I work in an office where hardly anyone stops to take a proper tea or coffee break; sure, tea and coffee are available any time we like and people avail themselves of it but when it comes to taking the tea/coffee break that we are entitled to, I seem to be the only person. Maybe others do but sit in front of their computers so that it looks like they are working. Others do in fact sit there and work. I’m kind of old fashioned, I like my few minutes away from the screen.
Several years ago we had a CEO who out of the blue one day at a company meeting informed us that the set-time tea/coffee break had been abolished, for those of us who work in “the office”, the guys on the shop floor still had their breaks but because we upstairs could go and get tea or coffee any time we liked, we didn’t have a break, as such.
This CEO styled himself as an entrepreneur and angel investor. He wound the company up to a point where we had record, although unsustainable profits, sold the company and sailed off into the sunset with his pockets stuffed full of money. Yep, that’ll be entrepreneurial, if a little self-serving. As far as I was concerned he was and for all I know still is a cad of the highest order.
Steal my tea break? Sod off…
The new management (and I use the word advisedly) we have now have carried on just assuming that apart from the time taken to actually go and get a cup of tea or coffee, to be enjoyed at one’s desk of course, us office bods are all beavering away all the time. No doubt there’s some sad sod with a spreadsheet who is very pleased at this state of affairs.
Well not this lad, as I said, I enjoy my few minutes away from the sodding computer, I still take my tea/coffee break. I stand at one of the canteen windows and gaze out at the trees, clouds, birds and jet-planes, anything really apart from a computer screen.
People, when they say that you have to get your work/life balance right, this is exactly the sort of thing they’re talking about.