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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

No One Should Have Mustard on Their Desk; or Requiem for A Lunchroom


I ate at my desk today.

And I ate at my desk yesterday.

And heaven help me, I’ll be eating lunch at my desk tomorrow. 

I can hear you now.  ‘Why?’ you say in that endearing way you have, ‘Why would a woman who, by many accounts, passes as normal, be eating at her desk?’

That’s a good question.

The answer is because the lunchroom has been under attack.

The lunchroom, a large room filled with tables, magazines, and the odd afternoon quiz, has been demolished to make room for the 90+ people that will leave their current business site and join us, downtown, in less than a month.

In place of aforesaid lunchroom, we now have five stools and a bar.

And not the good kind of “bar”, either. 

The lunchroom is no more, my friends.  What we have is a large expanse of fresh drywall and carpet, an area soon to be sliced, cube-style, and served up to the “new people”.

New People:  People who will become colleagues, who may become friends, and who will definitely become blog posts.

Until they arrive, however, I mourn the passing of the lunchroom.

Here, take my hand.

Shhh.

We gather today, here in the dark stillness of The Cave, to mourn the loss of the lunchroom.  It was a nice room, a reasonable room, filled with the things that made one’s lunch hour comfortable.  There were laughing, talking people.  There were tables and chairs.  There were windows that led to the Real World.  There were four microwaves, three of which functioned and one that wore the sign “This Does Not Work” for the last 10 months.  There were refrigerators that had reputations and a dishwasher that, to judge by the actions of some, was believed to have mysterious powers that allowed it to load itself.

We shall miss that place.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a toaster oven to install at my desk. 

37 comments:

Jacquelineand.... said...

Now someone with an entrepreneurial streak has the perfect opportunity...a lunch cart. Foodlike substances served up with a side of hot gossip at a (supposedly) reasonable price.

A pity I'm not closer. Wonder how much I could get for the glazed cherry-almond muffins I'm baking this afternoon.

Pearl said...

Jacquelineand, I'm pretty sure you'd have a ready and willing clientele here!

haphazardlife said...

Ours was recently enlarged with a diswasher, new cabinets and a new fridge added.

I still eat at my desk if I don't go out. My lunch hour is precious and I don't want to spend it making small talk with these people.

Is that bad?

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Now I could go into all the psychology and well-being issues around the company setting things up that you cannot move from your desk.

But instead I'll point out that chrysalids are formed in closed dark spaces to protect them till the butterfly emerges.

Think of this as your chrysalid time. 8*> YAM

Shelly said...

I have a feeling your desk is going to become the new hot place to be at lunch.

Have them install some funkily retro stools around the front of it, a pillow or two around the side for comfortable lounging, a hidden fridge that could rise up from the floor underneath, and a strong masseuse for foot massages while you dine.

It's only a fair trade for the destruction of the lunchroom.

Camille said...

Hey...is that legal? Can your company really do that to you? Can you claim mental anguish for loss of consortium with the lunchroom? Do they let you leave the building at noon or do they lock the doors and have stern faced people standing with arms akimbo and guarding the exits? Gah! I predict an uprising and great unrest if this continues.

wellfedfred said...

and then there are the people who order up dinner, which they don't want to eat at their own desks because those are covered with important papers, so they wait til I go out to supper and the next morning I have to get the smelly papers out of the wastebasket, shake the crumbs out of the keyboard, and one horrible morning I found that someone had spilled cherry soda or cranberry juice on my keyboard, and bolted. I convinced I.T. that the culprit wasn't me, because my last logout of the day was at x minus one and the door security click-out showed me leaving at x.

I am proud of you for eating at your own desk.

Buttons said...

Don`t you love when these great posts just fall into your lap like that:) my condolences. B

KathyB. said...

Lunch at your desk doesn't sound too bad when put in that perspective. You made me laugh a lot, especially with your description of your old lunch room! I am definitely going to use your line about the dishwasher with special powers :)

jenny_o said...

Have they cut your lunch time in half yet? That might be the last straw. "Sweatshop" is becoming a louder voice in my head with each new change you're facing.

Don't let them win! Bring super-fancy cold lunches in your insulated bag! Get an exercise band, one of those brightly coloured babies you can use in small spaces! Run on the spot! Adjust your chair height all over the place! They can't beat ya, Pearl, not while you have an ounce of imagination left in your soul!

