me in the lunch room!
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2014, 01:42:48 PM »
Yes, I was rude, however, I'm pretty sure everyone in the building knows this quirk of mine.  when I say buildling - I'm talking about 25 people, not a massive dept.

My question was more along the lines of - is it really so bad to have this rule? 

And I have to admit - I have a special pet peeve about people who either tell me they are going to send me an email, or people who come to tell me they just sent me an email.

I agree with perpetua - you were really rude.  To address your question, no, it isn't bad to have your rule, but for you to assume "everyone" knows about your quirk is pretty self-centered.  It would have been better, and far moer productive, for you to have smiled and said, "Hey - I'm eating and I make it a policy to not handle work stuff on my breaks.  Can you send me an email or find me at my desk this afternoon?  Thanks!" 

Because, while your rule isn't "bad," even you admit it is a "quirk," as in, not necessarily the norm.

TootsNYC

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Re: Do not speak to me in the lunch room!
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2014, 01:42:57 PM »

And I have to admit - I have a special pet peeve about people who either tell me they are going to send me an email, or people who come to tell me they just sent me an email.

Not an excuse for being rude to her.

But feel free to say, even interrupting, "You know what? Don't tell me you're going to send me the email--just send me the email. Then I only have to make brain space for it once, instead of dealing with it when you tell me about it AND when you actually send it. Please?"

jmarvellous

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Re: Do not speak to me in the lunch room!
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2014, 01:43:15 PM »
You were blatantly rude and should apologize.

You can have all the rules you want, but that doesn't mean you get to be mean in "enforcing" them.

Virg

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Re: Do not speak to me in the lunch room!
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2014, 01:43:33 PM »
goldilocks wrote:

"Yes, I was rude, however, I'm pretty sure everyone in the building knows this quirk of mine.  when I say buildling - I'm talking about 25 people, not a massive dept."

Whether she knows you quirk or not, you don't have leave to treat a coworker like a little kid.  If she's doing it on purpose, then your message can be sterner than usual, but you took it too far.

"My question was more along the lines of - is it really so bad to have this rule?'

Your message isn't rude, but your delivery was very rude.  Something like "Please wait until I've finished with lunch.  I prefer not to talk shop while I'm in the break room." would have been a whole lot better.

"And I have to admit - I have a special pet peeve about people who either tell me they are going to send me an email, or people who come to tell me they just sent me an email."

It's understandable but not really relevant because a peeve doesn't excuse rudeness, and there were polite ways to address the issue.  Again, directly addressing the issue would have been better, and probably more effective than what you did.

Virg

DavidH

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Re: Do not speak to me in the lunch room!
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2014, 01:52:46 PM »
I've worked with a lot of people and never met one with a similar rule, so it's definitely unusual and would't work in any office environment I've been in.  I don't know that having that particular rule is rude per se.

Based on the way you handled it, I have no doubt everyone knows of your rule and I think the way she looked at you was completely justified.  If you are shockingly rude to your co-worker and in doing so fit the definition of b****, you can hardly complain that they react badly to it.


TootsNYC

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Re: Do not speak to me in the lunch room!
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2014, 01:55:16 PM »
I would imagine that if you used any of the alternate wordings suggested here--even if you interrupted her to do so--she wouldn't have looked at you as though you were unreasonable.

I personally make it a point not to approach people in the break room w/ work issues unless they're urgent. So if she were posting here, asking whether she should take work questions to people in the break room, I'd have said, quite firmly, no. That she should wait.