Would you rather tattle on your coworker or shorten your break time? (Poll)

posted 2 years ago in Career
  • poll: What would you do?
    I'd give my boss a heads up that she is late a lot to explain my schedule : (10 votes)
    8 %
    I'd just suck it up and lose that time. : (1 votes)
    1 %
    I'd talk to her directly and explain her lateness puts me in a tough spot : (98 votes)
    74 %
    I'd take my full 60 mins and not explain it to my boss unless he mentions it, maybe they do know : (24 votes)
    18 %
  • Post # 16
    9131 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

    Definitely talk to her.  You don’t have to make it a big deal – just like PPs suggested, “Just FYI, I need to be back right at 2 so I’ll be leaving right at 1.”

    The other options all suck.  Either you’re a tattle tale who makes coworkers look bad without even talking to them first, or you’re sacrificing your own personal life, or you look like a slacker to your bosses.

    Post # 17
    200 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: July 2011

    lolot :  Yup, no tattling.  That’s super petty in this situation.  She’s gonna get herself in trouble eventually, she doesn’t need OP’s help.  

    OP – just make sure to actually follow through!  That’s the key here.  She sounds like the kind of person who will keep taking advantage of you as long as you let her.

    Post # 18
    258 posts
    Helper bee

    In my organization (and many others) the first step to solving conflict of any kind is to try to deal with it yourself with the individual in question. I agree with PPs suggestion that you start taking lunches first and make a point of being back promptly at 1PM every single day. 

    Short of that, you need to speak with her. It’s not fair that her bad habits are going to make you look like you share those bad habits, or like you’re the only one with bad habits. If you’re not comfortable speaking to her directly, go to your manager and ask for guidance on how they want you to handle the situation. Ask that it be a private, confidential conversation and tell your manager that you’re concerned that you’re going to be looked upon poorly because of her tardiness. You’re not tattling, you’re being honest. Be factual, leave feelings out of it.

    You may be pointing out bad habits that management already sees and reinforcing the message that she’s already sending. You’ve done nothing wrong here, you’re in the right, keep that in mind.

    Post # 19
    5947 posts
    Bee Keeper

    Is it possible she doesn’t realize she’s cutting into your lunch hour? She may assume it’s NBD if she comes in 5 or 10 minutes after the hour because you can still take the full hour without it being an issue if you come back at 5 or 10 minutes after 2- so if this isn’t the case, you should give her a direct head’s up on it. At our office no-one would even bat an eye at either of you (and I’m the department head) unless it started stretching into 90 minutes etc. 

    Post # 20
    1176 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: March 2011

    I am sometimes non confrontational,  too.  I would send her an email.

    Post # 21
    657 posts
    Busy bee

    calliekalico2 :  I think 5ish minutes leeway early or late is reasonable, but that is partially due to the culture of my organization.  Management would find complaining about a few minutes here and there petty.  I would absolutely not go to them.

    I would start having “appointments” regularly that you inform her you have to leave exactly at 1pm to attend and she will probably get the hint. 

    I also wonder if there’s a reason she’s sometimes late? I take long lunches to go to the dr, dentist, etc and it’s not a big deal to my coworkers. We all cover for each other for things like that. Maybe you guys can forge a similar relationship. 

    Post # 22
    73 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: October 2018

    Explain to her that her habitual lateness cuts into your time and the boss has been noticing something is up. If she doesn’t clue in that she can’t take as long as she likes for her break, speak to the boss as professionally as possible. It isn’t ‘tattling’, it’s a legitimate concern if the desk must be manned at all hours and you’re getting shorted a substational part of your break frequently. 

    Post # 23
    4483 posts
    Honey bee

    I can’t think of a professional setting where you wouldn’t be looked down on for making no attempt at conflict resolution yourself.  Not only does it make you look like you have no interpersonal or problem solving skills of your own to upper management, it will likely sour any working relationship with her if you run to management first without even expressing to her that it is an issue.  

    Only if your attempts fail to politely work it out with her should you start getting management involved.

    Post # 24
    534 posts
    Busy bee

    calliekalico2 :  I say 1) talk to her directly at first, and if that doesn’t work, the 2) go to the boss and explain it as non-tattley as possible.

    If you speak to the boss, explain it in a way that emphasizes that you are just wanting to make sure that the boss doesn’t think you’re overstaying your lunch time (instead of focusing on the fact that the coworker is doing just that).

    I think that you should NOT suck it up or continue to come in past 2:00 after lunch. You’ll be the one either suffering with a shorter lunch time or the one that the boss will have a bad idea of. In those scenarios, the coworker can keep coming in late with no worries.

    So I suggest directly talking to her first.

    Post # 25
    1277 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2018

    100% try talking to her first. It doesn’t have to be rude and confrontational. It can even be an email so there is a paper trail if she continues past that and you have to talk to your supervisor.

    Post # 26
    1504 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2015

    Just tell her you will be leaving every day at 1 pm exactly, not even “I have an appointment” or anything like that.  Just you will be leaving at 1:00 period.  To show that you are flexible and willing to help out your co-workers as needed, you should also tell her that she should let you know if ON OCCASION she needs coverage for maybe 10 minutes longer.  

    She knows what that means. 

    Then after you’ve told her, if she didn’t specifically ask you to cover her for longer that day, then at 1 pm just get up and leave. 

    It gets on my nerves for your sake that she is cutting into 15-20% of your break time EVERY DAY but she probably has no clue how much of a favor you’re doing her.  I bet anything she’s thinking 8-12 minutes NBD. 

    Post # 27
    2185 posts
    Buzzing bee

    I agree with pps who said to make it known to her you will be starting your break at 1pm exactly, and you need at least 24hrs notice to cover for longer when that occurs. 

    I am surprised so many bees have said you should talk to her directly yourself. That sounds like it could turn bad quickly, especially since you aren’t her direct supervisor. If you do feel this is a good avenue, I would echo a pp and suggest emailing her, so there is record of everything you said and when it was said, in case this gets turned into HR/management. 

    I don’t see how including a supervisor would be a bad thing, considering this is why companies have supervisors, so fellow employees of the same level aren’t butting heads. 

    Good luck. 

    Post # 28
    559 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2015

    babygrandmabee : I think it’s common professional courtesy to say something to her coworker first, even something as simple as “Hey, I absolutely have to be back at my desk by 2, can you be back by 1 at the latest?” or telling her she has an appointment or whatever the case is before escalating the situation to a supervisor. I would be so upset with a coworker if they went to my boss immediately about something before attempting to address the situation with me — it’d wreck the relationship for sure.

    Post # 29
    1365 posts
    Bumble bee

    I would tell her from now on that you plan to leave for lunch exactly at 1 and to let you know in advance if she will be late so that you will know to cover the desk. She’d have to be pretty obtuse to not get the hint.


    Post # 30
    3713 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: November 2019 - City, State

    I would definitely try to resolve it with her directly first. A simple “Just so you know, I have be back by 2, so I will have to be out of here right at 1. Does that work for you, or do you need me to get someone else to cover the desk until you get back?”. Just say that every day until she gets it haha. Maybe you’ll only have to do it once. If that doesn’t work, I would keep doing what you’re doing and if your manager asks, you have a very reasonable explanation.

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