Author Topic: Do not speak to me in the lunch room!  (Read 7373 times)

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whatsanenigma

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Re: Do not speak to me in the lunch room!
« Reply #45 on: March 06, 2014, 04:55:53 PM »
I find this thread very interesting, because where I work, no one would ever, ever, try to speak to someone in the break room about work, unless it was really an emergency.  The reason is that most of us are hourly.  Because we are hourly and our company doesn't want to pay overtime, technically both the asker and the askee can get in trouble for discussing work while off the clock, because then we are working and technically could put in a claim for overtime pay.

Coming from this background, if I were new at a workplace, I wouldn't personally ask someone a work-related question in a break area (unless an emergency) because I would assume unless told otherwise that the person is "off the clock" while there-and unless I was specifically told otherwise, I would assume that even a person who works for salary is in the break room because they are on break and they don't want to talk about work.

So I find it strange that the new girl would even ask in the first place, unless her own supervisor said "Go talk to so and so about XYZ right now" and she thought she had to do it right then even if the person was in the break area.  (Meaning, an emergency, even if just from her supervisor's point of view, and what can you do when it's your supervisor, especially when you are new?) 

Obviously these are not the dynamics of the OP's workplace, or of the workplaces of many responders to this thread...but I'm wondering if that's not a concept that should get more play, that more people should be encouraged to operate in accordance with.

Sophia

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Re: Do not speak to me in the lunch room!
« Reply #46 on: March 06, 2014, 05:10:38 PM »
It seems like a reasonable rule to me. 
I can put myself in the OP's shoes.  I can see how the new girl's "I just you an email" would have caused cumulative irritation. 

At my work the code-word is "Hair on fire".  So, at my work you might have asked after your first Stop, "Is anyone's hair on fire?"  "No, then talk to me after lunch."  It gets across the idea that you aren't saying their thing isn't important, but that it isn't critical to handle this very second. 

bopper

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Re: Do not speak to me in the lunch room!
« Reply #47 on: March 06, 2014, 05:11:39 PM »
I think saying "Can you stop by  after lunch or drop me an email about that? I won't remember if you tell me now." would be less abrupt.


cheyne

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Re: Do not speak to me in the lunch room!
« Reply #48 on: March 06, 2014, 07:37:40 PM »
I don't think it's unreasonable to have a rule that while you are in the breakroom you are "on break" and not to be disturbed. 

I don't believe OP was rude, blunt perhaps but not rude.


AustenFan

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Re: Do not speak to me in the lunch room!
« Reply #49 on: March 06, 2014, 07:51:58 PM »
OP, how would you handle it if the company hired a new COO who tried to talk to you on lunch? Use whatever wording you would with them on everyone else. The fact that this is a new hire who is below you on the company totem pole is immaterial, everyone deserves to be treated with respect.

TootsNYC

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Re: Do not speak to me in the lunch room!
« Reply #50 on: March 06, 2014, 10:11:45 PM »
OP, how would you handle it if the company hired a new COO who tried to talk to you on lunch? Use whatever wording you would with them on everyone else. The fact that this is a new hire who is below you on the company totem pole is immaterial, everyone deserves to be treated with respect.

Well, I don't know that I'd go that far--bcs perhaps the goldiflower would be willing to be interrupted for someone that high up on the totem pole.

Maybe use wording and delivery that you'd be willing for the COO to overhear.

Yvaine

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Re: Do not speak to me in the lunch room!
« Reply #51 on: March 06, 2014, 10:31:30 PM »

So, enter newgirl (8 months now, so not really new).
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.


You know what?  I'm going to disagree that the OP was incredibly rude.

I believe that if you are in the "break room" you are on break.  Unless it is an emergency, why make someone deal with work on their break.

And newgirl decided to keep going after being told to STOP by a manager.  And it was only after she kept going that the OP had to tell her to STOP again.  And then she offered newgirl the option to send what she wanted and even to come by and talk to the OP after lunch.  Apparently the OP had to be very forceful and obvious in order to make it clear to newgirl that the OP's official break time is not an appropriate time to disturb her. Especially when it is for something as mundane as "I'm going to send you an email". 

I believe that the OP may have sounded forceable, but not rude. And it turned out that the force was needed.  And then the OP went and offered the newgirl a better time to speak to her.

OP, I don't think you are unreasonable at all.  Here's hoping that newgirl has learned something.

Based on what we were told, I don't think the newgirl had any idea what the OP's "STOP" was supposed to mean.  The OP could have easily said, "Hey, I'm eating - come find me at my desk when I'm off break."  The way she handled it was confusing, demeaning, and unecessarily rude.

I'm not sure the newgirl had any idea either.  But when a manager tells me to STOP, I stop.  I might follow that up with something along the lines of "Okay. Do you want me to come back later?"  Not "I'm going to send you..." ---"STOP"--- "an email about xxxx project".

But the word stop doesn't help. Stop what? Stop talking? Stop talking about work? Stop moving? Stop you are about to step on a landmine? Stop there is a spider on you? If someone just said stop I would give a pause to let them tell me what I need to stop and why and if they say nothing keep going.

