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Lunch At Cubile or Away?

This is an interesting situation I've been coming across lately:

I notice that some people either bring lunch or get their lunch and then eat at their own cubes. Others tend to eat in the cafeteria or go out for lunch.

I prefer to get away from my cube just to get some fresh air and clear my mind. (Others seem to be attached to their cubes!!!!)

Which do you all prefer and why?

KenB
Monday, March 24, 2003

I take a short walk to the deli and get a sandwich.  Then I eat at the desk.  I have to bill each hour, so an unbilled hour spent at lunch makes for a very expensive lunch.  If I were on salary I would try to make a point of taking a lunch out of the office.

It is a concession that I have learned to live with, but with some reluctance.

Ran Whittle
Monday, March 24, 2003

If you don't eat at your desk, you can't read JOS while getting mayo and crumbs in your keyboard.

Kirk
Monday, March 24, 2003

I drive home, eat, and take a 20 minute nap.

apw
Monday, March 24, 2003

I worked for 10 years in an environment where there was a staff canteen where I would typically lunch every day with my colleagues (or those that I particularly liked anyway - groups always naturally emerge).

I've then worked for the last 7 years for an organisation with no canteen where people do their own thing either at or away from their desks.

At the organisation with the canteen I was many times closer to my colleagues.. because you get to spend time with them on a personal level. And this can only help when you're dealing with them on work issues because they respect you as an individual (because they know you as an individual).

These days I eat sandwiches at my desk whilst chatting to my immediate neighbour or surfing the net. And it sucks! Occasionally I can persuade them down the pub.

I don't think it matters if I lunch on my own at my desk or out; I prefer to eat at my desk as I can often work at the same time and go home earlier!

Gwyn
Monday, March 24, 2003

I sometimes eat snacks at my desk, but almost never meals.

In an open office environment, eating anything with a strong smell at your desk is rude to your co-workers. In some buildings, food trash near the desk also means problems with bugs and mice.

Besides, most people aren't all that productive while they're eating and even less so in front of a computer screen. If I do need to work through lunch, I try to find something I can do on paper (reviewing a design doc, for example) and take it to the kitchen table instead of trying to eat at my desk.

Beth Linker
Monday, March 24, 2003

Get off couch, cook & eat lunch, jump back on the couch, with laptop, keep workin'...

GiorgioG
Monday, March 24, 2003

That would have to be "Lunch at Desk" of which I am doing this very moment.

The cafeteria doesn't have workstations installed where I can catch up on all the daily news online and read this forum.

Avrom Finkelstein
Monday, March 24, 2003

In the past when I've eaten at my desk, it's been to program (on my own time) to learn more, or to read a book.  But at my current job I get interrupted so often that I prefer to leave the desk, even though I do the same stuff.  Generally I'm a solitary eater because I prefer to read or program instead of yak.  I try to go out for lunch once or twice a week just for the fresh air.

Kyralessa
Monday, March 24, 2003

if( day == Thursday )
    eat_thai_with_group();
else
{
    // FIXME: implement random frozen burrito/leftovers
    // at desk function here
}

Nat Ersoz
Monday, March 24, 2003

Practically every day (unless I'm under time pressure), I go to lunch with the same set of people from my work. We generally keep our lunches in the 30 - 45 minute range (though some places take longer).

For myself, I need the break in the middle of the day. And quite often, we spend much of lunch discussing some work problem that one of us is having (I often take advantage of this to bounce some crazy bug off others skulls), so the time is by no means wasted.

Steven C.
Monday, March 24, 2003

If at lunch time I couldn't get up, grab my MP3 player, wander down to a little cafe and eat lunch on the boardwalk while dividing my attention between staring at the ocean, a good book, and all the cute girls cruising by, why then I guess there just wouldn't be much point in going to work at all, would there? 

Although, sometimes in January, it is a little too cold for shorts...

