This is my third year back at this place of work (summer internship, 3 or so months), and they're excited to have me back. However, I feel a bit sheepish to ask the following questions:

  1. Last year, during the middle of my internship, I was asked by my boss how long my work day is. I told him I worked from 8 to 4 and he said that I should be working from 8 to 5. On hire, my HR rep said my hours are from 8 to 4 so I ignored it out of fear. Ever since then, I've done my regular routine and he hasn't said anything. I've been going from 8 to 4 (skipping lunch) from the first till last day of my second year and no one's said anything. Should I continue or should I ask? How do I do so?

  2. How do I ask HR about what "business casual" is without sounding like an idiot? I've been wearing dress shoes and cargo pants with a belt, and no one's said anything. I've been working there two years, I should know, but I don't.

  3. The field of work I'm in is related to computers, and the work environment, I feel, tends to be a "Self-Starter" kind of environment. Everyone at my workplace thinks I do a good job, and they're really happy to see me come back for the 3rd year in a row. However, I feel like I don't do much... Don't take it the wrong way, I do work -- I finish my tasks in a timely manner and in a good fashion. But it feels like some days, I'm just sitting around browsing the internet. I don't know how to feel about it.

I hope someone out there's okay with helping me answer these questions. I don't have the best social/soft skills and tend to be a pretty anxious person. Granted they're just excuses, but it's something I do have trouble with.

Thanks again.

  • 8
    Hi AnxiousJabber, welcome to The Workplace. The best (and in fact, only) way to get this information is to ask your boss specifically (or HR with respect to the dress code). Everything you are asking needs to be clarified by your current employer. You won't be considered stupid for asking questions, only for not asking questions :)
    – Jane S
    May 15 '18 at 5:00

It looks as though you're booking the correct amount of hours (as you're not taking a lunch break). It might be an idea to confirm this with your boss, but as you've been doing the same thing for two years, I don't think this is a concern at all.

"Business Casual" usually means chinos and a fairly smart shirt/polo shirt. You've been doing the same thing for two years and have the same kind of clothes as your peers, you're doing fine.

The company seems happy with your work effort. However, if you find yourself out of work, then ask for what to do next, or find something constructive to do if you find that browsing the internet makes you feel guilty.

They're happy to see you back for a third year - this is more than adequate evidence that you're doing the right thing and have nothing to worry about.

  • It is however a very bad habit to get into, skipping the lunch break. You will be more productive if you take the break as legally intended.
    – HLGEM
    May 15 '18 at 15:25
  • 1
    The OP should take his lunch break, if HR said working hours are 8-4, that should* include his lunch break. (*: in Europe, must). Although he might want to check on his contract hours if that 8-4 is sufficient to meet the required number of hours. Skipping lunch breaks might technically be breaking the law depending on your locale. May 15 '18 at 15:46
  • That's just how I am, I don't typically eat lunch. It's not that I'm forcing myself to skip -- it just is. The only times I do are when everyone's going out together. May 15 '18 at 17:51
  • Even if you aren't eating lunch, in Europe and Australia you (and your employer) are breaking the law if you don't take a break in the middle of an 8 hour shift/day
    – HorusKol
    May 15 '18 at 20:56
  • Hm. I currently reside in Florida, and looking up the laws and quickly skimming it seems that I should be okay since I'm 18 and up. May 15 '18 at 21:20

I am going to comment on business casual.

It is generally clothes with good skin coverage, that don't have rips or tears in. Not to many slogans, nothing rude or edgy.

A bit bland to be honest, if you look at an item in the shop and it shouts dull, that will be perfect. You are allowed some style. I don't know where you work in the world but think gap/white stuff/fat face etc. This jumper is about the furthest casual I would consider going. Good Jumper

Here is an article with good images in. https://www.thebalancecareers.com/business-casual-dress-code-4051117

  • 1
    After 40 years in the workplace, that is absolutely the best description of business attire I have ever heard.
    – HLGEM
    May 15 '18 at 15:27

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