Eva Gallant said...

There oughta' be a law! Taking away your lunchroom! That's cruel and inhumane! It's time to revolt!

Eva Gallant said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lorna said...

The lunchroom is an awfully important site at any building, school, office etc, and I don't mean for just eating. This is a place to meet, to share, to vent, to chat, to get together.

Lack of a lunchroom isolates you all.

Perpetua said...

I think it's appalling that they are converting your lunchroom to office cubes, Pearl. You may not choose to use it, but at least you have the choice. Soon you won't have and that is plain wrong!

joeh said...

I see a cat with a hotdog push-cart in your future.

Simply Suthern said...

You should just heat your lunch and go sit in someones new cube. If they say something tell them you like the new booths and could they get you some extra napkins.

Sioux said...

How about a "party cart," a portable array of foodstuffs and beverages, allowing each department to "let their hair down" during their lunch break?

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

I've never been a lunchroom eater. I prefer to wolf down my disappointing Starvation in a Box frozen meal in my cubicle, so I can use my lunchtime for a workout, so I can continue to not lose any weight.

Indigo Roth said...

I hope you will be adding a coffee grinder and a percolator at your desk. Tho the smell of fresh coffee and steam may frighten the skittish editors. "There there, dears, it's only boiling, evaporated water..."

Kana said...

If they try to take your George Foreman panini press from your inner sanctum, citing "fire hazard" or somesuch malarky, hiss at them like Smeagol and cuddle it for vestigial warmth.

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

We had a lovely cafeteria...really...no joke. I always ate at my desk.

Geo. said...

Divide and conquer. I've heard of it. When I worked, I would find a webby garage corner or dense thicket around noontime. If people came looking for me, I'd say, "Stay back; I am feeding!" This might work for non-gardeners too.

The Savage said...

I wish I worked at a place that had so much blog fodder... Well, I do actually but we have a social media policy now... So I can only say the nice things about work...

Christian at Point Counter-Point Point Point said...

We have the exact same dishwasher here at work too.

Jono said...

I also eat at my desk every day. If you saw the "lunchroom" you would understand. I just know you would.

bill lisleman said...

so sad - hey you didn't happen to pick up that broken microwave did you? You could of used it for trade with that crazy family on your street awhile back.
Hope you don't mind but I have a somewhat related post to announce. It's related to eating, ham sandwiches and huge snails. Check it out - freshly posted.

sage said...

The other day, I was reading an article about how it is not healthy to eat at one's desk... I think I was reading it while eating at my desk.

Gigi said...

I refuse to eat at my desk only because if I'm at my desk "they" seem to think that I'm working through lunch. Ummm, no, I'm not. I also refuse to eat in our "break" room simply because the folks in there are scary. So often times, this finds me in my car, at a park. *sigh*

Al Penwasser said...

Aren't you SUPPOSED to have a place to have lunch? That can't be legal...?

HermanTurnip said...

Ya know, thinking about it, I could live without a lunch room, but I'll be the first to supply the pitchforks and torches if they stop providing free coffee.

Daisy said...

Well that stinks. I wouldn't like eating at my desk. I spend all morning looking forward to lunch--haha!

I am fortunate in that I live very close to where I work, and I almost always go home for lunch. If I didn't want to go home though, we have a very nice lunch room. We also have a really nice sandwich and soup place on our block that's serves great lunches. I didn't know how lucky I was until I read this post!

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

I don't eat at my desk......oh yeah I don't have a job and that means I don't have a desk.........hang on this laptop is on my desk what the hell am I talking about...

Tempo said...

DESK...you have a desk..your OWN desk. How come I dont get a desk?

..and how come you dont deserve a new Lunch Room but the new people DO? Theyre not secretly thinking of 'getting rid' of you 'old' staff are they Pearl?

the walking man said...

I suggest rather than a toaster oven you install wheels, then when weather allows you can push your desk outside for a lunch in the sun. Run enough extension cords and you can have all of your old luxuries ...

River said...

Sit that toaster oven on top of a mini fridge. It will fit in that corner behind your filing cabinet. Or instead of your filing cabinet.

Suldog said...

It's amazing how many of those sorts of magic dishwashers there are in places of employment.

Here's hoping the new people bring you enough material to make up for your loss.

Daisy said...

I can hardly wait to meet these new "blog post people" (BPP)- but I'm sorry about the lunchroom