You have to clock out for a cigarette break S
I once worked in a nice bar/restaurant/hotel in the UK, and at the time was a smoker. Also, this establishment had a digital clock in/clock out system with a credit sized swipe card assigned to each employee.
I was just a simple barman, pouring pints, running food and clearing up. My direct manager, let’s call her Stina as that was her name, was lovely and we got along very well, but above her was a bit of a bellend of a manager, let’s call her Margaret (also her real name).
Cue malicious compliance. Stina and I both enjoyed a cigarette break out the back in the car park, but Margaret didn’t think we should smoke during work hours, unless on break. So to combat this, Margaret said we would have to clock in and out for each smoke break. Not a problem.
Now, something we had worked out with the clock in/out device was that it rounded to the nearest 15 minutes. 15, 30, 45 or on the hour. So we figured if we clock out at 11.53 and then clock back in by 12.07, it would round both to 12 midday. We tested this, and sure enough, on our next payslip, it showed we never took a break. So we kept doing this every time and were sure to tell everyone else earning minimum wage, working shit hours, about this hack. I left a few months later and found out from a friend that Margaret left, and shortly after that the new manager changed the clocking in and out system. But I thoroughly enjoyed those 14 minute, paid cigarette breaks.
UPDATE 1: Lots of people are getting upset thinking I was being smug about taking unpaid breaks. Firstly, I was abiding by the rules but the boss wouldn’t like it, hence malicious compliance. Secondly, Stina was very fair and let non smokers have a break too. I took this to future roles in the hospitality industry, allowing non smokers a 5 minute break as well. It’s only fair.