Gamer Fired for taking "Pokemon Breaks."

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wintercoat:

Tree man:

wintercoat:

But you don't need to drink coffee in order to perform your job. Therefor it's as superfluous as a cigarette break.

On my break I can dam well do what I want, as can anyone who wants to smoke, we're talking about non-regulation breaks where they are simply taking time out to smoke on top of their normal breaks.

No, we're talking about regularly sanctioned cigarette breaks. Reread the thread.

No we are not, we are talking about supervisor approved breaks, where the boss of the division says 'yeah sure' when you ask him to take a break to have a smoke.

A sanctioned break would be in the contract with a set time to take one, the latter I have no problem with, the former is unfair and unnecessary.

EDIT: I'm tired now, if you want to continue this discussion then feel free to message me.

Also check out the Escapist: lets play on the gaming discussion.

wintercoat:

No, we're talking about regularly sanctioned cigarette breaks. Reread the thread.

I thought the argument revolved around the idea that there are breaks sanctioned by law, as put previously 10 minutes every 4 hours or so, and the breaks smokers get to take when they need to feed their addiction. I don't recall in the example the cigarette breaks being sanctioned or not.

Tree man:

wintercoat:

Tree man:

On my break I can dam well do what I want, as can anyone who wants to smoke, we're talking about non-regulation breaks where they are simply taking time out to smoke on top of their normal breaks.

No, we're talking about regularly sanctioned cigarette breaks. Reread the thread.

No we are not, we are talking about supervisor approved breaks, where the boss of the division says 'yeah sure' when you ask him to take a break to have a smoke.

A sanctioned break would be in the contract with a set time to take one, the latter I have no problem with, the former is unfair and unnecessary.

EDIT: I'm tired now, if you want to continue this discussion then feel free to message me.

Also check out the Escapist: lets play on the gaming discussion.

Just so we're clear, you are for sanctioned caffeine breaks, but not nicotine breaks.

Strain42:
After being confronted about this by his boss, he explained his point to her that allowing employees to take extra breaks just because they smoke was unfair, and that he should be allowed his own "smoke" breaks to come outside and play video games, so long as they were kept about the same length of an average cigarette.

I'm sure Mr. Barnes meant well with his breaks. However, a mix on how he said it and the Manager's ability to take it the wrong way caused him to be fired.

wintercoat:

Just so we're clear, you are for sanctioned caffeine breaks, but not nicotine breaks.

I'm pretty sure he never even alluded to sanctioned caffeine breaks. Your either trying to put words in his mouth or you logic is set to 'insane troll'.

Strain42:
1. Do you think people should be allowed to take breaks like this? Is it unfair that just because someone smokes, they get to take extra breaks? Even if they're only for a couple minutes at a time.
2. Given some of the news stories we've seen on this site, would you actually be surprised if a story like this popped up for real, and what do you think the general reaction would be?

No, and in the last company I worked in, you could only smoke exclusively in your lunch hour, if you were caught doing otherwise, it was instant disciplinary action.

And no, I wouldn't be surprised at all.

They get five minute breaks, we don't smell.

Win/win.

(But in all seriousness, I'm pretty sure that over here - UK - you're entitled to a lunch break and then two 15-minute breaks, so you shouldn't need any extra time for smoking. And if you do, well, tough.)

Pokemon breaks should be mandated by law.

They are required for a healthy, happy lifestyle and work ethic.

Who cares about smoke breaks?

I have a smoke break whenever I want.

Then again I work from home and i'm the boss but if I start taking the piss and having too many breaks I promise i'll bollock myself accordingly.

I don't know how things are where you work, but we all get 10 minute breaks regardless of whether you smoke or not, the way you described it would encourage people to start smoking just to get breaks.

Onyx Oblivion:
Pokemon isn't a physical addiction, so I feel he was not justified in his desire for a Pokemon break.

Neither is smoking.

Entirely habitual.

But lets say for the sake of argument that smoking was a chemical dependence. Should I be allowed to take scotch breaks? Because alcohol can actually become a very real chemical dependence.

And I know I'm going to regret saying this because people seem to be obsessed with the idea that smoking is a chemical addiction. But I just really had to put my two bits in there.

