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I had to post this slashdot article here:
The Importance of Lunch - Slashdot

Summary: the the CEO of a software company believes it's VERY important to eat lunch with your coworkers. His company cafeteria is arranged in long tables, the food is free, new people are required to join the group for lunch, he mentions in his blog that when he visits other cafeterias and sees people eating alone reading books it's "sad".

Now, I've always tested introvert but in my world of engineering I'm sort of the social butterfly of the group, my coworkers set the bar low! I really like eating lunch with coworkers. I agree with the author... when everyone eats alone, it says something negative about the group, it's not as fun a place to work. But other people on slashdot commented saying he just doesn't relate to introverts.

What do you think?
 

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Cafe Legend and MOTM Jan 2011
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I think sometimes it is nice to eat alone, and sometimes it is nice to eat with other people. It should be up to the individuals. Eating alone isn't always a sad thing. There are plenty of reasons a person might want to sit by himself, besides being uninterested in his coworkers. For instance, he might have something important he needs to concentrate on that he is thinking about while eating, or he might need time to recharge after having been around people all day. He might feel anxious when he is constantly surrounded by the noise of conversation. The person who considers it sad is probably stuck in a single perspective, incapable of imagining all of the possible positive reasons for it.
 
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My colleagues can't leave me alone. They always ask me to have lunch with them.

Even when I told them that I already had lunch, they still want me to join them in the canteen or just accompanied them in the dining room.

Like today, a colleague asked me to have lunch with her. I said I already had lunch, and she insisted that I should accompanying her on her (late) lunch. She even bought me a lunch too.
 

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If I owned a company, I'd interact with my employees all the time. Sometimes people at the top forget who they're working with, and that ruins morale. Plus I like eating with people, so that's a win-win.
 

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I like eating with other people for the most part, but I'm not sure I'd like it to be a rule you have to follow. I also like being in groups of people but not forced to talk - watching interactions and putting in an occasional word work best for me so it would depend on the level of interaction expected. Maybe if it was set up to encourage but not force people to be together it would be okay.
 
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When interacting with people 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, eating lunch alone is the only down time, and the only "me" time. I welcomed it as a respite from the chaos.
 

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Am I the only one really annoyed by the article? :dry:

The whole thing makes it sound like if you don't want to be sociable, you're defective and should be an object of pity. At the end, it mentions how it's regrettable how people prefer to spend time with those they know rather than build up a ton of acquaintances. In other words, it's written by an hyper-extroverted boss who can't understand the need to be alone for an hour.

The idea of encouraging co-workers to develop relationships is good and it's a nice attempt to draw the truly-shy out of their shells. But to force a "social hour" is more than a little overbearing.

I'd be trying to find a private area within the first week...
 

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Eating together is a critical part of what it means to be human and what it means to have a humane workplace, and that's been a part of our values from day one.'"
That someone could think this is probably the most interesting thing in the article.
 

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Lunch with co-workers is probably one of the best phenomenons of introverts turn extroverts. Most of your co-workers are probably quiet people and hard workers. But when you meet them at the table for lunch you have no excuse for small talk about talk about awesomeness of the current project being worked on. I know many introverts at my internship that when we gather around for osme lunch we talk alot about how work is, how the projects going, some funny descrepancies or totally make fun of each other in soft and warm hearted humours ways. I know this because intern with a Structural Engineering / Fire Prevention Engineering company where everyone is making fun of everyone each other, laugh at architects and consturction companys. Then everyone gets back to work and gets all serious face but when co-workers approch other co-workers then they turn on there friendly faces.
 

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Yep there's nothing like forcing people to be sociable to ruin morale, aptmosphere and employee relations. It alway grinds my grits when employers start talking about values; as if a person can just cast off everything they are and become a happy clone just because they think it'd be "unifying". Yeah, that's a real people person thing to do. I keep business and social seperate. Lunchtime, I leave and find my place among other local escapees. We don't work together and never will, don't talk about sport or politics and don't fake that we are all the greatest of mates.
 

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There are 9 of us therapists in my department. We all go to lunch and leave lunch at about the same time. I am the most introverted so I read my book while they all pretty much chat. They all accept me as I am. They don't find it sad at all, they just know that's me.
 

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It would piss me off if someone tried to force me to eat lunch with them. Isn't it a lunch "break," meaning you get away from the office for a while? I definitely think this should be a choice.
 

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I would be very annoyed if I had to eat lunch with certain people.
 

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The whole thing makes it sound like if you don't want to be sociable, you're defective and should be an object of pity. ...it's written by an hyper-extroverted boss who can't understand the need to be alone for an hour.
It struck me this way as well. People can have all sorts of very valid reasons for needing some nonsocial time during the work day, which should in no way be seen as "sad".

I am strongly extroverted and would thorougly enjoy being social at lunch time. However, it gets me so jazzed up that the lunch break might as well not even have happened - I end up more tired in the afternoon than ever.

Given the option of lunch company, I will always embrace it. However, it is not a death knell to find myself alone, with a novel for company. Besides, given my home life, that lunch hour might be the ONLY chance I get to even open a book, let alone read more than a paragraph of it.
 
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