Sunday, February 27, 2011

Jamie Talks About Bookishness In The Workplace

On Friday, during my lunch break, I did an impromptu lunch time Twitter poll asking people if, at work, they went out for lunch or ate in. The overwhelming response was that they packed their lunch and ate in the office. One or two said they did both and one person said they ate out most of the time.

My reasoning for asking this was because I'm feeling a little bit of an outcast at my new job. I have an hour lunch break and I choose to eat at my desk and then use the time to read or blog. Pretty much everyone in my office leaves during lunch and goes out in groups to go eat. Don't get me wrong, I love being social, but I really just like to relax during my lunch break and use that time to catch up on reading or blogging. And let's be honest..I'm far too broke to eat out every day. I'm not even joking when I say they all eat out EVERY DAY.

And then I ask my question to my bookish friends on Twitter and they mostly ALL said that they like to stay in for lunch so that they can read or blog...and suddenly I didn't feel so crazy. I just genuinely like sitting in there and reading...it relaxes me and is something I enjoy....and I feel like I'm being productive. I'm not trying to be anti-social...I'm really quite a social person that loves to talk..but I have to deal with people all day at work so I want time to myself. And I can't wait until it gets nice..there is a park across the street and I WILL be going there with a blanket to read...maybe people won't think I'm so weird.

So what I want to know..what is your preference the majority of the time? Do you like to sit in at lunch and read/blog? Or do you go out for lunch? And do you feel like an outcast at work because you'd rather sit there with your nose in a book? Do you have other people that share your bookishness at your workplace? Or are you known as "that girl/guy who reads"?

37 comments :

  1. I'm exactly like you -- alone and reading. I like the quiet time, and I'm forever trying to catch up by a few pages.

    I feel a bit out-of-place, but it's not too bad. I work at the tutoring center at my university (as an English tutor) so it's pretty much understood I like books. :-)

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  2. Yep me too. Except we just have a little staff room (i'm a shopgirl!) so I actually have to actively ignore anyone who comes in! I've never understood why it is that people persist in talking to you when its obvious you're reading

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  3. I'm a teacher so I generally work through my lunch break so I don't have to stay very late after the children leave. I usually eat in about 15 mins and then spend the remaining 45 working.

    Before becoming a teacher I read every lunch break though.

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  4. My only work outside of a school setting has been in factories, so "going to lunch" isn't exactly practical. (30 minutes or so is all we were allowed.) I always had a book in my lunchbag, though!

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  5. I read on my lunch break, although no one thinks it is weird because I work at a bookshop. Out of all the staff though I am the only one who generally eats there lunch in the back room at work everyone else goes out for lunch.

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  6. I don't get lunch at my current job (it's a school and we work in two shifts, no meal breaks), but at my old one i would always spend lunch break either reading or walking. i need the mental break too; the last thing i want to do in the middle of an eight-hour workday is go out to eat with co-workers i'm not particularly close with. but it's also, like you say, that eating out is so EXPENSIVE. i could never understand how anyone can bear spending $50+ a week on lunches alone.

    -- ellen

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  7. I usually eat lunch at work and either work through lunch or do my own thing. I think some of this would depend on the job though. At my last job, if I stayed in for lunch I would not get a break - phone calls would come in, people would stop by for impromptu visits/meetings, co-workers would have questions, - it just never really felt like a break unless I left the building.

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  8. Well, I'm a librarian, so I guess I've always been know as the girl who reads. I also only have 1/2 hour to eat - at school. I used to buy school lunches, but for health reasons (yes, our school lunches are loaded with fat, and not much flavor...) I made a commitment to start packing a lunch. Once in a while I'll go eat in the "lounge" with others, but most of the time I just sit in my back room and read while I eat. No one leaves for lunch. I do go out on those lovely institute days we have, though ...

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  9. I was definitely known as "that girl who reads"... not only would I prefer to sit at my desk and read at lunch, but I would request a day off just for a big book sale :-)

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  10. I'm like you, I MUCH prefer sitting in my office and reading/doing something by myself. I don't find it relaxing to go out with a group for lunch.

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  11. My job has me sitting at a computer all day so I'm usually able to squeeze some blogging in sporadically throughout the day. Maybe because of that I split my lunch time 1/2 and 1/2 between eating at my desk or eating with people

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  12. Since our school has 28 minutes for lunch, no one really leaves (besides the students). I try and mix up what I do. Since I am new and a temporary teacher, I have tried to make some kind of connection with the other teachers in my department in the lounge. I struggle a little with that though, because they talk about things that have nothing to do with me at times. A couple times a week, I hide in my room and read. Sometimes I just need the break from my students and the pressure, so reading a few pages at my desk helps me recharge.

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  13. I bring a Lean Cuisine and read my book in the little but noisy break room. I do try to spend a few lunches socializing but I am also working a very "social" job and do prefer my downtime at lunch.

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  14. I was both "the girl who reads" and the girl who ended up going out to eat every day. At the place I worked, if I tried to read on my lunch break, people would start the "What are you reading? What's it about? Why do you read all the time? Don't you like being sociable?" and it got seriously annoying. "Oh, you're one of those smarty types." Ugh. So eventually, I ended up going out to eat every day with one certain person just to get away from all of the annoying people I had to deal with all day long.

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  15. I prefer to read/blog during lunch too so I just stay in my classroom and do that very thing. If I do go out, I rather take a book and read at the restaurant.

    Shmoozing is important too for goodwill (teachers can be petty) so I hang out in the office and other teacher hotspots off and on throughout the day for a quick gab.


    Lunches are expensive! If co-workers think you are anti-social , that is a good excuse to offer. Also, the diet excuse is good. Then, go out to eat with them once or twice a month for goodwill-- it'll be like a party day!

