Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Workplace Challenges

Fall 2012 Internships:

Seminar 2 Make-up Assignment

During our second seminar, each student was asked to introduce himself/herself and tell us their internship employer location. Then, we explored unexpected challenges students have faced this semester and participated in case study discussions.

The first few comments answered situation 1, which I've left at the end of this post. For upcoming responses, let's explore another potential workplace issue.

Please introduce yourself and your employer location, then share your thoughts on ways you think an employee might handle the following challenging situation:




SITUATION 1 - NEW COMMENTS NOT NEEDED ON THIS ONE - Great job everyone!
Marsha is excited about her first week in her new internship with Allen Inc., CPA firm. She is getting the opportunity to have hands-on work with preparation of client reports and learning a lot about client-firm privacy regulations. One challenge, though, has been that she has no idea when she is supposed to take a lunch break. She never sees a group going out to lunch or notices the office closing for lunch. She wonders if they all bring lunch or eat when out on calls to clients. A couple of the office staff do take a break, but not her direct supervisor or the other professional staff. She doesn't know whether to ask her supervisor, one of the clerical staff, or simply start taking a short break each day. For three straight days, she has skipped lunch entirely...after all, nobody else seems to take a set break, and they work from morning until evening. She thinks perhaps she isn't entitled to a break since her hours are only from 10:30-4:30 three days a week.

Is it realistic for Marsha to expect a break during her six-hour day as an intern? What can she do to resolve this question?  Whom should she ask?

11 comments:

  1. It is realistic for her to expect a break during her day. I think Federal law mandates you get a break for every X hours of work and 6 hours exceeds that number (just can't remember what it is offhand). She should speak to her supervisor and find out when the appropriate time is for her to take her lunch break. I don't think he/she would be upset if she asked.

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  2. Alysia BreitenbachNovember 1, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    I am doing my internship at Broome High School with a Biology teacher.

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  3. Alysia BreitenbachNovember 1, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    I believe that it is realistic for Marsha to expect a lunch break. She should casually ask her supervisor when a good time would be for her to take a break. The supervisor would definitely understand and not think any less of her. He/she probably just forgot to mention this information to Marsha when she first began her internship.

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  4. My name is Newt Turk and I am doing my internship at the Laurens County Hospital. I believe that it is definitely realistic for Marsha to receive a lunch break since her hours go right through the typical lunch time. If i was in her place I would first speak to one of the clerical staff who I have befriended the most and get an idea of whats going on. After learning the logistics of lunch at the office I would approach my supervisor and ask when the appropriate time for me to break for lunch would be.

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  5. My name is Khalid Mutakabbir and I am doing my internship at the Templeton gym. I feel that this scenario is realistic and can be simply resolved with some respectful asked questions, "Are we allowed taking lunch breaks; If so when and how long?” These questions should be asked to her supervisor.

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  6. My name is Sarah Kustick. I am an intern at Laurens County Hospital. I believe that it is not unreasonable for Marsha to ask for a lunch break. I believe that it is best for her to ask her supervisor. She should politely ask if she is allowed to take a lunch break, and if so how long that lunch break should be.

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  7. My name is Shelby Harris and I am an intern at the Laurens County Hospital. I believe it is completely normal for Marsha to expect a lunch break. She should not just starting taking a lunch break, however. She should approach her supervisor in a professional manner and ask what the usual protocol for taking a lunch break is (what time of day, how long, should she bring a lunch or can she go get lunch from somewhere, etc.). She should then thank her supervisor for the clarification.

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  8. My name is Mariana Anderson and I am an intern at Laurens County Hospital. I believe that Marsha should expect a lunch break because her hours last through lunch time. At a time when her supervisor is not busy, she should ask him or her when a good time is that she can take a short break for lunch daily. She should also make sure that she clarifies how long she has for this break and whether or not she can leave the office during that time. After her supervisor informs her she should thank him and quickly get back to work.

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  9. My name is Dria David and I am an intern in the athletic department at PC with Dee Nichols. Marsha should deserve and expect to have a lunch break, because no one should work for six hours and not eat anything. She should go see her supervisor first thing in the morning or anytime she is free throughout the day and ask. Also she should clarify a set time to take her break, how long it is and where to take it.

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  10. My name is Kyle Sharman and I am an intern at Musgrove Mill State Historic site located in Clinton SC. The best way I feel Marsha should handle the lunch situation would be to ask a co-worker or her supervisor what is the appropriate time to eat lunch. Most likely these people would be more than willing to help and explain to her when the best time to eat would be. It is very unhealthy and possibly dangerous for Marsha to not eat, also it makes completing work tasks almost impossible to complete. If perhaps there is a problem at work with employees not given a time to eat she would need to address this problem.

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  11. My name is Holly Tindal and I am an intern at NHC. I think most jobs would allow for a lunch break if you are working 6 hours at a time. Marsha should confront one of her co-workers first when it is a convenient time that does not interfere with her work. Then she should address a supervisor for clarification if she wants another person's opinion. She should not assume that there is a lunch break and take one herself. This could lead to a lot of trouble. She definitely deserves to know what she is allowed to do concerning lunch and she should address this issue in a very professional manner.

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