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Drive-Through Breakfasts on the Way to Work?

Pardon my ignorance (and I'm thinking this one is REALLY ignorant!). I've only had a car for about two months, and I'm a vegetarian so I don't do a lot of fast food.

When people go to the drive-through before work in the morning, when do they eat the food? In the car while they drive to work? That seems dangerous to me. When they get to work? That seems unprofessional to me... and wouldn't the food be cold by then? In the parking lot of the restaurant or their office? That seems oddly lonely to me. I don't get it! I'm teaching a summer school class and I'll be driving to work past a whole bunch of fast food places, and I know I'll be tempted, but I don't get the logistics of it!

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  1. I go to the drive-thru to purchase coffee which I bring to work (about 5 minutes away) and drink it while I check my e-mail and begin my day. I don't buy food, however, I've been known to bring a breakfast item from home ie: yogurt or some other easy to eat food without a pungent odor. I eat at my desk. My office is private and I don't feel it is unprofessional in any way. I certainly wouldn't eat an aromatic, drippy item or anything else for that matter if I was in the public eye.

    1. I am not sure what's unprofessional about eating at your desk, but then again I've worked at a lot of places that did not provide break areas with seating. If you wanted to bring something to eat at work in those places, you had no choice but to eat at your desk. I worked at one place where I would sometimes bring in an Egg McMuffin. The McDonald's was only a block from work so it was still hot when I got there. It may have a smell, but it's no different from someone bringing in McDonald's for lunch or a sub with onions. I typically got to that workplace before anyone else anyway, so I don't know that the smell really bothered anyone.

      10 Replies
      1. re: queencru

        I don't think Jetgirly has hit the working world yet. Eating at the desk is just about a fact of life for most desk jockeys.

        1. re: KTinNYC

          I'm a year out of grad school but have spent three years working full-time as a teacher (two years pre-grad school, one year post). As a teacher, I think it would be super rude to eat breakfast while you were teaching students. Nobody does that. Before teaching, when I worked for the government, everyone ate meals in the lunch room; desks were just for drinks and snacks.

          1. re: Jetgirly

            Not every office has a lunch room. Even when there is one, I haven't yet worked in an office where it wasn't the norm for people to eat at the desks at least some of the time. Especially breakfast. I know my boss would rather have me eating and working than running off to the lunch room and being unavailable.

            1. re: Sooeygun

              There are many days where there isn't enough time to eat away from the desk. You run out, pick up food or have it delivered and eat at your desk while working on a project. It's a fact of life in most offices.

            2. re: Jetgirly

              "super rude to eat breakfast while you were teaching"
              gee, who would'd thought?

              1. re: Jetgirly

                I don't think I've worked anywhere outside of a school with a full-fledged lunchroom. The best I've seen elsewhere is a small break room that has some appliances and a table or two; there isn't nearly enough room to accommodate everyone not going out for lunch. Even when I was in the schools, many teachers did not have planning periods and would eat lunch at their desks to get some work done. It was no big deal at all.

                  1. re: mollygirl

                    Students are at lunch and shouldn't be in the classrooms then, so I don't see how it's rude.

                1. re: Jetgirly

                  Aside from being rude, I would be surprised to find a good teacher with enough time to eat while teaching. Has anyone seen how much goes on in a classroom these days!? Not a good idea to eat while driving, nothing wrong with eating in your car if it's parked. Nothing messy so as to start your day at the office without stains on your clothing.

            3. Typically, they eat in the car if it's food that's designed to be eaten with out utensils, as much of it is. No more dangerous than drinking coffee in your car....

              1 Reply
              1. re: Karl S

                Or talking on your phone. I've eaten about a gazillion McD's sausage biscuits or double cheeseburgers driving the 400 miles between Lake Tahoe and Southern Oregon. My 1997 Honda CR-V has a little *hole* in the dash that holds fries just perfectly :)

              2. When I first worked in Manhattan (I know it isn't a "drive thru") I was amazed that everyone seemed to bring b-fast to the office and eat at their desks. I so got into that habit!!! I remember hearing one of my co-workers say "if you want her to do something for you - wait until she's done her toast and coffee". I wondered who they were talking about - me lol!!!! Best hangover food was Chock Full of Nuts bacon egg and cheese!!!

                1. I do the breakfast drive thru about once a month. I have a soft spot for the small McD's burrito. I eat it when I get to my office at my desk. It's plenty hot.

