Lunch Break: Would you take one?

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    Jan 11, 2012 12:59 AM GMT
    I need some advice. I was recently moved to a different department at my job. One of the first things that I noticed was that nobody took a lunch. People worked right through lunch, and didn't snack or eat at their desks. I was under the assumption that we had to take a lunch. When I inquired about it, they said that since we get paid overtime that they would rather just keep working. They go to the bathroom, and that's about it.

    My thing is: It isn't so much about the eating, but the fact that it is nice to walk away from the desk to think and refresh.

    I read in this month's Men's Health, somebody had the same question, and the bartender guy said to not take a lunch.

    Would you take a lunch and be the oddball out?
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    Jan 11, 2012 1:01 AM GMT
    I'm a boy who needs to eat, so hell yes, I would take lunch. Otherwise I wouldn't be able to make it through the day. Plus I'd be a cranky bitch.
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    Jan 11, 2012 1:03 AM GMT
    That's like...a health risk for some people. Personally if I don't eat I either get sleepy or stomach cramps...so I kind of have too.

    Then again..I would probably be a dick and bring something that smelled amazing to work.
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    Jan 11, 2012 1:05 AM GMT
    Without a doubt.... Break!
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    Jan 11, 2012 1:24 AM GMT
    Take the lunch. Start a trend.
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    Jan 11, 2012 1:25 AM GMT
    Yea Men's health isnt the best spot for advice. Take the lunch, it is very healthy too.
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    Jan 11, 2012 1:52 AM GMT
    I think it really depends on the place you work and the culture. I've worked at companies where you were expected to work thru or at the least take a very brief lunch and I've also worked at a company where the 1 hour lunch break was enforced. Right now, I usually just take a wander for 20-30 minutes around 1PM - it is a very rare day I take the full hour and that's usually when I'm meeting someone for lunch or need to run an errand or two or interviewing - lol

    I'd be careful though as you're in a new job - you don't want to be noticed as the guy who's never at his desk. Granted, you're on lunch, but what can be (and not doubt would be) remembered is when boss "X" wanders over he'll see 1 empty desk belonging to the new guy. Is it fair? Not at all. Play it by ear.
  • Webster666

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    Jan 11, 2012 2:01 AM GMT
    You are exactly correct about the great benefits of getting away from your work station for breaks and lunch. It makes for a better, happier, healthier (and more productive) worker.
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    Jan 11, 2012 3:14 AM GMT
    I probably would now, because I'm old and ornery. Besides, that's when I work out. Back when I was an eager beaver wurking at a corporate job, we were expected to eat at our desks while getting some work done.
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    Jan 11, 2012 3:14 AM GMT
    Thanks for the advice guys.

    Yeah, I felt weird when I recently took a lunch and make sure to announce if I am leaving. Today, I didn't take a lunch at all. The other people were there, so I just worked through it.

    I might try NYBeef's idea of just going for a few minutes. The office is right by a trail circling a beautiful lake, and it is beautiful when it isn't burning hot in the summer.
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    Jan 11, 2012 3:23 AM GMT
    I don't take lunch (mainly because most of my days are under 6 hours). I do pack a lunch for work, but eat it thoughout the day..
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    Jan 11, 2012 3:26 AM GMT
    I pack my lunch and takes me about 10mins to eat it and then I get back to work. Sometimes I eat it while I work.
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    Jan 11, 2012 4:23 AM GMT
    When I started at my old job I shared an office with 3 other people. They NEVER took breaks. Always at their computer, even stayed back late. I later found out the girl who was basically my equivalent did nothing all day so worked back late out of guilt. Anyhoo, I just started to take a break when others in the building did, mostly so I could socialise and meet new people. You need a break, it's good for the mind. Nowdays, I usually just eat my lunch in front of my computer and read the news or whatever. Sometimes if the others take a break then I will too.
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    Jan 11, 2012 4:26 AM GMT
    I sometimes dream about lunch during the week. It's my favourite meal.
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    Jan 11, 2012 4:32 AM GMT
    F**K that.

    I heard that "looks better" to waste some vacation days too, but I wouldn't waste one day. I work to live, not the other way around.

    I don't get over time as I am management. If I have to work until 11pm, I get paid the same thing. When I was hourly, we got a half hour for lunch, and it was mandatory that you took it.

