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Workers And “Lunch Breaks”

I had an epiphany.

I don’t really take lunch breaks.

I mean when I do, it’s to run an errand, or get outside to go get some food to ultimately bring back to my desk.

I never just sit and read a book. Or sit and do nothing.

When the weather is fair, and I’m exhausted, I will take short naps in my car.

Sometimes, I’ll go get my eyebrows done, or do a little shopping. But in my mind, those are productive tasks.

There’s no break. No real relaxation or giving my mind and body a much-needed rest to regroup for the rest of my work day.

This work, work, work culture in America has brainwashed me into feeling like, if I leave the office for my lunch break, I better be doing something productive like going to the Post Office, or dropping off dry cleaning or shoes that need to be repaired, or getting more gas, so I don’t have to stop on my way home.

It just occurred to me that I’m a single woman with no kids. Yet, I feel like my lunch break has to be as productive as possible.

It’s friggin nuts.

I keep thinking about the genesis of this eating at your desk business. There’s a part of me that feels like a woman started it. Because men in business do what they want. There are no expectations or assumptions of what they can’t do, so they do what they please and those who work hard and are honest are awesome. Those who are deceitful and get ahead by blaming others and collecting success off of the mistakes and shortcomings of others, well, either man will find their way, still get a check and rise– whether they take lunch for an hour or three or go play golf.

I envision this corporate Eve as was the only woman among men at a particular job (she was so lucky to break the glass ceiling), and to stay one step ahead of her peers and show how dedicated and worthy she was, she declined taking a full hour of lunch, and even going out for lunch, she began eating her lunch at her desk.

Well thanks, corporate Eve.

You ruined a generation.

We eat lunch at our desks, we eat dinner in our cars.

We put faith in companies that give us 2-4 weeks of vacation for an entire year, and can lay us off, cut our pay, or not pay us at all a few times a year, and increasingly make us pay more for health insurance.

Something has got to give.

No wonder we are obese, socially inept, and shooting people en masse in this country.

We are stressed out, not well-rested, unhealthy and crazy.

As a nation we go on and on about our work ethic, yet our moral ethics and economic ethics are deplorable.

Sometimes, I marvel at the government employees who work in my building.

Now those folks, oh, they take breaks. They take extended breaks and they even walk slowly, relaxed, smiling and chatting with co-workers on their way back in the building.

They are easy like Sunday morning.

They get it. And they hardly give a half of a damn.

So what’s our problem in the private sector? We live under the same labor laws and regulations that say, hey you get an hour to do whatever the heck you please, your companies work-a-holic culture be dammned.

But that’s another blog post completely.

So my question to you, are you breakin for real?

If so, give me some tips.

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4 thoughts on “Workers And “Lunch Breaks”

  1. Oh I get my break in, even if it is just half an hour. When I worked in journalism, I was used to seeing daylight way too much to sit all day at my desk. In the past year or so, I have used my break to get through various books here and there. And on the occasions when I need to work at my desk so I can get off early, I take my allotted 30 minutes to catch up on all the entertainment gossip and my Strawberry Letter. Also, I make it a point to literally leave the building at least once a week. It’s quite rejuvenating even if it is to the McDonald’s or Jason’s Deli across the street.

    • I feel you. I need to do a better job. Way to go, though. Reading a book at lunch? I dream of that!

      Sent from my HTC smartphone on the Now Network from Sprint!

  2. Hmmm…interesting connection; for all I know there just may be a correlation between this nation’s obsession with work at the cost of our economic and moral credibility.

    I can’t presume to know what work in the private sector is like because for the most part, it is still an uncharted jungle for people like me on the Autism Spectrum. Yet, what you say about the workplace insanity started by a Corporate Eve is daring & bold…I like that!

    Yes, I’m inclined to believe that our sleep-deprived, stressed out, mentally fractured, obese, socially clueless, gun-obsessed, afraid-to-be-vulnerable part of the human race has become this way because of something fundamentally wrong with our daily existence. One cure I have for this affliction is my own blog; it reminds me of just how human I really am. I thank you for your candor and outspoken words here. As the woman said: “Let’s call a thing a thing, people!”

    • Thank you for commenting. Blogging has also served as a way to destress and share my thoughts with wonderful people like you! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!!

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