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Do you eat lunch?

What Happened to the Lunch Break?

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  1. 3 days a week - I eat at my desk (takeout or brought from home)
    2 days a week - I drink my lunch at a nearby restaurant/bar
    2 days a week - It's the weekend, I don't eat lunch

    There can be a slight variation in that schedule week-to-week, but that is about average.

    In my office, though, I do see what the linked article is talking about. Most of my colleagues eat at their desk with food brought from home or purchased inside the building from the food court. Some venture out of the building for takeout, but most of that just gets brought back to the desk, as well. It is a minority that will go to a restaurant, order there and dine in, regardless of it is fast food or casual. Even those that will go out only do so once a week, maybe.

    1 Reply
    1. re: MonMauler

      MonM, this pretty much sums up my routine as well. But I do snack btwn meals or I'd drop by 3pm each day.

    2. I work from home and am a late sleeper, which basically means that, by the time I have "breakfast", it would be considered lunch for most 9-5 peeps.

      But not more than 2 meals a day, usually. And I'm not a big lunch person -- dinner's always the main event in the house, and I like it that way.

      1. I am grateful that I am able to make lunch at home 7 days a week and enjoy it while leisurely reading the most recent food magazine in my mailbox.

        1. I eat lunch at work 5 days a week, either brought from home or take out or a combination of the two. And sadly, it is almost always at my desk. This is not because I have so much work that I feel the need to work through lunch, but because my place of business does not have a decent lunch/break room (despite being a HUGE company) and the area in which I work in NYC is so crowded and dirty that I hate going outside other than to go home.

          On weekends, I have lunch on Saturday at home (which is usually leftovers from the week's dinners) and on Sunday lunch is our big meal and we almost always have it out at a restaurant.

          I am a purist in that I eat breakfast, lunch and dinner every day.

          2 Replies
            1. re: tommy

              "No brunch?"

              I leave that to the amateurs. ;)

          1. Sometimes.

            Lunch can be the best meal of the day. I like 'dinner at lunch' so those meals almost exclusively happen on days off from work, so they don't enter the 'lunch break' question.

            1. I try to take a lunch break (although, I'm in public safety, so it's hit or miss sometimes). Those 20 minutes under a shady tree staring at clouds and not having too many thoughts are essential some days!

              1. I eat lunch. I work in schools, as a sub and providing enrichment. No way would I eat lunch at the desk. Yuck. I go to the break room. Sometimes I go out, sometimes I brown bag it, and sometimes, I just go through the lunchline with the kids. especially when it's turkey gravy day. :)

                1. No matter where I am, my tummy knows when it's noon, and time to eat. I'm a kitchen designer, and not tied to my desk all week, so sometimes I eat at home, sometimes at a restaurant and sometimes at my desk at my cabinet showroom. If I'm at the showroom, I'll read the news or CH while I'm eating instead of working on a design. Then I feel like I've taken a bit of a break.

                  1. It will be interesting to see the breakdown of habits of corporate types vs. non-corporate types (and perhaps even a finer point with respect to large cities vs. the rest of the country). Although the answers will clearly be skewed given the audience.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: tommy

                      I'm a NYC corporate type and I'd say working through lunch is the norm, particularly amongst young ladder climbers. Oftentimes my colleagues will go hungry for hours until they can spare the five minutes to run across the street for a sandwich or a salad. I pack my own lunches so I'm lucky in that I am able to just walk over to the fridge to collect my lunch whenever I feel like it, but even if it is easily accessible, I probably spend under 45 minutes in an entire week solely eating lunch.

                      1. re: tommy

                        I've been both an LA and Silicon Valley corporate type and I sometimes eat lunch and sometimes don't. I usually don't "need" to; it's more of a social event.

                      2. I've had at least three jobs in the past where I was forced to work through the lunch break even though I wasn't being paid for that half hour. Partly because of those experiences I sure do relish and enjoy my lunches now

                        1. I'm an annual salary man/desk jockey but not in the US. I try to bring lunch from home 3 days a week but that is dependent on left overs and the remaining days I go to the food court in the complex. I always eat away from my desk as I need the 20 - 30 mins of down time.

                          A long time ago when I was doing summer landscaping I always brought lunch and while the rest of the crew would go to a fast food joint, I'd scarf my sandwich and fruit and then nap on the lawn until the rest got back... those were sweet days.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: vanderb

                            This reminds me of my best lunch breaks ever, at a retreat center next to a nature preserve. After the meal had been served to the guests and clean-up was done, I would go lay down in my hammock under a big shade tree for a half hour.....rejuvenates the spirit and the body!!!

                          2. I work from home and usually have an afternoon meal of some kind...depending on when I get up, I may or may not have breakfast and sometimes "lunch" more closely resembles breakfast (bacon, eggs, toast) even if I eat it at 3pm (as I did yesterday.)

                            My husband would probably be a better example for this thread, since he has an 8-5 office job. Two days a week, he takes a Tai Chi class over his lunch break, so he packs a lunch and eats at his desk after his class. Two other days, he usually goes out to lunch with a group of co-workers. The last day, he will either go out again with his co-workers or take leftovers and eat at his desk. Usually he takes leftovers. I try to make a couple meals each week that give good leftovers so he has something good to take on those days. When he does take leftovers, he usually eats right at his desk, but I think he does take a "break" and surfs the 'net instead of working. He doesn't take nearly as long a time as when he goes out, though; he and his co-workers are usually gone at least an hour when they go out for lunch, and when he brings his own, he's usually done in half an hour or less.

