I know what you had for lunch today. I could smell it ten miles away.
Remember when you were little and your mom packed you a tuna sandwich for lunch? Unless you were a kid crazy about tuna, you most likely were not a happy camper, and neither were your classmates when they had to sit next to your smelly meal. Well, kiddos, I’m sad to say that although you are grown now, you may still be getting side-eyes at lunch with your co-workers. Luckily, you have me to school you on how to avoid a work lunch faux pas.
1. Don’t bring smelly foods.
This is the cardinal rule of lunch at work. Try to avoid smelly food at work! I will give you a pass on a tuna sandwich, because these aren’t nearly as pungent in an office as they are at the lunch table in elementary. There are foods, however, that are best eaten at home or at the restaurant where you ordered it. These include, but are NOT limited to: seafood that is cooked or needs to be reheated, funky cheeses, leftover takeout of questionable quality, etc. If I walk by your desk and gag at the stench of your lunch, I will be an unhappy worker. That’s bad for productivity.
2. Watch your noise level.
When you spend so much time with yourself, it is easy to become used to your own annoying habits. Well, no one else enjoys your annoying habits. If smacking your lips, scraping your plate, or crunching super hard on cookies is one of your habits, kick it now. No one wants to hear a food symphony while you’re eating. And don’t you even think about slurping on that drink. Because when you do, I will hear it, and I will stare into your soul with a ferocity only matched by the devil.
3. Don’t bring a full spread.
You’re hungry, I get it. But do you need to take up 50% of our lunch table for four with your meal? I don’t think so. That means you can save that five course meal for your home. Or save the snacks and eat them at your desk. Rude.
4. Sharing is caring.
If you have something delicious that your co-worker is eyeing, don’t feel obligated to share. I mean, it’s your food! It would be nice, however, to offer a piece if you’re in a good mood. It will keep your karma in check and the next time they bring in cookies, guess who is on her list to share with? You!
As with anything, if you have doubts, just leave it. Don’t be the person eating anchovies and slurp slurp slurping away, or you will not be invited to the next office lunch outing.