When we look objectively at a day in the life of a person with a less than desirable desk job, there are really only two times where you can definitively say that someone is enjoying themselves. One is during a bathroom/snack break.
For me, these come once an hour because I’m drinking water like nobody’s business. I’m talking three or four refills of my Nalgene water bottle every single goddamn day because I’m a savage like that. I also like getting up to go to the bathroom to remind myself that I am, in fact, a human being and not an automated robot staring blankly at a computer screen.
The other time where I usually enjoy being at work is during my lunch break. This is my “me” time. It’s an hour out of each day where I can look at my phone without being worried that a superior is going to walk up behind me and see that I’m on Instagram scrolling through Emily Ratajkowski’s never-ending stream of violently hot pictures. It’s the hour in which I can eat something that I made or at the very least went and picked up. It gives me a sense of accomplishment. Sad, but true.
Isn’t it the worst when you’re in the communal kitchen making a turkey sandwich or toasting a bagel and some person you barely know walks in and gets all up in your business about what you’re making for lunch?
Comments like “Oooooh, smells pretty good in here!” and “What you got over there? You bring enough for the whole office or what, kid? Ha-ha,” are a few of my favorites. How about you just leave me the fuck alone? I’m one more bad joke away from quitting this godforsaken job and your snarky comment about my turkey and muenster on sourdough might just put me over the edge.
Despite all of the nonsense that I have to put up with in the kitchen at work, I always find some time to reflect. That is, of course, unless I get invited out to lunch with my boss. Now a lot of you are going to say that the reason I hate getting lunch with my boss is because I hate my job and if it’s so bad then why don’t I just quit? But I don’t hate my boss. I kind of hate my job but I don’t really hate any person, per se. Strongly dislike, but not hate.
And to answer the other question on everyone’s mind, yes. It is very difficult to say no to a lunch invite with a superior at work. A lot of the time I feel like these are empty invites, though. And if I was trying to move up at the company I would be a little more willing to go on these lunch excursions. But as it stands I am not.
We all get the introductory “Welcome To The Office!” lunch on the company card during our first week. Then there’s two or three more before an invite for lunch is just having good manners. He/she knows you’re going to decline and it’s perfectly fine. I see my boss every weekday for eight, nine, sometimes ten hours, though, and the lunch break away from him is needed.
He always picks the tab up when I’m out to eat with him, but it’s just so much pressure to not say anything stupid, you know what I mean? It’s nice to get my burrito bowl at Chipotle covered but if getting to each lunch by myself away from everyone so I can just chill the fuck out for a little bit costs me ten dollars of my own money then so be it.
Every conversation feels forced. It’s sort of like in Mean Girls when they see Tina Fey in the mall and then compare it to seeing a dog walk on its hind legs. Teachers, bosses, and all of the other people over 40 – these people have lives outside of work. It’s hard to believe, I know. But they do. And they are human beings.
But they can be human beings with other people. I don’t need to have lunch with my boss once a week to know that he’s got a nice family and friends just like I do. Having lunch with a superior is just downright painful most of the time.
It’s a lot of forced laughter and really, really bad attempts at small talk. Work usually becomes the central topic of discussion because that’s the only thing the two of you have in common, and by the end of it you’ve wasted the one good hour of “me” time that you’ve got. Much like smoking weed, all you have to remember is this – “Just Say No.” .
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