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Lunch – the final frontier!

One of the places where I worked in high tech was NOTORIOUSLY anti- lunch!

You would think that all of those folks skipping lunch were actually doing something productive!

But they weren’t.

They were just making a statement, and denying their basic biology.

I used to say, as someone whose breakfast consists of two cups of coffee, that, “When you don’t eat breakfast, LUNCH becomes ‘the most important meal of the day!'” It’s true. And when I get hungry, my normally easy-going demeanor tends to erode… rapidly! :-)

So tonight I saw THIS article, “Why taking lunch makes you a better employee,” about eating lunch, and about the same maroons who deny their basic biology and pretend that they are doing something “more important.” :-) (What happened to natural selection, anyway? 😉 ) Even some of the VERY CAPABLE people I knew in high tech lied to themselves about how busy (and how productive) they actually were!

Experts now say that skipping lunch can be dangerous. Duh! :-)

A great quote in the article, by a workplace psychologist is:

“From a productivity standpoint, there are diminishing marginal returns when you ask your brain to exert constant effort through an eight-hour day,” says Dr. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, a workplace psychologist at “When workers skip a lunch break on a regular basis, they often don’t realize that fatigue and burnout are creeping up on them until they wake up one day and ‘suddenly’ feel less enthusiastic about their jobs or businesses.”

Duh, again! This isn’t rocket science, people! This is about idiots, often in management, who want to deny that they are “carbon-based life forms.” :-)

The article goes on to recommend some activities for lunch time, ranging from taking a walk (one of my favorites, after eating lunch of course), to mountain biking, to taking a Spanish class!

I am almost willing to put money on the likelihood that those folks who create “hellholes” for themselves at work (and invite you in, to share in their misery) are probably at least equally inept (and likely MORE inept) in their personal lives at home! Why should you follow their bad example (even if they ARE your boss)?

“I once worked for a firm where the CFO relished the opportunity to remind everyone in earshot that lunch was for losers, and I continue to pity him after all these years,” says Sharon Van Buskirk, a marketing director in Dallas, Texas, who now makes a point of getting out of the office.

The workplace psychologist Civitelli has another suggestion:

“Identify some high influence co-workers and see if you can convince them to join you in something fun at midday,” Civitelli suggests. “If key staff members start taking a lunch break, it can change workplace expectations. Even the most diehard workaholics will probably agree to a meeting where you problem-solve while walking, which would be better than working straight through at your desk.”

As for me, I no longer waste my pity on maroons, but I “feel” for their employees. Civitelli’s suggestion to identify “high influence co-workers” recognizes the biology of the “herd mentality” of the lunch-skippers.

You might even “fool” them into having a good time!

-Bill at

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