Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Corporate America sucks at math

I work in an office where I get a half-hour lunch and two random ten-minute breaks, to be taken whenever I want, causing a halt in my daily productivity twice for approximately 600 seconds. Let's do a little math:

30-min lunch + 2(10-min breaks) = 50 minutes

Now, it is my assumption that these 50 minutes, since they are mine to dispose of, can be consumed by a non-working activity, whenever I want. Thus, I could show up to work 20 minutes late and still take a 30-minute lunch, or alternatively, go home 20 minutes early. Not so.

Apparently, I can waste 20 minutes of not working at ANY time except the end of the day. What's the difference when I use them, so long as I'm NOT WORKING for 20 minutes? As I was heading out today a little after 5pm (my normal work day runs till about 5:30pm), one of my supes stopped me to tell me I couldn't do that. I still don't get it, but neither does anyone else, I'm sure.

Man this country's full of stupid people and bullshit rules.


jim miller said...

ok, so i don't totally agree with your heading or your analysis, but i do understand your point.

i'd explain my disagreement like this: 1) 2 10-minute breaks are not really "breaks from work" when they are used before or after the work shift. 2) most people operate with short-attention spans and seemingly need a break for every 2 hours of work. 3) people generally work more effectively when they are comfortable, and taking said breaks at reasonable intervals generally accomodates that.

overall, taking regular "corporate" breaks makes sense for the average worker, and is better than working 7 hours and 10 minutes without a break.

however, there are those of us who can work 12-hour-plus shifts without a bite to eat or a sip to drink. we're part camels, minus the hump.

Alicia said...

Now on this one, I totally agree. I'd rather work through the whole day without a break and leave at 4. Actually, that's the deal I had going with my boss back when I was working 2 jobs. The lunch break just interrupts my workflow and my train of thought.

Sadly, corporate America would like to think that we all work and function the same way. Heaven forbid we be individuals.