Self employed in San Diego is not a bad way to go.  :)

Matt
Monday, March 24, 2003

I fix and eat my lunch in my cubicle, from my Box O' Lunch Fixins'.  It's full of bread, peanut butter, crackers, plastic eating utensils, etc.  None of it has a strong smell.

I usually read the paper while eating lunch, then browse my favorite websites.

Brent P. Newhall
Monday, March 24, 2003

I am fed up with people eating in the office. We have large canteen but they all bring sandwiches up to our crowded office. I have to listen to the sounds of 6 of my team simultaneously – careful now – masticating. None of them is working – just killing time on sites like this.

Anon
Monday, March 24, 2003

Communal eating is one of those human fundamentals that builds relationships. It's in our genes.  Maybe it's against the grain for many cube warriors.

You don't have to do it every day, you don't have to have 3 hour restraurant marathons with folks you don't like, but certainly do it once in a while.

tk
Monday, March 24, 2003

Let me add that folks are usually much more interesting than they might appear in the work environment.

tk
Monday, March 24, 2003

Eat at my desk or down to the pub.

tapiwa
Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Brent,

Peanut butter is not a strong smell? :-)

Practical Geezer
Tuesday, March 25, 2003

No, but microwave popcorn is.  At my last job there was a lady there who ate a bag of microwave popcorn EVERY SINGLE AFTERNOON.  The whole office stank of it, and this was a darned big office, too.

Kyralessa
Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Practical Geezer: Peanut butter's not a strong smell when the tub of it is capped up, actually.  Spreading it out on the bread doesn't cause the odor to waft all over the floor.

Brent P. Newhall
Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Definitely get out of the office and eat at a bar/pub/pizza place. Too bad the bar is just out of the door for my current job... and I'm not in San Diego :-)

agnul
Tuesday, March 25, 2003

I prefer to get away, if only just to move around a bit, and enjoy talking to my colleagues and stuff.

Having done both, I think that eating at the desk is an activity that should be banned. It restricts what you can eat to stuff that isn't too messy/smelly, makes hell of your keyboard, is unsociable (you really need to talk to people and have a proper break), doesn't save you nearly as much time as you think and you really need to break your posture if you are doing desk work and stuff.

In places where it is not an option due to say unsociable colleagues or prevailing work culture, well see if you can get out proper and meet other people as often as possible. It really is a horrible set up. The only thing I will eat at my desk is fruit or something.

Richard
Tuesday, March 25, 2003

I go out and walk during the 30 min lunch break. I don't like to eat much during the day anyway, and I prefer walking as a way to get away from work. So I don't get a chance to talk to anyone at lunch time. Instead, I talk to people whenever I get a chance and when I need to escape work and my own thoughts. The managers don't seem to mind if people talk once in a while. I realize this means we get extra breaks but oh well.
By the way, this is the first office I have ever worked in where there is no cafeteria or food within walking distance. You have to either remember to bring food, or drive somewhere at lunch time, or you're stuck with the vending machine. Does that seem unusual? And the water is awful so I have to bring in bottles of water every day.

The Real PC
Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Real PC: do others agree with your opinion of the water quality? If they do, I'm a tad surprised a water cooler hasn't been installed.

Steven C.
Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Sometimes I used to eat in my cube when I was really busy or in a good zone.  However, I did learn soon enough not to eat Thai or Indian food in my cube.  I would be constantly interrupted by multiple people asking, "Gee, what's that smell."  "Gee whiz, that sure smells good!"  "Hey, where did you pick that up?"  "You made that yourself?" "Hey, I know a great recipe for blah blah blah ... "  And so on. 

Just don't do it!  It's like trying to eat a tuna sandwich in a household with cats (don't do that either).     

Immature programmer
Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Stephen C,

Yeah I'm really surprised there's no water cooler here.
The coffee is free -- great, except it's made with the water. I drink it anyway because I can't work without caffiene.

The Real PC
Wednesday, March 26, 2003

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