Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Working Lunches

Got an Outlook Calendar invitation today rescheduling a regular weekly meeting because the originator had "a conflict".

The email contained the following sentence:

"Sorry about scheduling over lunch, but it was the only time that we were all available."

Now, what is wrong with that sentence?

I'll tell you what is wrong with that sentence.

It is the fact that we were all not, in fact, "available".

Know why?

I'll tell you why.


I don't work during lunch! That's why it's called "lunch". If it was a time for working, it would be called "work". We wouldn't have a different name for it!

DO NOT fuck with my lunch time. It is a sacred hour during which I can do whatever the fuck I please (usually gobbling eye candy on windy afternoons in the downtown loop) and which never, ever, involves actual work.

You want to take me out and buy me Jack Stack BBQ or Manny's because it is a coworker's birthday or someone is joining or leaving the team?

That's fine. No problem with that.

But don't expect me to sit at my desk on a fucking conference call or in some crowded conference room eating some bullshit Jason's Deli boxed lunch that you were oh so generous to provide. I HATE baked chips!

Is the Peppercorn Duck Club in a Wi Fi hotspot? I bet it is. Maybe I'll just take my laptop over to the Hyatt and Bluetooth it from there.


DEMI. $43.00

Fucking up my lunch is a bargain at $57.00 (plus a 30% gratuity...I have a rep to uphold), all on your dime you inconsiderate jackass!

And before you corporate, boot-licking, lackeys start spewing that "needs of the business" bullshit, let me stop you right now with this unassailable agument...GO FUCK YOURSELVES.

I have never, ever worked at a job that took priority over my actual life.

I'm not a doctor...I don't save lives.

I'm not a cop...I don't protect people.

I'm not a fireman...I don't rescue people.

I'm not even a politician...I don't make laws that change society.

I'm a fucking Systems Analyst (Sr. Systems Analyst, actually).

I translate "visionary", marketing goon-babble into 1's and 0's for twinky-gobbling, Mountain Dew-swilling, techno-geeks with no inter-personal skills.

Basically, I'm this guy.

So please don't fuck with my lunch time.

My life is pathetic enough as it is.

Let me eat my goddamn lunch in peace.


meesha.v said...

so did you decline or accepted and now bitching here?

Le Grand Lapin said...

Well said. A modern hero for the working classes.

JustCara said...

I am *so* with you on this, and the first thing I'm going to do tomorrow is schedule a recurring lunch appointment every day so some shmuck doesn't do the same to me.

PlazaJen said...

I couldn't agree more.
There have been times when, said "apologetic brown-bag mandatory meeting" is over, I have "run errands" (usually going to CVS to look at makeup and marvel at the selection of vitamins, but still), because dammit, that hour is MINE!

Joe said...

Are you the one on the right or the left?

And, I take lunch at the end of the shift and either surf the net or walk on the parcourse here at the happy homestead. And I charge them OT to boot! No good union man doesn't take lunch.

Well Hell Michelle said...


Midtown Miscreant said...

Good post, you are always at the top of your game when in Full on rant mode.
Oh, and enjoy Jasons salty meat and the baked Lays.

Poodles said...

I take a 15 min lunch. I work 4 tens, staying that extra 45 minutes is like a beating. So, I keep it short, I eat my food and read my book.

Satyavati devi dasi said...

At least you get a lunch hour.

Xavier Onassis said...

satyavati - Are you telling me that NC doesn't have any labor laws guaranteeing every employee of any company regular breaks and a mandated lunch period? Maybe not an hour, but at least 30 minutes.

Satyavati devi dasi said...

I am sure there's a law somewhere in a book that requires them to let us have it. Reality is a different story.

I won't even go into what it's like in the hospital because there having enough time to pee is an achievement. In all the years I worked in the hospital I seriously may recall 5 or 6 occasions of actually getting off the floor, sitting somewhere to eat and not working at the same time. If we had a staff meeting, it more or less had to run through a 'meal' time and half the staff wouldn't show up citing an absolute slam of work that didn't let them come. (The standard phrase:'You actually think I have time for THAT shit?')

The reality of the situation where I'm at is this: I more-or-less babysit a girl who has serious issues with breathing. It's her and me. The only lunch I could possibly take would be one in which I make her lunch and we eat together (thus nullifying the 'break' part of 'lunch break').

Obviously the homecare agency recognizes this as I get paid straight through with no deductions for breaks or lunch times. This doesn't actually 'make up' for not having a break though when you think about it. Hospitals take the half-hour out regardless.

Legal, illegal, morally dubious, it's the way it is. And it's not like we're 'saving lives' even in the hospital; it's that there's so much damn work to do that the only way to get something to eat is to eat it while you're charting, mostly because it requires you to be in one place, or did when computers were stationary and not hand-held.

But I'd bet you a nickel that in union states, and definitely in California, nurses get lunch.

North Carolina has a plantation mentality towards the workforce. Unions, and God Forbid a nurses' union, are illegal, and I've seen people lose their jobs just for talking about it.

If I ever work in a NC hospital again I swear I'm going to go down the hall singing 'Go Down Moses'.

Did you know that America still had entire states that keep the proles down like this?

And you wonder why I'm a Socialist. Or maybe you didn't, but now you know.

Average Jane said...

You're reading my mind! I have a strict "no lunch meetings unless you feed me" rule.

Poodles said...

Utah doesn't have any laws requiring breaks or lunches.