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View Poll Results: Do you take lunch?
Yes. I don't work during lunch at all. No blackberry, work phone calls, or emails. 19 42.22%
Yes. I eat lunch at my desk 16 35.56%
Yes. I take calls and do work while I'm out on my lunch break. 8 17.78%
No. I skip my lunch break so I can leave early. 0 0%
No. I don't eat lunch at all. 2 4.44%
Voters: 45. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-25-2010, 10:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Location: Manhattan, NY
Do you take lunch?


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Listen to the interview

In many states, it's against the law for your employer to deny you a lunch break. But lunch breaks seem to be getting rarer all the time. Tell us your situation: Do you feel like it's possible to take a lunch break any more?
For this week's work segment, Justin Jones-Fosu of WEAA's Listen Up! explains why so few of us are taking lunch breaks these days. And Connie Thanasoulis-Cerrachio, of career-advice site Vault.com, explains how not taking lunch may be hurting our careers.

Comments on Facebook:
Jeri Griffin Buboltz:
"I take a lunch hour much more now than when I was starting my career 20+ years ago. It's my time to regroup and recharge. I look forward to it, and it helps me maintain my sanity! I've always worked in non-profit fundraising. First, in public broadcasting. Now, in health care."
Richard Carlson:
"Me too, but just half an hour in the public schools. It's in the contract, and worth fighting for. Whether spent socially with colleagues or alone, it's a halftime break."
James Ellsworth:
"I work in the computer security management field and I eat WHILE working as lunch is just a waste of time for me (hackers seem to never eat lunch...lol). I have the privilege of eating while working while I understand some do not."
Guests: Justin Jones-Fosu and Connie Thanasoulis-Cerrachio
Produced by: Kristen Meinzer
Do you take lunch? Do you eat at your desk?

When Skogafoss and I worked together here, we took lunch together. It was a good break and gave me some recharge for the day. I try to have a lunch buddy to remind me that I need to stop and take lunch. Otherwise, I will work through it or worse yet, eat at my desk.

After working like a crazy person for almost 7 years, rarely taking a lunch, always working overtime and still getting laid off, I stopped that practice. I prefer to take the time.

It doesn't mean that I don't. Today, like I did earlier in the week, I ate lunch at my desk. Twice in one week is a rarity for me.
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Last edited by Cynthetiq; 06-25-2010 at 10:40 AM..
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Old 06-25-2010, 10:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Location: Oregon
In my current work, I have to take a lunch break (half an hour) if I am working a full day. The Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) requires it. When I was working in the public schools as an intern, I got about an hour for lunch. Unlike most other interns, I opted to eat with my supervising teacher in the staff lounge. Hanging out in the staff lounge and talking to all of the veteran teachers was an incredibly valuable experience. If I'd gone the route the other interns did and left campus for lunch, I would have missed out on some fantastic stories and learning opportunities from some incredible people.

Since I'm going to be a public school teacher someday, I know I will be taking lunch in staff lounges for years to come. I'm looking forward to it
If I am not better, at least I am different. --Jean-Jacques Rousseau
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Old 06-25-2010, 10:52 AM   #3 (permalink)
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When I worked at the outside office, lunch was at 11:00 sharp. I would normally eat at my desk, and would take an hour.

Now that I work from home, it's a bit more flexible: usually between 11 and noon, though.
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Old 06-25-2010, 11:18 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Location: The Danforth
I eat lunch at my desk. Normally I try to work out at the company gym between 11:30 and noon, then eat at my desk, while perusing TFP. Sometimes my wife calls me and we meet in the company cafeteria for half an hour.
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Old 06-25-2010, 11:25 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Location: Redneckville, NC
I take my full lunch most of the time, sometimes I only get 30. I don't get paid for my lunch, so I take every second I can get. I also try to bring my lunch to work as much as I can, as it saves money I can use on debt/toys/stuff.
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Old 06-25-2010, 12:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Location: Central Republic of Where-in-the-Hell
When I worked at the bank, I got an hour for lunch. I'd either bring my own food or hit one of the fast food places on the same road, then eat in the basement break room. There was a couch in there as well, and since there was very little chance of anyone else coming down, I'd take a quick nap after eating.

