So my friend Travelpro relayed a story to me the other day that I'm pretty sure includes an illegal bit. Travelpro works in a brand-spankin'-new hardware store in a chain of stores. She has just found out that the company itself is struggling to stay afloat, which explains why the majority of the store's employees have been laid off, and why her awesome store manager left. Now running on a skeleton crew, Travelpro got a promotion and a small-ish raise (yay!). This new position is Return Monkey, which means she works the return desk. It requires special training, so only Return Monkeys and managers can work this desk, and there are far fewer Monkeys than regular employees.
Reporting in for work one day, they ask if she can work a 10-hour shift, as the mid-shift RM has called out. She agrees, but points out that someone will have to break her for lunch, as the other RM would have done that. "No problem," they assure her. "Paint Monkey is training to be an RM, she can do it." And they leave to do her job.
Now, while I don't know about different states, I'm pretty sure that in our state you're legally required to take at least a 30 minute lunch after five hours. But Hour Five rolled around and no one showed up to break her. So she called Paint Monkey.
"Um, I can't do RM," said Paint Monkey. "They only started training me yesterday."
So Travelpro called the manager. Let's call him Banana Hammock, to go with our jungle theme. The whole store can hear her page him. He doesn't answer. She waits, she returns things, she helps custys, she pages again. And again. And AGAIN. She pages this ass for the better part of an hour, and she's creeping up on Hour Six now. She pages OTHER managers - for lunch, for custy help - nothing. Everyone can hear her, and no one can figure out what this guy is doing that he's not answering. Finally fed up, she calls her friend in the paint department.
"Paint Monkey, could you page Banana Hammock for me? I was supposed to get a lunch an hour ago. I'm starving!"
Paint Monkey pages Banana Hammock, and guess who calls back right away?
"Banana Hammock, Travelpro has been paging you for an hour now. She needs to get a lunch ASAP, and there isn't anyone to give her one. A manager needs to do it."
He grudgingly agrees and sends another manager in to break her. On her way through the parking lot to her car, guess who she sees helping a custy load merchandise in their car? Yeah, Banana Hammock. Now, I can see if he was helping out a crusty for an hour, but he couldn't pick up the phone once, or ask another manager to find out what she wanted? And why the hell was he so eager to take Paint Monkey's call, but not Travelpro's? She's said that Banana Hammock doesn't like very many of the employees, and that he doesn't like her, either. But that doesn't mean you can ignore someone who needs a lunch break! That's fucking illegal! RAWR.
May your managers not forget that humans require feeding,