I’m in a bit of a stand-off with a supervisor at job #1 about the length of my lunch break. She would like me to take an hour; I would rather take 30 minutes. This is an infuriating situation for a number of reasons:

1. I know my rights as a worker, and I’m only required to take 30 minutes of unpaid break-time for each 8 hours of work, yet she keeps telling me labor laws insist that I must take an hour.

2. If I’m at work, I would prefer to be working, and getting paid, instead of sitting uncomfortably in the breakroom watching the clock.

3. An hour is simply too long to sit in a breakroom and watch the clock, but I have no where else to go, and really no agenda outside of the building.

4. I’m an adult, or at least I can be tried as one, I really don’t like being told that I must do something when what I have been doing is not technically wrong.

5. My work is not physically demanding, therefore, sitting for an hour just makes me sleepy.

6. This is a very petty grievance and I’m spending far too much time/energy thinking about it, but if you do the math, taking a 1/2 hour lunch vs. an hour lunch the 3 days a week that I work makes me almost $20–that’s walking around money.

The other day I was asked to come in for a very short shift. This job is 45 minutes away from where I live and it costs me $10 in gas and tolls to go there, but I acquiesced because I had to go to my other job anyway, and it wasn’t that much extra driving.

“You can leave at noon,” supervisor told me.

“Well, I don’t have to be to other job until 1pm, so I can stay until 12:30.” I replied.

“Well, you’ll need to have time for lunch.”

In this case, I realize that she is just being considerate/concerned, but really– don’t. I can live many days without eating if I choose to, and I would rather just eat when I get home and can really enjoy it rather than filling up on some kind of travel food like the instant oatmeal I keep in my purse at all times. If I had been really hungry, I could grab a road bagel of something.

Does anyone really enjoy the breaks that they take at work? Does anyone feel rested and restored after taking them, or are people merely less hungry and more aware that the work day is half done? Perhaps the problem is me, and I simply cannot quiet my mind enough to truly appreciate the break.

I hate being a brat about this because I really do feel bratty, but I also feel like for as old as I am, and as many degrees as I have– this should not be my biggest battle. This situation makes me feel like the little kid I used to be where I would ask questions, get unsatisfactory answers, demand better answers, and then be told to knock it off.

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