This. I think I'd be more confused than anything, just because shouting "Stop" all by itself doesn't happen in normal adult conversation all that often. I probably would think there was a spider on me! I associate it more with kids or with actual emergencies like getting mugged or being on the verge of falling in a bottomless pit.

laughtermed

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Re: Do not speak to me in the lunch room!
« Reply #52 on: March 06, 2014, 10:46:47 PM »
You do owe her an apology. I would approach her with a sincere apology and use the wording one of the previous posters used.  You have every right to an interruption free lunch and quite frankly I'm surprised at the number of people who think that it's fine to be constantly interrupted. Different strokes I guess.


*This is coming from a teacher who has been followed to the bathroom and spoken through the door to while I'm trying to do my business.  I have literally had to hide in a storage closet to get 10 minutes to eat a piece of fruit and have a bottle of water.  Big defender of breaks.

I have been in alkiras's position before-two incredibly immature receptionists at one of my former workplaces banged repeatedly on an office bathroom door with their fists and kept yelling at me that someone was on the phone when I had not even been in there five minutes. I ignored them like any three year old and never used the in office restroom again. The owner asked one time why I always went upstairs to the public restroom and I told him. He was shocked but didn't do anything.

At another workplace a client came in to the office during lunch hour without an appointment when I had just signed out. A receptionist hopped into the elevator and chased me through the line of the downstairs public cafeteria in the office bldg. to drag me back upstairs.

Believe me, if I was able to deal with them without the STOP or slapping them upside their heads like they truly deserved,  Op could have been a bit more patient with the new worker.

alkira6

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Re: Do not speak to me in the lunch room!
« Reply #53 on: March 06, 2014, 11:45:10 PM »
I have snapped a couple of times   ::)  I am sitting at my desk with an insulin needle and a testing strips and they still want me to stop and talk to a parent. NO.  My 30 minute lunch has been reduced by 10 minutes already because I have to walk the kids to the cafeteria and stay with them until they are let in, be back early to pick them up, and I have been stopped 2-5 times on the way to and from to deal with "just a quick question".  My door is locked. I have my room phone redirected to voicemail which tells in detail the times I am free for my planning period and after school, and you still unlock my door and usher someone in!?

No.  This particular parent complained that I "had an attitude and was not welcoming". Lady, you demanded that I put my health at risk because you don't like needles and how dare I bring them to school with me.  Me.  In the 20 minutes I had to pee, eat, and take care of my health.  No.

**Despite my posts I love my job. You just remember that 3% of the population that is undeniably self centered and that lack any iota of empathy or common sense.

Ginger G

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Re: Do not speak to me in the lunch room!
« Reply #54 on: March 07, 2014, 11:26:50 AM »
Quote
I'm really not a fan of the 'hostile work environment' term that keeps getting bandied around but this calls for it

You think one incident of an employee getting a little snippy with a coworker constitutes a "hostile work environment"?  I work in HR and that is not even close to the definition of a hostile work environment. 

I can sympathize with the OP.  I can rarely get through a lunch hour without an interruption and it is frustrating when you just want to eat and relax for a few minutes out of a long work day.  I have to reign myself in from snapping sometimes too.  Usually if it's something quick, I will go ahead and take care of it, but other times I have simply stated, "I will take care of this after lunch."  One particular incident that stands out is when I was eating a messy cheeseburger and an employee barged in wanting me to notarize a document.  She even knew I was at lunch because she had called earlier and I had told her I would be unavailable from 12 - 1.  She came by at 12:30 anyway.  I looked at her, looked at my burger, and told her I would prefer to do that after lunch after I had washed my hands.

TootsNYC

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Re: Do not speak to me in the lunch room!
« Reply #55 on: March 07, 2014, 11:38:12 AM »


I have been in alkiras's position before-two incredibly immature receptionists at one of my former workplaces banged repeatedly on an office bathroom door with their fists and kept yelling at me that someone was on the phone when I had not even been in there five minutes. I ignored them like any three year old and never used the in office restroom again.


I'm so puzzled. Why didn't you say, "Take a message; I'm going to the bathroom"? And then when all was done, why didn't you say, "Girls, you're obviously new at this, so let me tell you something that will help you in your job: When someone is in the bathroom, the people on the phone can call back later. That was really uncomfortable, and I didn't appreciate it."


Quote
The owner asked one time why I always went upstairs to the public restroom and I told him. He was shocked but didn't do anything.

What was he supposed to do?

Quote
At another workplace a client came in to the office during lunch hour without an appointment when I had just signed out. A receptionist hopped into the elevator and chased me through the line of the downstairs public cafeteria in the office bldg. to drag me back upstairs.

Believe me, if I was able to deal with them without the STOP or slapping them upside their heads like they truly deserved,  Op could have been a bit more patient with the new worker.

I applaud your patience.

learningtofly

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Re: Do not speak to me in the lunch room!
« Reply #56 on: March 07, 2014, 11:39:50 AM »
Not rude or crazy to have that rule.  At one job the whole table agreed to not talk work at lunch.  If we did someone would gently remind us of the rule.  If a boss came over we answered their questions, but they were usually quick questions as the boss wanted lunch themselves.  I've stopped many a person in the hall, asked them for something, and then stated that I will follow up with an email as this was spur of the moment and I don't expect them to remember every request lobbied at them on the way to get a cup of coffee.  I don't stop them to say I will email them.  Waste of time.