Scarim Coral:
Sorry but I against your descision to use the "smoke" break just to play Pokemon. People who smoke are allow to have extra time since being a smoker is being addicted to it.

And since there is no way they can avoid becoming addicted, and no way to stop....

I mean, seriously, if it's an addiction, why not offer smoker cessation programs instead of continuing to enable? Think about all the lost time and productivity.

Funny story. before I worked in the field, and now from home, I was brought in to run the office. At the time there were quite a few smokers. The person who ran the office before me let them go smoke as they pleased, multiple times a day.

My first day there the secretary gets up to go outside to have a cigarette. I had to politely inform her that she got an hour break each and every day and was free to smoke as much as she liked during that break. However, before and after that break she was on company time and the company wasn't paying her, or anyone else, to smoke. I killed smoke breaks there and then

You'd of thought I was telling these people they were going to start working 16 hour days of back breaking labor with no breaks at all. They even went as far as to go to the owner, who told them in so many words to fuck off, and complain that I was treating smokers unfairly. I responded when asked that I was treating them the same as everyone else. Non smokers only got a 1 hour lunch break and smokers didn't deserve special treatment simply because of a disgusting habit.

Suffice to say we actually had a few people up and quit over not being able to leave the building as they saw fit on company time so they could smoke. I'm happy to say that once I transferred into the field the rule about smoke breaks remained in place and employees to this day are only allowed to smoke during their scheduled breaks.

Smoke breaks are needless wastes of time. Nobody should get extra time away from work for their poor life choices. If someone can't go til their break or their scheduled time off without smoking then that is their problem not the employers. Smokers do not deserve special treatment of being allowed extra breaks to indulge their habits.

Diabetics are for the most part that way because of weight and diet choices. There is a rare subset of people for whom Diabetes Mellitus was in the cards regardless of the hand they played but for the most part people who end up diabetic did a portion of the work required to get them there.

Taking break to check up on health issues, regardless of whether they are caused by choice or not isn't a matter of privilege it is a matter of pragmatism. As a boss your only concern is the ends and the only reason that you would limit your employee's taking breaks of any type, smoke or otherwise is to increase productivity. Smokers, diabetics and anyone else who has some sort of issue that will degrade their function should take the breaks as it will increase their overall productivity. Does this mean that the otherwise normal people shouldn't get breaks to? Of course they should, as long as it is productivity enhancing, and especially if it becomes a moral issue linked to the unfairness of smoke breaks.

Thing is that at a job there is only one purpose, and that it is to accomplish the task. If your habit requires feeding to optimize your ability to stay on task then it is good to feed it. If it detracts it should be starved.

1)Yes, I wouldn't hate work as much. I used to take manga or Batman breaks, but if I had a handheld, that would have staved off the postal thoughts as well.

2)Nope, not one bit.

Can't speak too much from experience, since the only place I've worked everyone was allowed to go for a break and do whatever every so often (some went to smoke, I went to get a drink and such). A couple of people I know work for the local council (don't know what it would be called in the US) and some people do take the piss with smoke breaks there though.

Personally though, I figure it should be like where I worked - you want to smoke then you do it in your own time or everyone gets the time for breaks.

As long as the break period is applied to other addictions that don't impact their ability to work I see no problem with it (alcohol anyone?). Taking a break to play games is pushing it a little to be nice.

I'm a smoker and I don't take smoke breaks, I never really thought into it too much I just have a smoke before work and then I have one after.

Fawxy:

Scarim Coral:
Sorry but I against your descision to use the "smoke" break just to play Pokemon. People who smoke are allow to have extra time since being a smoker is being addicted to it. Sort of getting their fix per say. Likewise I do not fully know if a smoker can carry on with their job (or in a environment where they cannot smoke) without having a cig for a long period of time.
Beside what can you do in Pokemon for less than 5 minutes? A random encounter battle?

So smokers should be given extra rights because they made the conscious decision to become addicted to a cancerous plant. Cool.

You win a </thread> with this one.
You chose to be a smoker, wait for your damn break to smoke. And for the record, nicotine addiction is NOT physical, it is a purely psychological addiction. You don't get the shakes or bodyaches if you don't get your nicotine fix. You just become an asshole.

