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Persuading Management to follow the rules

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Question: We’ve been told recently that we’re not allowed to eat in our work area, and, so far, everybody is following this new rule. Unfortunately, neither of my bosses follows it, though. They both eat at their desks. Please help me either explain this to everyone else or persuade management to follow the rules the same as we’re expected to do.  -- A.C., Missouri


Are you kidding me? If management wants to eat at their desks, then they can eat at their desks. They are not always subject to the same office rules as the rank & file. That's just the way it is. RHIP (Rank Has Its Privileges) will always be true.

Why are people asking you why they eat at their desks? When my boss does things and people question it, I say he's in his office go ask him. That'll stop the questions. I can usually casually and jokingly say things to my boss to get his attention. If it were my boss, when I saw him eating at his desk, I'd say 'Do as I say not as I do huh?" or, 'Glad to see that you believe in leading my example' or 'I guess everybody can eat at their desk now?' This has actually worked when an Executive said we couldn't wear jeans even on Fridays despite company policy. A few assoicates started saying 'can we wear jeans too' everytime he wore them. Eventually, he changed his rule.

Law states that "non-exempt" employees are not allowed to eat in their work area. This is because an employee may come back at some point to say they were not allowed a lunch or other break away from their work space. Exempt employees are, of course, exempt from this rule.

I am non-exempt, and prefer to eat my lunch at my desk. I like to read during lunch, and it's quieter at my desk than in the lunch room. I've explained this to my boss, and he said it's all right -- though has asked me to put up a little sign stating that I'm "Out to Lunch" during this time, and also that I should not answer phones during this time.

Explain that this is a legal issue rather than management, and hopefully people will understand.

If others are asking you why managers are eating at their own desk, let them go and question management. If they know what they are doing, they'll stay clear of the whole issue.

Why are you trying to explain management to follow the rules? You are not accountable for them. Let them make their decisions and stay clear of any follow out they might incur.

Is the new rule from HR or is it just your management area? Ask your boss/manager why was this "no eating policy at your desk" started, because of bugs or critters and can they help by following the rules also.

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