Give Me A Break Or You’ll Break The Law

| Fort Collins, CO, USA | Working | May 30, 2013

(This happens in the third week of my first job. I’ve been working more than 7 hours straight without being told I can go to lunch. It’s been so busy that I barely noticed how late it was until I start getting dizzy.)

Me: “Uh, hey [supervisor], I didn’t get lunch. My shift is over in about forty minutes, can I just clock out and leave in ten?”

Supervisor: “No, you can’t do that.”

Me: “Okay, but I’m required to have half hour off for lunch.”

Supervisor: “You can’t leave early! You have to take your lunch in the break room!”

(Note: I have often taken lunch in one of the fast-food places across the street, as have all my other supervisors and managers.)

Me: “Um, okay. So, should I count my drawer down?”

Supervisor: “No, you aren’t leaving early.”

Me: “Okie dokie. So, hey, I’m going to take my lunch break now. The one I didn’t get earlier today.”

Supervisor: “That’s fine.”

Me: “Just so we’re clear, lunch break is thirty minutes. My shift is over in thirty minutes.”

Supervisor: *sighs* “Just go to the break room and eat your lunch.”

(I clock out and run across the street to get food to go. I’m sitting in the break room eating when everyone comes back to clock out for the day.)

Manager: “You know, [supervisor] had to count your drawer.”

Me: “I offered to count it before I went on lunch.”

Manager: “Why are you taking your lunch so late?”

Me: “I didn’t realize how long I had been here, so I had to take lunch at the end of my shift to comply with the law.”

Manager: “Well why didn’t you just count your drawer down and leave early? It would have worked out the same.”

Me: “I… tried to—”

Supervisor: “I can’t just let people leave early!”

Manager: “Wait, did you make her sit back here until the end of the shift?”

Supervisor: “Of course!”

Manager: “Did you not realize she had actually worked her entire shift? Without a lunch break?”

Supervisor: “She didn’t! She’s just lazy and wanted to leave early! She always refuses to help us close!”

Manager: *facepalm* “[My name], go home.”

Supervisor: “You better clock back in from lunch before you clock out for the day!”

Me: “Whatever you say…”

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