I remember this kind of issue being raised a few years ago.
Non smoking employees of big companies were complaining that smoking employees were getting more break times than non smoking employees. The smoking employees defended this extra break time by saying that it wasn't that much time and that it helped them get through the work day. The non smoking employees rebutted that over a year, the smoking employees were getting between 1-3 days off due to the amount of time they spent outside taking smoke breaks.

One of the companies resolved the matter by making the smoking employees take their smoke break time out of their lunch and other break time, while another gave small bonuses to employees that didn't smoke (like an extra few days of paid holiday).

I think that if someone wants to go out and have a smoke, that is fine, but as a non-smoker, I should also be getting "go outside and relax for a few minutes" breaks.

Well speaking personally as a chef (which would be related to the OP) I relish every second of my

smoke break. However, as I've experienced many times before, if I didn't smoke why would I ever

take a break. I guess I got a little cheesed about the example given that they were wasting

company time, because my 3 smoke breaks allot to about 22 min, where it is expected you take an

hour in breaks during a 9 hour work day. 30 min of that is unpaid, so the company is always

making money back on me.

Regardless, I feel smoking is an excellent excuse to get a breath of fresh air (in a sense), or

else I would just run around busting my ass for 8-14 hours a day. I just can't justify sitting

down because then I feel like a little bitch, I mean there's always work to be done so hurry

hard! So given all of that nonsense you could only imagine what I would think of somebody playing

Pokemon at work!

Onyx Oblivion:
Pokemon isn't a physical addiction, so I feel he was not justified in his desire for a Pokemon break.

But firing him for suggesting it is wrong.

On the other hand, his creepy monitoring of his fellow employees is a damn good reason to fire him.

1. An addiction should not be an excuse for preferential treatment.

2. Agreed (though I'll be elaborating on something in a bit).

3. Agreed. And I laughed. Hard.

The elaboration- firing our fictional gamer friend for suggesting it would have been grounds for unfair termination. He wouldn't have done anything wrong- just make a suggestion.

BUT.

He didn't bring up the idea first. He took the breaks. Therefore, he broke the rules. Therefore, it would be reasonable (if a tad harsh) to fire him.

To put my bit in for the current hot topic in this thread, though, smokers should not get additional breaks on top of regulation breaks just because they got themselves addicted.

Abandon4093:

Onyx Oblivion:
Pokemon isn't a physical addiction, so I feel he was not justified in his desire for a Pokemon break.

Neither is smoking.

Entirely habitual.

But lets say for the sake of argument that smoking was a chemical dependence. Should I be allowed to take scotch breaks? Because alcohol can actually become a very real chemical dependence.

And I know I'm going to regret saying this because people seem to be obsessed with the idea that smoking is a chemical addiction. But I just really had to put my two bits in there.

Dear god, please elaborate on that before I and many others tear you a new one.

Please show proof that smoking isn't physically addictive. I have friends that are addicted to cigarettes that would say otherwise.

And it better not be "it's the nicotine that's addictive, not the cigarette HAR HAR!"

(For the record, part of me is hoping you aren't as wrong as I think you are for the sake of the current argument in the thread. They would have no excuse for taking smoke breaks of that was the case.)

Interesting.

It kind of depends on context. Was the employee that was playing Pokemon playing it just to make his point of how unfair it is that smokers get extra breaks, or was it solely for the sake of him/her wanting to play Pokemon in the free time he/she did not have?

In case of the former, it is a form of protest. It portrays a scenario that the smokers might have well been playing Pokemon in terms of productivity, and that its a privilage that non-smokers do not have. If he/she got fired were this the case, than the manager's vision is pathetically limited (Manager probably smokes him/herself).

In the latter case, its just truancy, and the Pokemon Trainer got what he/she had coming.

If I had done a protest like that, I would have announced it first. Go to my manager and say "I have observed my smoking collegues, and they get extra breaktime that we non-smokers do not get. To show how unproductive this is, I will play as much Pokemon during work time equal to the time they spend smoking during work hours."

If your boss threatens to fire you at that moment, than you know you have to back off, but you've still made your point.

