How Do You Spend Your Lunch Hour?
Of course, many take the opportunity to eat lunch at their desks and read, pay bills, make phone calls, or check personal email. Here lies the issue. My friend, Ms.Worksforwhat, (whom you may have read about in Thursday’s post Work_Life_Balance ) once got a lashing for her use of the internet during her lunch hour. It goes without saying that there’s some sites that just should not be accessed at the office (hmmmm, like porn or any site with loud, obnoxious sound effects – that should be turned off anyway at work). Whatever.
So Ms. Worksforwhat is chowing down on her tuna on rye as she watches a news clip online. Incidentally, it’s a news clip made available on the company’s own intranet. A manager happens to pass by (not her immediate manager) and see this and later rats on her with her manager. So, she gets in trouble for watching what the company puts on their own web site during her lunch hour. I ask: WHY?
Not only that, it’s something that comes up at review time as well. I know from personal experience that once something is put on your record like that, it stays there. I think that if management is going to have a problem with internet use, they should not go out saying that it’s okay to use the internet for personal use during lunch hour and completely eliminate all use of it. And then they should chain the workers to their desks, and demand a blood sacrifice.
So my question for the masses is this: Why should it really matter to your company what you do on your lunch hour (provided you’re not snorting blow in the restroom… then you’d have bigger problems)? What should Ms. Worksforwhat have done in her situation?
Answer these questions and I think Ms. Worksforwhat will know exactly what to do.
P.S. Be sure to less us know what she decides.
The number one reason companies are able to get away with behaving like that is that people sit there and take it. If you don't do something about it, management take it as tacit agreement to their behaviour.
It pains me to see this happening to her, but it pains me more that this behavior even exists. What's worse is that people know it and just don't do anything about it. Companies think bottom-line, and if they're making the BUCKS, it matters little to them how they make it. I've dedicated my career to helping these errant corporate giants (and the not-so-giants) see the error of their ways.
But Ms. Worksforwhat will be warmed to see the support!
This is where mindeset comes in. Any company that employs me, Pied Piper, mr angry or Ms Worksforwhat is lucky to have us and not the other way around. I know this to be a fact provided we are three things: motivated, reasonably intelligent and not at work to pick up a paycheck but to learn. This comes from 20 years of working as a consultant for Price Waterhouse, consultant on my own, employee at a start-up and an employee at a big corporation. I pretty much have worked in every single environment that you can.
Ms Worksforwhat go home and assess yourself. I bet you will find that you are motivated, intelligent and not dead corporate wood. If this is who you think you are then you have nothing to fear. You have what it takes to make the prison break your friend the Pied Piper talks about. I assume you are young like your friend. I myself am 42 years of age - not too old but not young either. Let me assure you that nothing puts your life in the fast lane like kids. Years are a blur. We all will spend 40% of our waking lives at work. Let's spend it on our terms shall we. Onward and upward Ms Worksforwhat!!!
As for my friend, well... she'll get the support she needs for her decision. And she does know how good she is as an employee and as a person.
Thanks again for your input!