Think Your Boss Is Strict About Your Lunch Breaks?

A worker was punished for taking 26 3-minute breaks over the course of seven months, and then apologized to their customers on his behalf.

By DAVID on June 20, 2018
(Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

Think again. Generally, bosses are pretty strict about the breaks their employees take. They don’t like it when you go over the allotted time. Bosses want you to clock in and out by a certain time. Don’t be late or you won’t get paid, etc etc. This guys boss almost lost it after a worker took about 78 minutes worth of breaks – over a 7-month span. Wait, what?

If you’re trying to figure out the math on that, that’s a 3-minute break once a day for 7 months. Three minutes. In Japan, the culture is very work-centric. Most workers work about 80 overtime hours a month. Usually they aren’t paid for that time. They’re allowed to take about 20 days off in a year, and about 35% of the workers take none of it. So what did this guy do? He took a 3-minute break for lunch. The worker walked down to a corner store, grabbed food, and got back to his desk. He did that only 26 times in that 7-month span, too. A 3-minute break doesn’t sound bad at all, but in the eyes of his managers, he may as well have been clocking in, putting his feet up, and watching YouTube.

The man’s company not only punished him by docking a half-day’s pay, they actually apologized to their customers. And they went on TV to do it, too! The company called it a “scandal,” and they apologized for having an employee who took 26 3-minute breaks over the course of 7 months. “It’s immensely regrettable that such a scandal took place, and we wish to express our sincere apologies,” an official said in the apology. Seriously, check it out here.

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