Thursday, September 9, 2010


How many of my readers work in an office? How many eat lunch at work?

I have been eating lunch in my office a lot lately and it's beginning to wear me out. Our office manager goes to lunch at 11:00, so she and I are the only people here during the typical lunch hour. That is a common time for people to drop by or call, so if I'm here, she thinks I'm available to take calls or see clients. Unfortunately, in my experience, those clients are usually the biggest time wasters. A couple weeks ago, I had someone call and spend my lunch hour talking to me about stuff I didn't care about, then schedule an appointment for after work later this week. Did I mention that I'm an exempt employee and all of this lunchtime work and after 5:00 work is uncompensated?!

One day I had had two students come in looking for jobs (the day before, I only had one). I have no authority to hire anyone! I do not want a copy of your transcript. I want you to apply online like everyone else. But please wait until there's an actual job posted.

Yesterday I had clients during lunch, yet again. Except this time I hadn't brought my lunch. By the time I was able to leave at 2:00, my boss interrupted that plan by asking me to teach one of our students how to create a specific type of report. I was just standing in the students' office doorway talking to them when he came in, and I think he viewed my casual visiting with them as slacking off, so he wasn't really concerned with my schedule. I didn't appear to be doing anything important, so I must be available to take on this task. Fortunately, I had eaten breakfast, so I wasn't dying.

Having to work while I'm technically at lunch is the main reason I hate bringing my lunch; I don't get a break all day. I don't mean to complain because I don't do anything really demanding all day, but it does get tedious when I'm doing it for 9 hours straight. I have decided that it really is beneficial to actually leave the office during lunch time. I don't need a whole hour, and rarely take that much time even when I do leave, but I do need to actually leave the building in order to get some peace and quiet away from my desk.


Lilibeth said...

I know what you mean. I seldom eat lunch, because it makes me gain weight, but I also need that time to plan or grade or just check my e-mail, so I avoid the busy lunch room and stay in my room. I do allow some students to come in and play chess, but they know they have to be very quiet and not bother me...lunch time is sacred.

Carina said...

You want to go out for lunch today? =)

Tara said...

I totally understand. I used to go out of the office for lunch even if I just went and sat in a parking lot on a busy street and watched the people in their cars(that can be pretty funny). Maybe called a family member I didn't talk to regularly.
Good luck with your lunch delima. I would deffinatly talk to the office manager and your boss about your lunch issues.