Worker Seconds Late From Break Reprimanded by Supervisor in Viral Post

A worker who was 26 seconds late coming back from break and was later reprimanded by their supervisor over it garnered widespread support and advice from the internet.

The Reddit "Antiwork" post, titled, "My boss just messaged me asking why I was 24 seconds late for break," has over 23,000 upvotes so far since being posted on February 22. In an edit to the post, the original poster (OP) revealed it was actually 26 seconds, not 24.

The post, shared by u/LuckyLunayre, began with the OP admitting they weren't kidding about the situation, and that their bosses were messaging them as they left the messages on read. But it wasn't only messages that the OP received for being seconds late.

According to the legal encyclopedia website NOLO, numerous employers offer breaks to their employees, some paid, some unpaid. But breaks such as for eating lunch aren't covered in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), or the federal wage and hour law. However, some states have their own laws in place to require these rest periods.

The OP revealed: "My supervisor had a meeting with me and said that 26 seconds spread across hundreds of employees adds up to thousands of dollars a year for the company."

Unhappy worker spoken to
A worker seconds late from their break was reprimanded by their supervisor in a viral Reddit post. Here, an unhappy worker with a hand on his head at his desk as a woman talks to him. LACHEEV/GETTY

The Redditor said they still have yet to respond to their bosses via text, adding, "I hate corporate America."

The OP also mentioned in a comment that they have a meeting with human resources by their request, "but I understand that HR may just have the company's best interest in mind." They also revealed the turnover rate is high at their company right now.

"I'm half-temped to just walk out if things go south and link them this post for them to read," they said. "Wonder if that's a bad idea Lol."

Over a thousand comments came in and most were in support of the OP and had harsh criticism for their boss and supervisor.

Some people were completely against the boss's behavior in the situation, and one Redditor said if the boss was "on the clock when he sent the text, then he already wasted more of the company's money than OP did."

Redditors couldn't fathom a boss or supervisor having to say something about a few seconds. "Imagine being so obviously useless that you have time to even check something like this," a user wrote.

While other Redditors had their own responses if they were in that situation. "Did you respond, 'Lol,' because that's the only appropriate response?"

A Reddit user revealed that stories like the one the OP shared is "why I deliver food and have no boss now," adding, "F**k that s**t."

The advice came rolling in, and one user thought the OP should "find another job." They also put in more of their two cents about the company the OP works for: "Bad employers and cheap. They obviously don't value you."

Some people didn't mince words, and one user called the texts "petty, hypocritical, controlling behavior." They also told the OP to imagine the time they're wasting for the business "by harassing you over text."

A Redditor had a theory about how things played out, mentioning it's likely a "micro-managing supervisor."

"It likely cost the company significantly more money to have a meeting with you about being 26 seconds late than it would have if you were 26 seconds late on your break every day for the entire year," they also pointed out.

Newsweek reached out to u/LuckyLunayre for comment, who declined to give their real name. They told Newsweek: "I just really think it speaks volumes about the morals of a company if they're micromanaging down to the seconds. At the end of the day, it took more than 25 seconds to read and respond to that message."

Updated 02/25/2022, 11:56 p.m. ET: This story has been updated with comments from u/LuckyLunayre.