Thursday, 16 August 2007

Lunch anybody?

Sometimes people at work take the biscuit!

We only get half an hour for lunch at work, but there is some flexibility. You can take longer, so long as you make up your hours.

Yesterday, I went out to lunch with the two girls I sit with at work. We were joined by another Project Accountant. This is the second time I've been out to lunch since I started there that hasn't been manager imposed. The first time we went, about 4 months ago, there was dead silence when we picked up our bags and walked out together. You could detect the whispering starting the moment we walked out of the room. It was like we'd declared anarchy!

This time, lunch lasted about an hour and a half. We had a lovely chat and a laugh and discovered that this is the first social lunch the other PA had been to in over two years. Our only mistake was probably not telling the waitress that we only had an hour. But it didn't matter, since we'd be making up the time.

Anyway, got back to the office and received an email from the tax accountant: "Hope you had a nice lunch. You will make up the two hours you were gone, won't you?"

My first reaction was "What's it to you?"!

But I thought I'd be charitable - maybe she hadn't meant to come across as nasty and it was actually meant tongue-in-cheek in a wistful, I-wish-I'd-been-invited way. English isn't her first language. So I wrote an email back along the lines of "Would you like to come along next time? Maybe you could speed up the waitress." Silence.

The others were furious when they opened their emails. We'd all got the same message. None of us report to her or do any work with her. And yet she took it upon herself to tick us off for taking a real lunch break.

I found out later that she'd had a discussion with the Project Accounts Manager about it (he told the other PA that we'd been told off). So it had been meant in a nasty, laying-down-the-law kind of way.

No wonder nobody is sociable in this place. I'm still shaking my head at her nerve.

- Pam (My boss had been sitting two tables away throughout our lunch. If he'd had a problem, he'd have said something when he left.)


John Davis said...

Sounds like you have a real bluebird of happiness there.

Umbrage now working in accounting?

amy said...

What is it with the office police? I am so annoyed on your behalf! I also find the lunch policy annoying. I always felt I was extremely productive, thank you, and for someone to make an issue over a half hour here and there was short-sighted. I most enjoyed telecommuting, because my work spoke for itself and I was TRUSTED. And when I negotiated for half-time after maternity leave, I could quite truthfully point out that I'd accomplish more in 20 hours than most others in 30 or even 40, and my boss agreed to the half-time.

Your posts provoke long comments from me! But geez, I can't stand Stupid Workplace Rules and Officious Co-workers.

Jan said...

I would have said:

Thanks. We had a great time!

Of course I was planning to make up the time -- isn't that the policy? That we may do that from time to time? If that is not the policy, I hope someone will let me know.

Puh-leeze. Some people just cannot be happy unless they are making somebody else unhappy. Uck.

Christi said...

My sympathies on the Umbridge clone. I worked for a while (15 looong months) with a pot-stirrer like that. I didn't report to her in any way, shape, or form, but she loved to carry tales to my supervisor about my "attitude" or whatever. (And my sup. was bad enough to begin with - micromanaging perfectionist from hell.)

Haven't worked there in 7 years, and I think I had a dream about working there a few nights ago. Nightmare, more like.