Breaking The Break Cycle

, , , , , | Working | April 13, 2018

(The loan officer at the branch I’m at has a bad habit of going on 30-minute “smoke breaks” and not telling anyone. It’s Christmas Eve, and I’m working with him and another teller. It’s a half-day. Due to seniority, I’m in charge, even though he is older than me. This starts before the branch opens.)

Me: “Okay, [Loan Officer], there’s only three of us today, so can you please tell me when you’re going outside to smoke? That way, I can cover your side of the lobby.”

Loan Officer: “Sure! No problem.”

(We open the branch at nine am. Not even thirty minutes later, I see him disappear out the back door. Twenty minutes later…)

Customer #1: “Hi, I’m here to see [Loan Officer], please.”

Me: “He’s not available right now. Is there something I can help you with?”

Customer #1: “No, I’ll wait for him.”

(He walks back inside five minutes later, saving me the need to go get him. However, this happens again. And again. And again. By 11:30, I’m pissed. He’s been outside four times, and I can’t even get away to use the bathroom.)

Customer #2: “Hey, is [Loan Officer] available?”

Me: “Oh, I thought he was at his desk.”

Customer #2: “Nope!”

Teller: “Guess again! He’s outside.”

Me: *in my calmest voice* “If you’d like to have a seat in the lobby, sir, I’ll get [Loan Officer] for you.”

(I have had it. I exit the teller line, walk down the back hallway, and stick my head out the door. He’s playing on his phone, with his ear-buds in.)

Me: “[Loan Officer]!”

Loan Officer: *jumps* “I was taking a smoke break!”

Me: “We only have a half-hour left to work today, so get your behind inside right now and stay there! Got it?!

Loan Officer: *defeated* “Fine.”

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