Due to the fact that we love our job (sincerely, we do) we have to be careful what we say here, but our lunch hour is a marvellous thing. A chance to step away from our latest investigative journalist scoop, sometimes we lunch out; sometimes we go to the park to read a book (our latest page turner being Skippy Dies – recommended) and sometimes we’ll even make use of our gym membership.
And on occasion we stay at our desk, scoff our home-made sarnie and carry on with our work. Which if we lived in the state of Illinois could cost us our job. For real. Something that Sharon Smiley found out to her cost two years ago.
Working as a receptionist at a Chicago estate agents, instead of taking her allotted break one lunch, Smiley stayed at her desk and carried on with her work. Unfortunately, because Illinois law dictates that employers should give their employees a lunch break an argument broke out between Smiley and her superiors, which resulted in Smiley being given the boot for gross misconduct.
Since that fateful day two years ago, Smiley has been locked in a battle with the state over non-payment of unemployment benefits, a dispute she has finally won. And now she has a new job.
We bet Smiley is really smiling now.
(Image: Rex Features)