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  16. At the moment, I don't work. When I did work, I always took a lunch. The cost of eating out every day is waaayyy to expensive.

    My hubby works of course and he takes his lunch to work everyday to save money and also he isn't allowed to leave work while he's on the clock anyway.

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  17. When I first started my job, I'd eat alone and read. Now, if I am in the office (aka not traveling) I eat at my desk and read some blogs or occasionally if I want to be sociable I move to the table around some of my co-workers desks. The 20 something males that work in my office eat out every day. Ridiculous! So expensive ... and probably not too healthy either.

    I'm lucky though that I like my coworkers and if the claimed me as the girl who reads I'd be fine with it and probably zing them with some fun quips of my own.

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  18. I usually bring my lunch to work but at least once a week I get takeout/delivery. I'm not allowed to leave the building so I couldn't go to a restaurant even if I wanted to. I always have a book with me but it's rare that I get to read at work because even on my break I still get interrupted.

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  19. I bring my lunch pretty much every day - I eat and read at my desk pretty much every day! :) You are not alone!

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  20. Right now I only work in the morning, but when I did work all day long, without fail, I would curl up with a book and a sack lunch.

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  21. As I told you on twitter, I usually bring my lunch to work every day. I only have 30 mins anyway, so if I go out & grab lunch it's usually rushed & I hate that.

    I'll forever be known as the girl "who reads at work" lol. My bosses don't care that I crack open a book at my desk when things get slow. They'd prefer me to stay busy doing my own thing, than look bored.

    P.S. I've found myself making healthier choices when I bring my lunch to work, too. Which helps!

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  22. 98% of the time I'm at my desk reading a book. I would blog at work (that would save me so much time in the evening) but Blogger is blocked on my work server so that's out. I am known as that chick who reads but as far as being an "outcast," I don't give a shit. I use my time wisely and I use it to read. I can't read in our dining are because it's too noisy and it would force interaction, something that's a little hard when you're trying to read. So I eat at my desk. Every once in a while I'll go out and grab something but that's rare.

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  23. Well, since I am just 11, I tend to be forced to be "social" during lunch. However I have been known to sneak a book every once in awhile. I also am known to have my nose in a book. It is a little odd to just be reading when everyone is talking, but I don't let it bother me.

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  24. I totally hangout at my desk at lunch.. like you I have an hour an I prefer to read, blog, surf the internet or mess about in my sketch book.. its an hour of piece from the crazyness of the day and a lot of people I work with treat their lunch hour the same way..

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  25. I very rarely bring my lunch to work because I suck at planning ahead. We are actually not allowed to eat at our desks (people do anyways) so I go out and grab food and eat and read in our building's lobby or my work's cafe. I'm like you - I need my time to decompress and just get away from work for a bit.

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  26. Very interesting discussion! I'm another girl who reads! Lunch hour is my quiet time where I just want to be left alone to eat my lunch and read. I'm constantly running around, going to meetings, or answering questions all day, so I treasure that hour.

    I can't understand how so many of my co-workers can afford to eat out every single day! I bring my lunch 99% of the time. I have noticed that more of the younger staff eat out every day, while those of us slightly older tend to brown bag it.

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  27. For me it depends on how long I have to eat. When teaching, I only get half an hour, so I of course eat there and I don't even have much time for more than eating. However, if I had the time to choose between packing and eating out, I'd definitely be at my desk with a book and my packed lunch :)

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  28. I take my lunch to work every day. The school food seems to be mostly starches so I bring a salad etc. We only have half an hour for lunch so I sit with others and visit. We do talk about books a lot though, keep up with what each one is reading.

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  29. I generally don't read during lunch, but sometimes during my school lunch break I go to the library and read..

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  30. I read all the time at lunch. There are two lunch "groups" at my office. The first group is chatty and loud, which is great for them. The second group, we chat for a bit, then we all read. We started calling ourselves a book club, though we're all reading different books. We talk about what we're reading, ask each other opinions on books and often follow each other's book recommendations. I definitely don't think you're odd, it's just a personality thing.

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  31. I missed the poll, but I'm the same way, I almost always read at my desk. I've actually been yelled at for it before, but I don't care.

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  32. I work at a publishing company, and EVERYONE I work with packs their lunch and reads during the lunch break. Occasionally a group will go out, but most of the time not so much. :)

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  33. I don't get a lunch break per se during tax season, but the rest of the year, I pack a lunch probably 3-4 times a week and go out the other two. Regardless of if I'm out or in, I'm using my lunch break to read or write. I never go out with anyone else except for work-related dinners...I only work with two other people and we can talk enough at work.

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  34. Well, I'm not working right now, but at my library job we rarely had enough time go out, it was just a half hour lunch. Everyone sat around and read, it was great, sometimes three or four people sitting around quietly reading (lunchtimes were staggered so usually you didn't have even that many in the break room at the same time).

    My daughters are big readers and when they're not at school we sometimes have reading meals -- even if we go out! The rule is that everyone has to have a book and everyone has to agree. We feel this is okay if we're on vacation and together 24/7. And we don't eat in front of the TV that often, either.

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  35. I tend to run errands or go to the gym (where I read while I'm working out) on my lunch break, then eat at my desk. For me, that break in the middle of the day is my way to get out of the office and decompress, and I don't necessarily want to spend it at a restaurant with my coworkers, even if I could afford to...

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  36. I never understood people who eat out everyday or almost everyday either. Not that I don't like eating out, cause lord knows I do, but its costly and who wants to talk the whole breaktime with people you see for 8 or more hours everyday anyways. I've always preferred a quiet spot with my brownbag and book. Its relaxing. If you talk for your job like I do, then having quiet time is necessary.

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