When I went back to serving, lunch didn't happen. I was lucky if I got a small lull to sit down and eat something...more likely, I'd nibble on crackers or croutons in between tables.
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Old 06-25-2010, 12:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Location: Tennessee
I voted, No. I don't eat lunch at all. I just simply never have time, and trying to shoehorn an hour (or so) for a meal just becomes more of a headache then break. I just try to squeeze in a sandwich or something if I'm hungry, otherwise its usually just breakfast and dinner for me. I've never been much of a lunch person anyway...I'm kind of a food camel, I'll go any entire day and not eat so much as a cracker, realize I'm getting dizzy and have to force myself to eat something. I don't know I've always been that way since I was a wee child.
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Old 06-25-2010, 12:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Location: CT
Yes, I'm required to by state law whether I like it or not. If I work through it, too bad, I can't leave an hour early. I either go out somewhere if friends are up for it, or get something at the cafe and eat it at my desk while catching up on TV shows on Hulu.
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Old 06-25-2010, 03:39 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Location: At my daughter's beck and call.
Always, I MEAN always, take a break. It absolutely affects your ability to do
your job as best as you can. We need to eat, also.
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Old 06-25-2010, 05:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
What day is it?
Location: Downey, CA
More often than not, I'm able to eat lunch. However...(despite what the company is saying during an on-going class action law suit) on-shift operations personnel in my refinery are expected to respond to any plant conditions, whether or not they are on break/lunch. I've had days where I've been lucky to have time to grab a granola bar during a 12 hour shift. Other days I'll sit down to eat and get called to check something out in the plant and then get stuck out there for 3 hours working on a problem.

Our contract does not provide for a lunch period, paid or unpaid. For the duration of our 12 hour shift we are expected to be within our plant.
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Old 06-25-2010, 05:44 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I picked the middle option. I am all over the place during the week. I may work from home a day or two, be in the office a day or two, and/or be on the road two or three days. When I am home, I usually eat while working, because it's a more relaxed environment anyway and I don't need quite the same brain rest. When I'm in the office I almost always try to take at least 45-60 mins out to go somewhere off site and relax over lunch. When I'm traveling I may grab lunch with a client, while driving between stops, or occasionally stop and rest for 30 mins or so while en route somewhere.
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Old 06-25-2010, 05:47 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Location: The Windy City
Those times when I have worked in an office, I took lunch at my desk, and claimed to be working during that time so as to go home early, but in fact I did no work. I bear no guilt for that, because I was always dramatically underpaid.

But when I am teaching, I usually take my lunch out in the quad, reading, so that students can come up and talk to me.
Dull sublunary lovers love,
Whose soul is sense, cannot admit
Absence, because it doth remove
That thing which elemented it.

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Old 06-25-2010, 05:58 PM   #13 (permalink)
Location: My head.
I eat at my desk. I work, work, work.

I just lost my job today. I am VERY unappreciated.
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Old 06-25-2010, 06:26 PM   #14 (permalink)
Location: LI,NY
I am not really sure which option to choose. Taking lunch really depends on the day, how many meetings I had, and how much I need to get done. Most of the time I take 30 minutes and eat in the break room. Sometimes, that time gets interrupted. Sometimes, I take more time and go somewhere with my friend. I try real hard to take lunch though, and if I happen to have to work through lunch, I eat at my desk.
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Old 06-25-2010, 08:07 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Location: Central Republic of Where-in-the-Hell
Originally Posted by levite View Post
But when I am teaching, I usually take my lunch out in the quad, reading, so that students can come up and talk to me.
That is completely awesome.... that's really all I had to say
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Old 06-27-2010, 08:18 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Location: Whatever house my keys can get me into
I don't see the point of skipping lunch. for the most part, if you organize your time well, you can make time to eat. That being said, I know not all jobs work this way, but 90% of the time there should be time set aside to care for yourself by taking a little break and eating lunch. the world is not going to end in your 30 min absence.

These are the good old days...

formerly Murp0434
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Old 06-27-2010, 10:28 AM   #17 (permalink)
I read your emails.
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Location: earth
I work in an office and usually take my lunch. Sometimes I'll do some work while I eat if I am eating at my desk. I rarely go out for lunch because of cost/health factor. Plus most people go out to eat for lunch at my office so I get some quiet time while everyone is out.

