Air controller's 'tea break' stops plane landing
STUNNED holiday-makers flying back to Britain from Tenerife said they were told by the captain they could not land because an air traffic controller was on a tea break.
The Thomson flight from the island's southern airport circled Cardiff International Airport until it was able to land at 12.40am on Saturday - 25 minutes later than scheduled.
BY MARK SOLOMONS
GUILTY workers and mean bosses have finally killed off the traditional tea break, according to a new study.
Millions now sip their tea and coffee while stuck at their desks instead of the age-old British custom of downing tools for 10 minutes to recharge their batteries.
The situation is even worse for working women who do not even take time out when they get home but go straight into doing the housework, the research claimed.
The biggest barrier to the tea break is workers who feel guilty about tearing themselves away from the computer screen for a few minutes, according to the study.
Nearly half of all workers (46 per cent) do not take a tea break because they think it looks bad or because they feel they will let others down.
A further one in 10 do not take breaks because their colleagues or their boss put them under pressure to stay at their posts.
Women among the 1,000 adults questioned said they do not even take a tea break when they get home but plough straight into housework, cleaning and looking after the family.
At work it means that instead of gathering round the kettle to share a joke or some gossip with colleagues, workers drink and eat at their posts - a phenomenon nicknamed "al desko".
Workers in Manchester said the traditional tea break had long gone in their workplaces.
Jonathon Parry, 40, from Marple Bridge, works for a media company in Manchester.
He said: "It's definitely a thing of the past. I don't have tea and coffee breaks at work, I will sometimes have a drink at my desk.
"It just isn't possible to make time for a 15-minute break anymore. It's ironic really - there are more coffee shops in Manchester than ever before yet less and less people can afford the time to leave the office to get a tea or coffee and they certainly wouldn't stay there to drink it. I guess it depends on the type of work that you do."
Quintino Aiello, 27, originally from Italy but living and working as a marketing executive in Manchester city centre, said: "I have never had a coffee break. I just have a coffee at my desk when I would like one.
"I'm lucky if I get a full dinner hour. It's a shame because it means that I don't have the time to interact with my colleagues. A break would definitely help with that but it's just not possible."
Louise Green, 22, from Watford, is a student at Manchester University and said she was concerned at the demise of the tea break.
She said: "I definitely think everyone should be entitled to a break. You need a break to be able to work efficiently when you're working full-time.
"I'm on my way to a job interview and I would be disappointed to have to work through my breaks because that's the time when you can relax and have a chat with your work mates."
Mark Mottram, 37, from Hale, a senior accounts adviser with Abbey Business, said: "I can have a break but usually choose to have a coffee at my desk and I don't think it really makes too much of a difference."
The changing face of British workers' tea breaks
Lawyers have taken over from builders as the biggest tea drinkers in Britain, according to a new poll carried out for the tea4health campaign.
And the increasing pressure on doctors and teachers is reflected by their position as bottom of the tea-drinking league.
"The traditional tea lady serving the workers is now an image from history. Today tea breaks are increasingly a brief and solitary affair - and the workers doing the most tea drinking are white collar workers." said Bill Gorman of the tea4health campaign.
"Yet we know that drinking 4 cups of tea a day has a number of positive health benefits. Tea is a natural source of flavanoids that generate antioxidant activity, it's hydrating and the low levels of caffeine in tea can perk you up without the adverse effects of higher caffeine-containing drinks."
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