Remember your first job? Way back in the days when you were younger. Perhaps more resilient. Maybe had less responsibility? My first job ever was as an “Appointment Setter” for a home security sales company. Yes, it’s just as glamorous as you might imagine. I sat in a room with 5 to 20 other folks making phone call after phone call. Being rejected, sworn at, and hung up on. And those were the good calls. Sometimes folks actually listened intently and engaged us in conversation – that was worse. It was boring. It was stressful. It was a little bit crazy. But there was one thing about that job which I still really appreciate.
We took breaks.
There was no option to do otherwise. The employer was exceptionally careful to follow the letter of employment laws, not necessarily the spirit. Our breaks were enforced. Every couple of hours we all hung up our phones and stepped outside. Mostly to smoke, because so many of us did, but sometimes we stretched our legs, ran next door to play a game of pinball, gulped coffee, made a personal call, or grabbed a snack. For 10-15 minutes every couple of hours the homeowners of the state of Oregon were free from our solicitous calls and we were free to do… something else.
How many of us still take that time. Step away from what we’re doing. Maybe to drink coffee, though I am fully able to do that while I work, but maybe to do something else. To check on the garden. To prepare a healthy snack. To play a video game. To stretch. To meditate. To write a poem. Eat an orange. Take a walk. Play with your pet.
I don’t know! If you absolutely had to take a coffee break, what would you do?