Tuesday, January 8, 2013

lady who lunches

{Lunch lady - Brooke Astor}
What do you do during your lunch break? I posed that question to my husband this morning over breakfast (I was eating, he was shaving, Violet was running around willy nilly -- just in case you envisioned a relaxing chat over waffles). He said, "work". Like, duh Emily, what else would someone with an MBA do at lunch...

Work during lunch? If there is something pressing then of course work through lunch, but I am not convinced I would be more productive if I skipped my mid-day break. Maybe I am just rationalizing, but I think that taking a lunch is good for the soul, and maybe even better for your employer.

But what can you do with an hour in the middle of the day? I normally snack on my meal throughout the morning, so eating whatever I've got left in my lunch bag normally takes...45 seconds. I work downtown so shopping is a potential noontime activity that springs to mind. That was all well and good pre-Christmas, but surely I don't need to pick-up a little something every day of the week. And don't get me started on the sales. I have spent more in an attempt to save money than is good for a person. So shopping is out.

Being outside in general is out these last few days. I walk to work and back so I get lots of fresh air. I've only just warmed up by noon, there is no way I am facing minus double digits by choice. In the warmer weather I will go outside, but what can I do until then? It is only really two weeks into Winter, I've got to find an alternative noontime activity.

The last two weeks I've started to bring my book with me to work. I thought I might as well read for an hour. Sounds good in theory, no? I felt weird about reading in my office lest someone think I was brazenly slacking off so off to the cafeteria I went, book in hand. Picture this: I buy a tea (total waste of money, they have no good kinds) and settle into a table in the corner; bad radio blares this girl is on fire; the smell of burnt toast engulfs my nook (I can't get that Canadian Heritage Moment out of my head and I actually wonder if I am having a stroke); the flouresent light bounces off the yellow and red plastic interior of the D List fast food hell I have subjected myself to making it hard to focus; the sound of a weird hybrid of English and French -- a dead giveaway for Federal public servants -- is being spoken so loudly not even Alicia Keys can drown it out; and all of this is trumped by the fact that I have an overwhelming feeling that I am the loser in the cafeteria with no friends.

Needless to say I only did that for one day. Yuck.

My latest routine has been to read my book in my office in the chair opposite my desk. This seems silly, but my thinking is that by moving chairs it will signal to my colleagues that I am on my lunch break. So yes, I literally stand up, move around my desk and sit back down with a book.

Yes, it feels as awkward as it sounds, but what is a girl supposed to do for 60 minutes in the middle of the day?

In sum, I am currently accepting advice about what to do at lunch time (and lunch dates, my calendar is fairly wide-open).




  1. I think this is why I work through a lot of lunches haha. I have definitely brought a book (but it's nicer in the spring/summer when you can read outdoors), but eventually I ended up using my lunch hour to go to the gym (I would come in early or leave late so I could take a longer lunch to get a proper workout in).

  2. Because you definately need more than an hour right? It takes me 20 minutes to blow dry my hair for goodness sake! So much easier for men...

    I know what I could do at lunch this Friday. Have lunch with you! xoxo