Onyx Oblivion:
Pokemon isn't a physical addiction, so I feel he was not justified in his desire for a Pokemon break.

But firing him for suggesting it is wrong.

On the other hand, his creepy monitoring of his fellow employees is a damn good reason to fire him.

Except that smokers shouldnt be entitled to smoke breaks either way. it's unfair to the other workers. Smokers have made a choice to START smoking, and if that negatively affects them, its their problem, not their employers. And since its unproductive to let all your workers take the extra break, you should just eliminate them altogether. You can smoke on your lunch break

Fawxy:

Scarim Coral:
Sorry but I against your descision to use the "smoke" break just to play Pokemon. People who smoke are allow to have extra time since being a smoker is being addicted to it. Sort of getting their fix per say. Likewise I do not fully know if a smoker can carry on with their job (or in a environment where they cannot smoke) without having a cig for a long period of time.
Beside what can you do in Pokemon for less than 5 minutes? A random encounter battle?

So smokers should be given extra rights because they made the conscious decision to become addicted to a cancerous plant. Cool.

I entirely agree with this post as well.

Kakulukia:
You win a </thread> with this one.
You chose to be a smoker, wait for your damn break to smoke. And for the record, nicotine addiction is NOT physical, it is a purely psychological addiction. You don't get the shakes or bodyaches if you don't get your nicotine fix. You just become an asshole.

I know some people that get shakes when they don't have their nicotine fix. Like all addictions, your physical body will become affected by withdrawal if your addiction is bad enough.

Captcha: oh wait
lol what the hell?

EClaris:
~Will drinking alcohol improve your performance/mitigate failure to perform well at your job?

If someone were a functional alcoholic then they very well might perform better after a drink or two than if they're sobering up. But no one would suggest they should have a few drinks before going to work just because they have an addiction. They'd be told to get help and come back when they're off the sauce.

Frankly, I don't buy the it's an addiction defense for smoking and nothing else. There is such a thing as psychological addiction, and trying to suppress it could easily cause as much of a decrease in someones performance as denying a smoker their smoke break. Smokers really shouldn't be getting special treatment because they chose to start smoking. If you're going to give them breaks, everyone should get them. If you aren't going to give them breaks, then they can either suck it up and cut back/quit or find other employment. Something you (you in the general sense, not you specifically) chose to do that interferes with your ability to do your job is your own problem, and the consequences of it are yours to deal with.

Only jobs I've worked people weren't allowed to go and take extra breaks for smoking, they had to do it on their usual breaks and that's it, which is how I think it should be. If they get extra breaks for that, then it has to be a generic extra break that everybody gets.

Absolutely.

Just because someone has a self-inflicted toxic addiction doesn't make them special enough to be the only ones who should be able to take more time off through the day, compared to the same-level employees who work just as hard who have chosen not to inhale jet fuel, tar and nicotine for giggles.

I'm sorry if that seems harsh or aggressive but at places I've worked, this is a very real thing - smokers get more breaks to sit and puff while the rest of us do not.

It isn't fair that smokers should be entitled to extra break time - this isn't a disability like a weak heart or damaged knee/hip, something that can't be helped and the employee would be happier without, this is smoking - the conscious decision to become addicted to inhaling the burning fumes of a cancerous plant, as someone else so elegantly put it.

I don't think smokers should *not* be allowed those extra breaks. That leads to frustrated employees and reduced productivity, but the other employees should be entitled to just as much break time. Two or three minutes chillin' three or four times in an eight-hour shift, even with other breaks, can make a lot of difference.

And it shouldn't matter what someone actually does on their extra breaks. Chillin' is chillin', smoking or Pokemon.

Fawxy:
So smokers should be given extra rights because they made the conscious decision to become addicted to a cancerous plant. Cool.

Exactly!

This doesn't seem fair. If smokers are allowed to take extra smoke breaks, then other employees should be able to have extra breaks, too.

And, no... I wouldn't be surprised to see this actually happen; many (if not most) human beings are very stupid and unfair.

Sansha:
Absolutely.

Just because someone has a self-inflicted toxic addiction doesn't make them special enough to be the only ones who should be able to take more time off through the day, compared to the same-level employees who work just as hard who have chosen not to inhale jet fuel, tar and nicotine for giggles.

