Making a meal of lunch hour

Are you are sick of a colleague’s smelly lunchbox or feel pushed to the brink by the pungent contents of their sandwiches?

You are not alone, a recent survey found at least a quarter of us spend our lunch breaks at our desks; either because we have too much work to do or are so bone idle we cannot even be bothered to walk the 400 yards to the Co-Op.

Scoffing at one’s workstation is not new: I have been doing it since the days when Boris Johnson was merely the token comedy toff on satirical gameshows, but that was a time when the majority of homemade butties consisted of luncheon meat or Dairylea, as opposed to exotic options enjoyed by millions of workers every day.

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Most offices now have a microwave, communal fridge and even a canteen or, at the very least a communal dining area, and, because of Nigella and Jamie Oliver, workplaces are full of people who think nothing of knocking up a lobster gumbo or chorizo and aubergine frittata the night before. It would be alright if people ate their lunches cold but the trouble with over-ambitious hobby chefs is they want their meals piping hot which is good for their large colon but not such great news for colleagues who are subjected to the stench.

Lunchtime politics is a tricky one, especially when entering a new environment, something which I have recently done. My trouble is that, having spent the past quarter of a century mired in the frontline of regional news, I feel compelled to inhale my sarnies or pastry products while I rattle out my work. This behaviour is not dissimilar to that of former prisoners of war who, long after their release, carried on secreting hunks of bread and jam underneath their pillows.

Although progressive management gently tries to dissuade staff from dining at their desks, there will always be those who choose to consume their carbs this way.

The fact remains that everybody is more productive once they have had a break and we should all really try to break the cycle of endless work at least once a day.

Especially if we have made egg mayonnaise baguettes for lunch.

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