Of all the SEC's "time management" issues (I need not mention to what I am referring), is lunch really up there? Apparently so:
Add the ability to eat quickly to the list of skills needed to work at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
In a dispute that has sent pangs of resentment — and perhaps hunger — across the agency, the SEC’s union chief has warned workers to keep lunch breaks to a half hour or risk being disciplined as “absent without leave.” “Despite the fact that most SEC employees are often told that they may take an hour for lunch, technically, we are only entitled to thirty minutes,” wrote Greg Gilman, president of the union, in an e-mail sent to SEC workers last week. “Do not fall into the trap of believing that because you are a ‘professional’ the rules do not apply to you.”
Apparently lunches aren't the only problem, to hear the union tell it.
“Be careful not to take a walk to get coffee, even with your supervisor,” he wrote. “A case may be built very easily based upon these types of behaviors.”
So, paranoia is clearly the flavor of the day over at the Commission. Because as we all know, it's far more important that employees there count their lunches down to the second instead of doing their jobs effectively, amiright?
Earlier this year, the SEC reached a deal with its union that would allow up to five work from home days a week for some employees, which makes this whole "don't you dare take 31 minutes for lunch" thing a little strange. Should everyone be paranoid or just certain people? Are the employees allowed to telecommute going to be required to install time clocks in their homes? Can they get fired for taking time out of their work day to feed the cat?