I'm sorry if that seems harsh or aggressive but at places I've worked, this is a very real thing - smokers get more breaks to sit and puff while the rest of us do not.

It isn't fair that smokers should be entitled to extra break time - this isn't a disability like a weak heart or damaged knee/hip, something that can't be helped and the employee would be happier without, this is smoking - the conscious decision to become addicted to inhaling the burning fumes of a cancerous plant, as someone else so elegantly put it.

I don't think smokers should *not* be allowed those extra breaks. That leads to frustrated employees and reduced productivity, but the other employees should be entitled to just as much break time. Two or three minutes chillin' three or four times in an eight-hour shift, even with other breaks, can make a lot of difference.

And it shouldn't matter what someone actually does on their extra breaks. Chillin' is chillin', smoking or Pokemon.

100% this. Although I might add that there might be another, totally separate problem with playing video games at work whether you are on a break or not. The fact remains that if smokers are going to be allowed extra breaks, everyone should be. Beyond the simple fairness of it, I can actually imagine situations where someone takes up smoking simply because it allows him to take extra breaks at work, which is the last thing anyone should encourage.

ZeroMachine:

Dear god, please elaborate on that before I and many others tear you a new one.

Please show proof that smoking isn't physically addictive. I have friends that are addicted to cigarettes that would say otherwise.

And it better not be "it's the nicotine that's addictive, not the cigarette HAR HAR!"

(For the record, part of me is hoping you aren't as wrong as I think you are for the sake of the current argument in the thread. They would have no excuse for taking smoke breaks of that was the case.)

SirBryghtside:
Not dismissing you off-hand, but unless you can give me a better source on your claim than the NHS...

When you stop smoking, the loss of nicotine changes the levels of dopamine and noradrenaline. This can make you feel anxious, depressed and irritable.

...then yeah, I'm dismissing you off-hand.

I really don't want to go hunting down sources, I know they're out there but by god is it annoying having to go and find them all over again.

Just let me leave you with a bit of logic and see if that sates you for the time being, you're more than welcome to go look for the studies in your own time.

But if nicotine created a true chemical dependence, why wouldn't nicotine patches or gum satiate that chemical need completely? Often patches especially, contain and release far more nicotine than is contained within a single cigy. But they're one of the least effective methods of weaning someone off them. Whilst fake cigs and hypnotism are far more successful.

The answer is because it's the act of smoking which is, for lack of a better word, addictive. Not the chemicals they releases themselves.

The act of deep breathing, the holding of the cigarette, the almost automatonic way that smokers carry out the activity. It's a habit. Not a true chemical addiction like say heroine or alcohol. If it were then hypnotism really wouldn't work, and to break it by willpower alone would cause severe comedowns as your body is desperately trying to make you fix what joneses it.

Now lets be clear, your body itself does release different chemicals when you're smoking and that is part of why people find it such a hard habit to kick. Seriously, fuck you reward centre.

But gaming also changes your brain chemistry, as does sex and other non chemical taking acts. Infact the chemicals that your brain releases during coitus are much, much more geared to the reward centre than the dopamine released during smoking. Oxytocin being an obvious example. As is the serotonin release from eating chocolate.

It really all comes down to what you would call an addiction, personally I think unless your body actively punishes you for not taking a substance, it isn't an addiction. Just a habit, going without a cig might make someone irritable, but the same could be said for just about anything you do habitually. I've personally seen more violent reactions to facebook withdrawal than I have cigarettes.

Anyone who actually monitored their coworkers in this manner should be fired for being so creepy. It sounds like a situation an autistic person would get into, doing weird crap for attention and trying to get special treatment just so they can play Pokemon, of all things. Sounds like they aren't ready for the workplace, even McDonalds.

This just shows that smoking is an addiction that is treated much too commonly. We should work on banning cigerretes.

EClaris:

Um no, that's not the same "problem". The same problem is someone who get diagnosed with diabetes and has to take a few minutes out of their day to test their numbers and give themselves shots.

No.

Diabetes is a disease, smoking is an addiction. A smoker can go without a cigarette, a diabetic could die without insulin.

You should have kept doing it anyway, then sued when he/she fired you.

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