                  1. <That seems oddly lonely to me. >
                    You're snarfing a quick breakfast in your car before work..... rushed maybe, but "oddly lonely". Wow, I'm just so surprised by that sentiment.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: mollygirl

                      I was surprised by that too, since I always eat breakfast alone- be it at my desk at work or at my dining room table. Is breakfast a communal event for most people? I am honestly curious because in my family we always ate breakfast separately.

                      1. re: queencru

                        Only on Sundays could we count on sitting down to breakfast. Other than that, it's catch as catch-can.

                    2. I eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at my desk in my office, sometimes all on the same day. But I bring it all from home.

                      My suggestion: buy enough for everyone in your class and share!

                      1. I go through the *bucks drive-thru most mornings for my NF misto, and often get a baked good for breakie. I usually either eat these at my desk when I first get in, or (more regularly) get sidetracked by some rush project and leave it on my desk until 3pm or so and have it for a snack. Every once in a while I get a hankering for something more substantial - this morning I got a sausage breakfast sandwich and it smelled so good had to take a bite at a stop light. Normally I would have brought it up to my office, but I couldn't wait, so I ate it in my car in the parking garage while checking my news feeds. YUM.

                        Here are my "rules" for work day breakfast on the go:
                        - make sure you can eat it without making a mess (no crumbs on the desk!) otherwise close the office door if you have one, if you don't, I'd just skip anything messy unless you can eat in a breakroom.
                        - don't eat anything too "involved" at your desk - if you are multitasking during your breakfast it's best if you don't draw too much attention to your food, so skip anything requiring major preparation, knives, multiple condiments, etc.
                        - make sure it won't make your hands sticky or greasy or that you can wash your hands immediately before having to touch a file, paper, door, keyboard, phone, etc.
                        - make sure it's something you can put down and leave behind if work "interrupts" your breakfast. I can't imagine that my bosses or clients would like it if I told them I'd get to their project later because I want to eat my breakfast before it gets cold.
                        - there is nothing wrong with eating in your own car, by yourself, if it's convinient.

                        1. When I had a commute, I would buy near my home and eat on the way (it was dinner, not breakfast as I worked at night). Now, with no commute, I bring breakfast from home at eat at my desk. Many people, ney _everyone_ does that in my office.

                          Eating in the car can be hazardous and messy, what with all the crumbs falling into hard to reach crevices. So, I think the answer to your question would be, “Whenever you want.”

                          1. Since you're a vegetarian and summer days can make a hot breakfast unappealing, it may interest you to know that McDonalds yogurt parfait, topped with blueberries, strawberries, and granola is surprisingly good.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: greygarious

                              *Definitely* eat that while driving in fast, tight traffic....

                            2. Your instincts are sound; just don't do it.

                              1. As a former desk jockey, I ate nearly every meal at my desk. I don't miss it.
                                New job, new lease on life I enjoy breakfast appts with clients and a run or ride for lunch and dinner with my family. Breakfast on the go done in a leisure fashion is a luxury but I'm much happier to digest my breakfast meal before starting my full work schedule.

                                1. I'm not keen on eating breakfast at 6am, my stomach just doesn't want it then, so until recently, with a one hour commute, I ate a lot of meals at my desk (no lunch room either), while i'd read the news online or something. I'm also not one of those people who'd make a point of getting up earlier to eat or just have coffee, nope, not a morning person. Occaisionally, I'd do a drive through, and I would normally eat that in the car, en route. Like an egg and cheese on a bun type thing (I also do not eat meat).

                                  A few years ago I worked out in the community setting, and most days of the week, was "desk-less". I also therefore ate a few lunches on the way to appt's, or when I had the luxury of time, would pull over by the beach and eat there.

                                  Sometimes it's lonely, but it doesn't have to be. And sometimes with long commutes, or too much time spent in the car, a "treat" eaten can help a little.

                                  BTW, I just got home from a drive, and ate a veggie burger in the car, with a big paper napkin tucked into my shirt. lol.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: im_nomad

                                    You make a good point about not being able to eat immediately after getting up. Some people get up and are able to eat immediately, and others have to be up an hour or two before they're really ready to put anything in their stomach. For those of us later eaters, it's not always possible to get to that eating point by the time we leave the house. I know whenever I had to be at work before 8, it was a struggle to be able to get one piece of untoasted bread down before I left.