I put a 30 minute blocker in my calendar titled "Lunch" so that I could grab some lunch during that time. My manager has the same thing, but at a different time (way too early for me to have lunch at this hour).

Ever since I put this blocker my manager ignores it and schedules meeting during this time. Sometimes it covers only one part of my blocker, sometimes all of it. I'm in SWE, these meetings are not urgent, and are often scheduled few hours before my break.

Whenever we're scheduling a meeting we get a popup warning us if the other person is not available during this time.

I didn't bring it up yet because I really don't understand why he would do this. There was never a reason we wouldn't be able to have a meeting 15-30 minutes later.

Any idea why he does this and whether I should mention this?

  • 4
    What would happen if you requested a meeting during your manager's lunch blocker? Commented Apr 9, 2022 at 16:19
  • 7
    Are you on reasonable terms with him? Can you just ask?
    – DaveG
    Commented Apr 10, 2022 at 1:26
  • 1
    Are you paid in your lunch break? In other words, is it your time or not. Perhaps ask the manager when your lunch break is? Commented Apr 10, 2022 at 15:23
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    Have you tried declining and/or suggesting a new time for the meeting?
    – sf02
    Commented Apr 11, 2022 at 13:48
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    Are those meetings only you and your manager, or multiple people?
    – nvoigt
    Commented Dec 8, 2022 at 15:19

3 Answers 3


I think you should bring this up with your manager but should be flexible towards solutions as long as you still get a daily lunch break. First, especially if these are meetings with more than 2 people, it might be difficult to impossible for your manager to schedule them without any conflicts. If this is a regular meeting maybe it should just get a fixed slot and that usually means you can't have lunch in that time slot.

If on the other hand these are just spontaneous one-off meetings you could just push back when the invitation arrives. A friendly 'I have a conflict at 1 pm, can be reschedule to 2pm?' should suffice, especially if you can check everyone elses calendar so you are not just shifting the issue to someone else.


Similar to others that have replied to this question, I also have a meeting reservation on my calendar. Strangely enough, I'm also in IT. This practice of scheduling over the lunch hour seems to be prevalent across IT jobs for some reason.

With that said, I tend to disagree with the responses of most people here. When you schedule a time for lunch, you are making a statement that you value that time and would prefer not to be bothered. In some scenarios such as mine, we don't get paid for our lunches so it's even more irritating when a boss or co-worker schedules over that time. In the past, I've always just went with the flow and let it happen. However, as I got older I realized that my time is valuable and it really did impact how I felt about work as a whole when I just gave in to things like working through lunch. Now I simply reply to the person with a message such as, "I reserve the lunch hour for lunch. If my attendance is required, please reschedule to a different time." This usually takes care of the issue.

All things aside, you should feel like you can talk to your boss regarding just about anything work-related. If that's not the case, you might consider making a concerted effort to improve the communication between you and your boss. If you're not comfortable with that, it may be time to look for another job.


I also have a daily lunch blocker in my calender. I'm somewhat flexible with my lunch break but that's for me to decide.

My advice: Treat your lunch break as any other meeting that you have in your calender.

If someone schedules a meeting into your break, I'd expect them to reach out to you and try to ask if the meeting would be possible. Since you are in software development, I expect that you have some sort of daily standup where such meetings on a short nice could also be adressed from your manager, like "Hey, I need to talk to you today regarding X".

When you are invited to meetings with just a couple of hours in advance, there's also the chance that you didn't see the invitation e-mail in time.

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    I would say that a meeting organised by your manager would trump any other meeting. Commented Apr 9, 2022 at 16:39
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    @GregoryCurrie Or not? That can vary a lot depending on the relationship with the manager. My manager works in the office next to mine, and we have several meetings per week. We're very informal when setting these meetings. Sometimes there is a precise time, sometimes it's as imprecise as "tomorrow afternoon". Sometimes we have a precise schedule but then we reschedule because something else came up. So, overall, in terms of flexibility, my meetings with my managers are probably the most flexible meetings I have. By comparison, a meeting that involves more than 2 people is hard to reschedule.
    – Stef
    Commented Apr 11, 2022 at 15:59

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