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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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