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The Importance of Lunch 475

theodp writes "I've been on teams that eat together every day,' writes Joel-on-Software Spolsky, 'and it's awesome. I've been on teams that don't, and lunch every day is, at best, lonely.' Spolsky is firmly in the camp that believes where and with whom we eat lunch is a much bigger deal than most people care to admit. 'There's a lot of stuff that's accidental about Fog Creek and Stack Exchange,' he concludes, 'but lunch is not one of them. Ten years ago Michael and I set out with the rather ambitious goal of making a great place to work. 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.'"
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The Importance of Lunch

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  • Re:Lunchbreaks (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 29, 2011 @12:56PM (#35976330)

    If there are women in the group...geez, the calculators come out, and they try to figure what everyone had to the penny, and usually the tip is short....

    Does anyone else find this to be the case?

    I can only speak from what my mom has told me but here goes

    Generally, women eat less than men and drink less than as well. She's had some real skivers on her team that would order a big ribeye steak and cognac while she orders a salad and fruit juice. Then when the check arrives, knowing damn well its a 30/70 split, they want to go half. In essence, she feels she is being forced to subsidize her colleague's food.
    And that is when the calculator comes out

  • Re:Lunchbreaks (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anrego ( 830717 ) * on Friday April 29, 2011 @12:59PM (#35976380)

    might not be first on the list for layoffs and low on priority for raises.

    Yup. It shouldn't matter... but it does. When the money runs short... it's a lot easier to let bill, who while not rude, is not exactly friendly go than to let tom, who we were just laughing with at lunch, go. Ted is also at the forefront of your mind when some opportunity comes up as well.

    I guess it really depends on office culture. Where I work, we don't really go out to lunch as a massive team... but most people do kind of have a small group they "hang out with". These little groups in some cases are the team... in other cases spread across teams and departments... and it's not set in stone or official or anything, it just kind of happens that way. People with similar interests kind of "find each other" and you see the same groups going out for coffee breaks and so forth.

    Also, shop talk is generally rare. It happens.. but way short of an unpaid meeting.

    On a personal level, I'd say the whole "I'm here to work, not make friends" attitude has always seemed kind of weird to me. You spend a good chunk of your life at work.. why not make it more fun. I'm not saying you have to hang out with coworkers every weekend .. but mixing personal and work life a little bit has made the day go a lot nicer for me.

  • by IICV ( 652597 ) on Friday April 29, 2011 @01:27PM (#35976792)

    At Fog Creek (Joel's company), I believe they have catered lunches every day. He's not the sort of manager who orders people to have lunch together, he's the sort of manager who provides lunch for everyone who wants it in order to encourage people to have lunch together.

    It's very much a matter of carrots and sticks, which the Slashdot summary doesn't clarify at all.

  • Re:Who's this guy? (Score:5, Informative)

    by wpi97 ( 901954 ) on Friday April 29, 2011 @01:59PM (#35977200)
    Ad hominem much? If you would rather hear from all these other people, you should write them an email. Nobody is forcing you to read Joel's articles, let alone to agree with them. By the way, Joel also runs stackoverflow.com, which is huge.

No extensible language will be universal. -- T. Cheatham