I use to live a block away from my office and would go home everyday at lunch. I miss that so much! I'd change into comfy clothes, could make whatever I wanted to eat or nap. Great way to break up the day.

I try and take my lunches at 1pm (i work 8-5) so it makes the afternoon go by faster plus I work out after work so it helps to eat late.
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Old 06-27-2010, 05:32 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Location: Arabidopsis-ville
For the most part, I take a lunch. I prefer to go home and make something there, even better if I get to spend some time with the hubby. I will pack a lunch when I know my time is short. When I bring my lunch, I eat at the desk in my office. Usually with my laptop packed away, possibly with a book or paper to read. I like to rest my eyes at lunch. I typically consider my office a place to relax, since I spend most of my time in a lab or in front of a microscope. I don't eat while I'm actively working, though I have been known to snack while writing, or to snatch a few bites right before running in to teach. I try to make up for missed lunches by taking longer lunches later in the week.
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Old 06-27-2010, 07:48 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Location: backwater, Third World, land of cotton
As a state employee, I am required to include a one hour time slot for lunch each day, that I may spend anyway I choose. I could go anywhere I want, but I eat a Lean Cuisine at my desk each day and work through my lunchtime instead of going somewhere else.
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Old 06-27-2010, 08:12 PM   #20 (permalink)
Comment or else!!
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Location: Home sweet home
When I used to work full time, I ate at my desk but I didn't work while I ate. I rarely went out to eat as that would be too much of a hassle. On the times that I did went out and bought food, I still returned to the office ate at my desk.
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Old 06-28-2010, 09:37 AM   #21 (permalink)
It is pretty rare for me to eat lunch at work anymore. At one time I brought lunch and would eat at my desk. That way I could get more done in the day. Now, having lunch away from everything is relaxing.
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Old 06-28-2010, 02:27 PM   #22 (permalink)
Location: Houston
I usually take my lunch at eat it at my desk. Sometimes I hit up the cafeteria but always take it back to my desk. We don't get an actual lunch break so I just work while eating so I can leave earlier.

Every once and a while some of us will go out to lunch for work but it's usually at the end of the week if we are ahead on hours.
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Old 07-16-2010, 12:07 AM   #23 (permalink)
I make batches of Chicken and mashed potoatoes, or pasta with Veggies. I put them in Ziploc containers and freeze them. I take one for lunch every day. Couple minutes in the microwave and all set.
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Old 08-02-2010, 05:04 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Location: Somewhere
The last couple of places I've worked have had their own cafeterias, so I typically take an hour lunch and use it to relax and catch up with coworkers.
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Old 08-02-2010, 05:32 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Location: Sydney, Australia
I work from home. This means I can stop anytime I feel like it. I usually stop for at least 1/2 hour at lunch time and eat + maybe read a book. I'll come back into my office if I have something I want to watch on channel BT and eat lunch in my office, though rarely work.

If I'm working with my work colleagues, we usually have lunch in a pub/bar and have a couple of beers with it.
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Old 08-07-2010, 12:06 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Location: under your bed
I take lunch break, usually in my truck instead of the breakroom. More sunshine.

Originally Posted by snowy View Post
... When I was working in the public schools as an intern, I got about an hour for lunch. Unlike most other interns, I opted to eat with my supervising teacher in the staff lounge. ...
Since I'm going to be a public school teacher someday, I know I will be taking lunch in staff lounges for years to come. I'm looking forward to it
Ooooh! Did you bring us any pictures?? Come on, we ALL wanna see what that secret "teacher's room" looks like!
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Old 08-07-2010, 05:02 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Location: Greater Boston area
My last job, more often than not I'd run to the break room, eat as fast as I could without choking, and get back out only to find I was further behind than I was 10 minutes prior.
My new job, I'm on the road all day and can stop and eat lunch at a normal pace. If I fall behind schedule because of traffic or a visit takes a lot longer than expected, I'll just eat on the way to my next visit.
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Old 08-08-2010, 12:18 AM   #28 (permalink)
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I do usually take lunch. I like to socialize, or just take time to recharge if no one's around. I don't want to become one of those so driven they don't have time to enjoy the ride.
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