    If anybody commented I would say I am hypoglycemic and also have a high metabolism due to my weightlifting, and that if I don't eat every few hours I get queasy and can possibly pass out.
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    Jan 11, 2012 4:35 AM GMT
    definitely have to have lunch break, maybe not an hour long but at least 30 mins, they can choose not to each but just get out of the building and take a walk or something
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    Jan 11, 2012 4:35 AM GMT
    Anywhere I worked it was mandatory to take at least a 45 min lunch break.

    My previous job we had an hour sometime even more, but that was because the company was rather chill as long as we did the tasks at hand.
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    Jan 11, 2012 4:39 AM GMT
    Not me. When you're there to work, you're there to work, you're not getting paid to eat. In my past jobs, I've tried to avoid it....there were some jobs that required it, but if I could get past that, I would. The only reason why I say I'd do it that way, is because it shows the company that you're not there to fart around. You're there to work, and that's it.

    However, that's not to say my employment record is great by any means...it certainly isn't. But, I have an interview coming up, and since I'm given a second chance, I'm not messing this one up!
  • mizu5

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    Jan 11, 2012 4:42 AM GMT
    Jaken saidNot me. When you're there to work, you're there to work, you're not getting paid to eat. In my past jobs, I've tried to avoid it....there were some jobs that required it, but if I could get past that, I would. The only reason why I say I'd do it that way, is because it shows the company that you're not there to fart around. You're there to work, and that's it.

    However, that's not to say my employment record is great by any means...it certainly isn't. But, I have an interview coming up, and since I'm given a second chance, I'm not messing this one up!


    I thank god its mandatory in canada to have lunch breaks.

    it's illegal not to, I'm fairly certain. For sure in retail/standing positions.

    And I disagree. You are there to eat. You are there to do the best job you can which is easier when you aren't hungry.
  • allatonce

    Posts: 904

    Jan 11, 2012 4:49 AM GMT
    I would either not take lunch and get off earlier or try to get a lunch long enough to go to the gym or do something else productive. I don't need an hour to sit around in the lunch room or something like that.
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    Jan 11, 2012 4:57 AM GMT
    Jaken saidNot me. When you're there to work, you're there to work, you're not getting paid to eat. In my past jobs, I've tried to avoid it....there were some jobs that required it, but if I could get past that, I would. The only reason why I say I'd do it that way, is because it shows the company that you're not there to fart around. You're there to work, and that's it.


    Well said Jaken!

    Who cares about things like quality of life, health or a chance to informally get to know work colleagues! Those things are only for the lazy. Crack that whip I say!

    Christ! It's the Protestant work ethic gone mad!


    If needing to write a thread seeking permission to take a lunch break at work isn't a sign that work culture (in the USA) is in dire straits, then what is..


    allatonce saidI would either not take lunch and get off earlier or try to get a lunch long enough to go to the gym or do something else productive. I don't need an hour to sit around in the lunch room or something like that.


    The constant need to be doing something "productive" and to always be busy is driving record numbers of people in the developed world into stress, depression and anxiety related health issues.


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    Jan 11, 2012 5:10 AM GMT
    Supposedly snacking is better for you. Plus, if you sneak, you'll get paid to do it. icon_twisted.gificon_twisted.gificon_twisted.gif
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    Jan 11, 2012 5:40 AM GMT
    I would eat lmao
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    Jan 11, 2012 5:40 AM GMT
    I do believe that it's US federal law that employers are required to offer at least a half hour lunch break every four hours for a six-or-more-hour shift. Or something like that.

    That said, just because the employer is required to offer it doesn't mean that you're required to take it. However, even if you love what you're doing, it's good mental health to take a pause, even if it means walking out to the parking lot and sitting in your car for half an hour while you eat.

    I'm very fortunate that my office is large (it was a former classroom). I furnished it myself, and I have a small dining room table in the corner, in case its not feasible for me to get away from the building for a meal. If I have to eat in my office, I lock the door and forward the phone to voicemail so that I can have at least a little peace and quite while I eat. I always get away from my desk, even if it's just across the room.
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    Jan 11, 2012 6:01 AM GMT
    I would say at the very least bring a lunch you can eat at your desk. You can take that half hour break while still appearing to be at your desk and not out of the ordinary. If anyone questions, simply state that you are used to having a lunch, and overtime or not, they are required to let you have lunch should you choose to do so. As long as your work is being completed employers will not care. And fact is, if you can keep up with the others while still taking a lunch break, then they would be more concerned that the others cannot.