For me that five minutes in the day when I get to leave my desk and grab a sandwich is my opportunity to reflect on my day so far and what tasks I am going to attempt in the afternoon. It is my prize for getting through the morning and it is an opportunity to not think. Something women in my experience don’t appreciate, the not thinking part, but something my fellow man will appreciate. The opportunity it think about nothing. I maybe only manage a few minutes before someone asks how my day is going, or what I think on this or that, but for a brief few moments I am alone with my sandwich and my thoughts, or lack of them if you will.
So why would I want to break this cycle and have a ‘working lunch’ instead? You know the type where a supplier wants to be friendly and make a boring meeting less boring and more informal. Or make up for their lack of content for a meeting. For me my lunchtime, all 20 mins I can manage on a good day, is my time and an opportunity to not do business or make small talk. It is why I don’t like taking customers for lunch for the same reason. I don’t want to come between them and their relaxation time while I hark on about data networks.
If we were in Spain we would have lunch and then a sleep. Fine because you can’t have a meeting while sleeping, but as I wouldn’t be too popular grabbing forty winks at my desk (it has happened but usually drink fuelled) I don’t think lunch meetings work. Far better in my mind to focus on after work drinks or meal instead.
That way you don’t have to think about going back to work. You don’t have to worry if you can have a drink with your lunch. Personally I find it much more enjoyable and ideally after the formal meeting has taken place before. That way if the person is boring you can always make your excuses and leave early without any guilt… a probable necessity if you have a young family and promised to be home on time.
And in the world of anti-bribery acts and reducing expense accounts a beer is far cheaper than a good lunch.