Monday, January 30, 2012

Lunch hour? What lunch hour??

It's almost 1 p.m. here in the Midwest on Monday, and I have just started my lunch!  Not that I'm not hungry, the tummy's been rumbling for over an hour.  No, my problem is I work in an office area populated by people whose attitude is "Lunch hour?  What do you mean, lunch hour?"

My boss does not eat lunch unless he's taking someone out, or he's attending a meeting where lunch is being served.  His idea of lunch is switching from coffee, the morning beverage, to diet soda, the afternoon beverage.  One of the other guys eats ALL DAY LONG, no kidding this is annoying.  Some of the others play cards during lunch hour, so they go off to another room and are not seen for an hour.  It might be nice if someone said 'hey, we're leaving, it's lunchtime'.

I set my calendar to send me an electronic reminder when I have meetings or calls to attend.  Maybe I should have it remind me of lunch!!  Maybe then I'd get it before dinner-time.  I worked at another company about 16 years ago where they had an organized break every morning and afternoon, and the whole office took its lunch hour at the same time.  They had a big lunchroom, lots of chairs and tables.  It was nice and social, and your desk didn't get messy from eating there.

Our office is being relocated this summer.  We're not moving far; actually it's only six or seven blocks.  But when we toured the building last week, I saw a big space full of chairs and tables, with a coffee/tea/snack counter, a big screen TV up on the wall, and actual people socializing with each other!  I'm actually kind of excited about this development.  They have tenant activities like Tai Chi and weight loss groups, and they offered to set up a knitting group if I want to try one!  Cool stuff.

You have to understand my current situation to know why I'm excited about this.  Our current building is only about half full, and even our staff is not all on the same floor.  I'm in an area of the building that's kind of closed off from the rest of the staff.  And for about the last two years, this group of offices has consisted of way too many testosterone sources and not enough estrogen donaters. 

Yes, at least a year or more ago the last of the women moved out of this area, and I've been surrounded since then by football pools, baseball scores, fishing stories, car stories, and once in a while dog stories.  No socializing about sewing shows or sharing Project Runway stories around THIS water cooler! 

If there is one thing I have learned over the past few decades, it's that nothing beats the friendships you get from your girlfriends.  Nothing.  I mean, you love your husband and your kids, your parents, your siblings.  But really, what can beat the woman to woman friendship?  Nothing.

MY girlfriends are super-special, because some of them really are family too.  My Friday night sewing sisters are the best.  Feel blue?  They cheer you up.  Feel crummy?  Someone has made chicken soup, or can tell you a funny story to make you smile.  Disappointments, crappy days, you won the lottery?  Hey, this is the first group you have to tell.  They understand that when you're whining about DH, you still love him, you just don't like him very much right now.

I have a couple of 'friend circles'.  If I had to talk to someone I know who to call to discuss what topic.  I have one friend who lives in another town, and we only see each other once every six months or so.  But when we do get together we pick up right where we left off. 

I have Facebook and chat friends too.  That put me back in touch with siblings living in other states.  I love seeing the photos!

But I will totally look forward to being able to lunch with friends, sit down at a table and chat over yesterdays' leftovers or a treat from the coffee place.  Nothing quite matches the face to face interaction, reading body language and seeing the facial expressions.

So I'm happy if you're reading blogs, mine or anyone else's.  It's nice to see your updates on FB, or get a card or letter in 'snail mail'.  But remember to have the original social networking experience - a live lunch meeting with a real person.  I for one can not wait!

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