The advent of the credit crunch has resulted in a culinary evolution that no one expected. This trend – called ‘eating al-desko’ – is the sure-fire way of showing your boss that you mean business. Who needs fresh air, when most modern offices have recycled air, which at some point may have come from ‘outside’. This air quality is added to with the pungent aromas of last night’s pasta bake, a variety of soups, and that guy in the corner who insists on eating fish at work.
The other added bonus of eating al-desko is that you get to do online shopping, and if you are eating whilst doing it, it makes you look busy and therefore a credible employee. Lunch times used to be for social interaction – now with al-desko eating, you can avoid spending time with the people you are forced to work with!
Reportedly, people save money by eating al-desko, but like most modern crazes, this has become competitive too. Long gone are the days of a ham sandwich and a banana for lunch – lately you will be seeing roasted vegetable and quinoa salad, deconstructed beef wellington with baby vegetables or a king prawn and rocket salad with a light citrus dressing. As the smells of food waft around the office, jealousy and resentment rise, giving way to additional gossip and moaning and resulting in militant factions of food police who tut and complain if your food is too interesting or you spend too long at the microwave. Patronising smiles are rife at anyone that brings a simple sandwich, and soups made in cups are shunned in favour of fresh farmhouse-style soups.
The DOs and DON’Ts of office eating:
- Don’t eat anything too smelly – you may enjoy your food, but others might not. Or they really like it, and get miserable because their lunch is depressing.
- Clear away your mess – dirty dishes in the sink are just annoying. And wipe out the microwave.
- Avoid garlicky foods – no one wants to smell your lunch in your next meeting.
- Don’t defrost it at work – bringing a frozen lunch that hogs the microwave is just rude.
Our advice –don’t get left behind. Have cheffy lunches and buy ingredients that you will never use again in an attempt to become socially accepted. Make a big thing about producing your lunch from its beautiful carry case.
Alternatively, you could go out, get fresh air, and make friends and useful connections in the company. It’s your choice!