it's about life - not "lifestyle"
The February 25, 2001 edition of the Los Angeles Times Workplace section had a feature article called "Leisurely Lunch Hour Is Thing Of The Past", a staff-written piece by Hang Ngueyn. In it he detailed the assaults taking place on not only the so-called "lunch hour" but on the very right for an employee to spend any time at all - including the unpaid time spent eating - at an activity other than work.

The article fully lays out the reasons for blaming the "new technology": cell phones, pagers, computers, the varieties fo the internet industry, and the all-important deadlines given for projects, reports, and answers to management questions.

Many of the people interviewed considered eating lunch to be a chore. Some ran errands, some felt a break "gets in the way of work", and one went so far as calling a lunch break "more of an indulgence than I feel I can afford". Some managers might call these people "valuable resources"...for a while. says EAT YOUR LUNCH!

Eat lunch every day. Eat something on your break whenever you get it. The whole point is to rest and refuel. For too many the legendary 8 hour day runs 10-12 hours. That is too long to go without reloading the tank. We would like to think you will eat something halfway healthy, but we're all only human. If a boss-type gives you a project (or series of projects) and a deadline which can't be met without completely missing your lunch break, talk to him or her and make sure they are aware of the situation. Or don't, if you don't mind pissing the person off...but eat your lunch.

Who do these people think they are to go around setting up employees to have to make these no-win choices? Sometimes they simply may not realize the situation, but anyone over the age of 30 has been around long enough to know of organizations which routinely create this climate just to intimidate employees into submission. Those places seldom compensate very well, either. Technology companies and tech-related manufacturing companies are usually the worst offenders these days but this isn't limited to them. The absolute worst work condition we ever heard about was a 1960's factory where the owner made all workers punch out on the time clock to use the bathroom. We here at regard that on the same plane as drug testing - and once workers as a group give up the legal right to have lunch breaks, expect daily random drug testing on the office or factory floor.

That's an ugly picture to take to work every day. Bob from accounting gets wrestled to the floor next to the copier while one overweight security guard with a shaved head and wraparound swap meet sunglasses wraps a rubber cord around his bicep and a 20-something minor HR functionary jabs a thick needle in his wrist to extract blood. It is in manual, they say, and by implication they are letting you know you signed the same agreement when you came into the "family", and only luck has kept you from being staked to the ground so far. Leaving you with the very false impression that you are lucky...

Drug testing as part of the hiring process is becoming an accepted fact of employment in the U.S. right now. It is also a typical part of work-related accident treatment, and this part (accident) we have no problem with. Anyone who works at a job where physical injury can happen should be straight as a desert highway. But checking blood for any other reason is no business of an employer - next they'll be checking your financial health (some do already) and be pushing their hands down the front of your pants.

We encourage employers to adopt the drug testing policy: One free quart of beer for the test subject, and the person requiring the test can hold the shot glass.

We believe in taking breaks, and that employees who are well rested and adequately nourished are more valuable than a tried, run-down, harried, intimidated, overworked worker-bee. We believe in getting the job done, which often means paid or unpaid overtime, but which can be rewarded by a feeling of pride in a job well done. That this doesn't always translate out into money is just a tought reminded that life isn't always
about money.

And we
always eat lunch...
Copyright (C) 2001. All rights reserved.
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