                            1. Yes, it's typically leftovers from home at my desk.

                              No lunch room, no on-site dinning, and little options around me. I can eat in the kitchen standing up, but when I do I feel weird when people come in to talk and they aren't eatting.

                              Usually if it's really loud (somethign with tortilla chips) or has a permeating smell (Thai Curry), I put up with it and eat in the kitchen as we are all in cubicles.

                              1. Lunch is my favorite meal of the day. It is all.about.me.

                                I am fortunate that my work situation is such that I never have to have lunch at my desk, can take as long as I want and so some days I get something close to the office, but it's not uncommon for me to drive 15-20 minutes for a great lunch.

                                On the weekends, Dh and I rarely have lunch together. He tends to have a big breakfast and late lunch...I have a small breakfast and make something Janet-centric for lunch.

                                I love lunch.

                                1. I eat lunch everyday, but almost always at my desk. Not necessarily working, but sitting at my desk because we don't have a break room or other comfortable place to eat. No restaurants close enough to get there, eat, and get back in time. I do have access to the hospital cafeteria, but I don't want to spend $10/day on food that is just a step above mall food court. I pack my lunch, sometimes leftovers, sometimes and sandwich and fruit. I usually go to the gym straight from work, so I also bring a snack or two.

                                  1. So, those of you eating at your desk, do you wipe it down everyday? I just cringe.... Maybe it's because the desks I am at are in schools, with all kinds of crud emanating from the kiddos all day all over the desk. Also, have seen the reports of the cleanliness of computer keyboards (or lack thereof). I know some folks do have the sanitary wipes and are wiping their eating areas, but I like to go to the break room where there are sinks, soap, etc. That's just me, though.

                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: wyogal

                                      I've never gotten ill from eating at my computer, whether at an office or at home.

                                      I tend to eat off plates or other containers, and not dump the food right onto the surface of the desk. Same goes for eating at home in front of a computer.

                                      1. re: tommy

                                        I eat at a desk in my area often, and I do wipe it down (along with my keyboard & phone) pretty often, but not daily.

                                        I've been eating out -- at inexpensive restaurants -- more & more, because the break from where I work is really important to me.

                                        1. re: tommy

                                          And my desk is used only by me. I'd only be exposed to my own germs. I end up cleaning it regularly, because I'm a klutz (I always say, if I were the boss, I wouldn't let me eat at my desk :))

                                          Not that it really bothers me, but the lunch room is accessible to everyone in the office, including that guy in accounting with the raging cold, tables are only cleaned in the evenings. No one is wiping them down between users.

                                          I don't eat in the lunch room because it's badly ventilated and very high traffic. I want to tune out at lunch with a book or favourite websites, not be asked every 5 minutes, 'what are you reading?' or 'what are you eating, it looks amazing' (compliments are nice, yes, but someone standing over you peering at your lunch is rude).

                                          1. re: tommy

                                            I didn't ask if you got ill. I didn't ask if you dumped your food onto the desk surface.

                                          2. re: wyogal

                                            "So, those of you eating at your desk, do you wipe it down everyday? "

                                            I wipe my desk down periodically with Clorox wipes. Not every day, but often enough that people know I am a neat freak. I also have a minimal amount of "stuff" cluttering my cubicle. At times I have been accused of not having enough work (not true at all) because my cubicle/desk is always so clean and neat.

                                            That said, as far as it comes to cleanliness, I'd rather eat at my desk than most of the other places I have to choose from in this wretched part of NYC I work in.

                                            1. re: ttoommyy

                                              Thanks for the thoughtful response. As I've indicated, a teacher's desk in an elementary classroom is pretty gross, so I use a break room (which are pretty decent, and I enjoy the adult interaction). And as another posted, their break room sounds awful.

                                          3. I eat lunch out every day of the work week. It's 50% about the food and 50% escaping the work environment for an hour.

                                            1. I'm an "at home" gal, but with lots of chores to do (involving horses in particularly), so whether I eat lunch really depends on whether or not I had breakfast, since I'm sort of an either/or person.

                                              As for what I have for lunch, 9 times out of 10 it's leftovers from dinner. If that's not available, or dinner leftovers are such that they'll make another dinner, than normally a tweaked ramen soup, impromptu stirfry, salad, or sandwich does it for me.

                                              1. Three days a week I am in the office. I usually eat out two or three of those days. Often it is later in the afternoon (I work 10-7) and serves as my main meal of the day.

                                                Working from home two days a week, I will usually skip lunch (sometimes breakfast too) and eat my main meal in the evening. on weekends it is a free for all, depending on schedules and locations.

                                                1. I eat lunch every day (unless it is a fast day). I cook every Sunday for my lunches. I don't typically take leftovers anymore as my dinner choices are higher in carbs and calories by design.

                                                  My lunches are much more "prescribed". For lunches, I make a soup from a bone broth, shirataki noodle and veg -or I make varieties of big huge salads, or different kinds of spreads for seedy crackers and cheese with fermented veggies. I always take a big, homemade green tea drink with me in the bag (filled with ice) to keep everything cool.

                                                  I like to eat exceedingly healthy for at least 5 days per week, then go "off the rails" a bit on the weekends (pizza, some bar food, a little sugar)..... I strive for the 80/20 rule :)