Much to my coworkers’ dismay (and my officemate’s disgust), I spend far too many lunch hours at my desk. It started a few years back and has become a habit that I cannot seem to break. For most of my career, I have been exposed to fresh air for an average of five minutes a day, when I run out to grab lunch before scurrying back to the office. I could literally blow an entire meal out from underneath the keyboard of my laptop. I’m not proud to admit this.
On a recent Friday afternoon, an exciting thing happened. One of our interns was accepting her full-time offer and wanted to meet me for lunch to hand over her signed offer letter. As a recruiter and a person, how could I refuse? The lunch quickly turned into a bigger social event when other consultants in the office came along.
We decided on a location – The Berghoff, which the group assured me was a favorite amongst employees in the Chicago office – and walked out into the blaring day. (For more information on top Chicago lunch spots, see the informative Lunch Evaluator above, which was created by impassioned foodies in our Security practice).
My eyes teared from the unfamiliar bright light of the noon hour. As we walked further from the office, I resisted the urge to head back, but persevered in an attempt to “act cool.” I knew I was officially out of my comfort zone when I stood at the cashier and uttered the words “For Here.”
While I can’t say the experience broke my habit completely, it brought home the value of taking a break, as well as the importance of getting to know people outside of their work selves. And though I may, on occasion, revert to my “To Go” routine, I am more aware of the time that I spend away from my desk, the sunshine on my face, and the hustle and bustle of a weekday in the Loop.