Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

My company does this thing where all of the people in IT go out to get food together in sync, and then bring it back and eat in the conference room like it's a cafeteria and like they're back in school.

I'm the only person who leaves the office during my lunch hour, alone. I get funny looks, and my coworkers sometimes ask me "where have you been?"

It's a weird company culture and I'm not sure how much longer I'll be able to put up with it.




"I get funny looks, and my coworkers sometimes ask me "where have you been?""

You may be over analyzing it. Are you sure its not just small talk, like "where did you go for lunch, was it any good?" Talking about restaurants and food is one of the most popular conversation topics at my office.


> You may be over analyzing it.

I'd say it would depend on the tone and body language in which it was said; the words themselves, "where have you been?", could easily take on multiple meaning depending on inflection and delivery.

It could be small talk, and maybe it might be a cultural difference, but the words alone (without taking inflection, etc into account) sound accusatory to me; if they were really wanting to know where their coworker had gone to lunch, and whether it was any good or whatnot, I would think they would phrase it closer to what you wrote, rather than what the OP has stated.


I know of a startup that does group lunch every day. Even the remote people join (through Hangouts). I found it pleasant... It strengthens the team _and_ forces everyone to take their eyes away from a screen, slow down, and get out of the weeds. They go on a group hike every afternoon for the same reason.

I don't know how long they'll be able to keep it up as they grow, but I thought it was great.


I hate stuff like this. I don't want to be forced to "take my eyes off the screen" when I'm in the middle of fixing something difficult or important. For fuck's sake. Not only is it patronizing and paternalistic, it defeats the whole purpose of coming to work in the first place, which, for me, is to get shit done. I'm perfectly capable of knowing and understanding my own limits, and I have my own techniques to "sharpen the saw," so to speak. I might take a power nap, or a walk or quick jog outside.

As an introvert, being around people socially at work like this drains the hell out of me. Sure, I can put on a happy face for the meeting, but it'll also take me an extra hour or two to recharge afterwards. Which is purely wasted time.

How is it "strengthening the team" when any introvert there is surely wishing they could just do their job without these sorts of social interruptions? These extrovert-centric assumptions drive me crazy, including at my current job.

Just because this sort of social extroversion makes YOU feel more connected, please don't assume that everyone else feels the same way. I feel FAR more connected to the team quietly working on difficult projects without interruption. If I wanted to socialize I'd do it on my own time and in my own way.


Strongly agree with this. I showed this thread to my coworkers and they sneered at the assumption that our lives are to be built around our jobs and the people at them. Don't get me wrong, we really enjoy each other and our jobs, but if our boss decided one day this was the new norm, we'd quit so fast our own necks would break running for the door...


> I showed this thread to my coworkers and they sneered at the assumption that our lives are to be built around our jobs and the people at them.

In your and your coworker's situation, and the parent's situation - this may be the case - but I'd argue that it is the exception for most people and most job situations.

It is one of the driving arguments (stated or not) behind the resistance to the concept of "universal basic income" (UBI) and instead the rallying for "more jobs" (speaking from the perspective of the USA here, I don't really know what the situation is like elsewhere - I have feelings that it varies depending on the culture).

I believe that most people do build their lives around their work, and the people at them. They work with these people for a long part of their weekdays; then they go home usually to a family (children, spouse, pets) and may not have much interaction with other people who are friends (maybe a phone chat occasionally - and perhaps the rare get together). They look at their coworkers as their peer and friend group.

Unfortunately, that also brings all the baggage and strife with it such social situations can lead to. It is likely what fosters and aggravates the petty office politics and group dynamics - perhaps part of what leads to worse situations. This all can seem odd to people who are introverts and don't build their lives around their work environment, but it doesn't seem to be the norm.

That's all my opinion, and I could very well be wrong, its just based on what I have seen and experienced over my decades of employment. For what it's worth, I'm fairly introverted myself, but I also try to understand my coworkers (specifically and in the general sense) and their views on work/life, which is why I have come to these conclusions (right or wrong as the case may be, I suppose).


>> I'd argue that it is the exception for most people and most job situations.

It probably is and I feel fortunate that I found a job that allows me to be what I consider human. I feel like the alternate situations that "force a family" upon an employee to be somewhat cruel, but I'm a fairly anti-social person for what it is worth. Maybe I mean "nonsocial"? I will leave that as an exercise for the reader.

> I believe that most people do build their lives around their work, and the people at them. They work with these people for a long part of their weekdays; then they go home usually to a family (children, spouse, pets) and may not have much interaction with other people who are friends (maybe a phone chat occasionally - and perhaps the rare get together). They look at their coworkers as their peer and friend group.

Oh yeah, the grind! I dropped out of college when I started to sense this was where my life was headed and if my former friend group is any indicator, I dodged the figurative bullet.

> That's all my opinion, and I could very well be wrong, its just based on what I have seen and experienced over my decades of employment.

You're totally right, I just reject it as the end-all-be-all and won't settle for such an outcome. Thanks for your point of view.


I don't know, i would see myself as fairly introverted but i like the team i am working with and having lunch with them together is usually fun. There is no force though, i don't have to do it. Some of my coworkers also became friends, so i hardly see it as "team building" but i guess it benefits the team too. You seem pretty isolated from your team, which probably makes you leave earlier than people who are well connected within the team, so it's clear why Founders encourage this.

I worked remotely for a couple of years and now realized how much more i enjoy work when i have other developers around, otherwise i would lead a pretty lonely live.


>You seem pretty isolated from your team, which probably makes you leave earlier than people

I become obsessed and enthralled with the work itself, sometimes to the point of wanting to work 12-16 hour days to solve deeper problems that are bothersome. Working short days has never been an issue for me. This is exactly what I mean by projection. You would want to leave early if you felt isolated. But I enjoy it and want to stay longer.

>I worked remotely for a couple of years and now realized how much more i enjoy work when i have other developers around, otherwise i would lead a pretty lonely live.

This is not "fairly introverted." What you are describing is a textbook example of "fairly extroverted." You enjoy working around others and begin to feel lonely otherwise. I generally don't, in either case.


By leaving earlier i meant the job as a whole, because on average people that tend to isolate themselves from the team are less invested in the vision of the product and the team, which is why founders usually do these crap events (which i hate too). Not saying this is the case for you, it's just what i've seen in the past.

I am definitely not extroverted, i get nervous before meetings and team building events and they drain a lot of my energy and concentration during the day. It's just when working remotely for years, sometimes i didn't talk to anyone for days and that can get unhealthy after some time. I also just enjoy discussing technical issues with coworkers.

Not saying you are doing it wrong, god forbid. In my early thirties now I definitely would not work 12-16hour days anymore as an employee without being a shareholder though.


>It's just when working remotely for years, sometimes i didn't talk to anyone for days and that can get unhealthy after some time.

Sure, I agree with you there, and I never go days without talking to anyone. I just don't especially need to talk to many people at work. Just read my code, it's all there.

>In my early thirties now I definitely would not work 12-16hour days anymore as an employee without being a shareholder though.

Why? Sitting at home is more boring, I have more influence at work and the changes I roll out have more impact. Plus I tend to learn more on the job, become more crucial at the company, develop more skills, yada yada.


> Why? Sitting at home is more boring

True, but i'd like to spend my freetime on my own projects and am trying to finish a CS degree part time. Combined with my learning at home, i am doing 12hour days, but I wouldn't spend all that time at the company i work for right now. Also my girlfriend wouldn't approve ;)


> "...any introvert there is surely wishing..."

The founder whose idea this was is an introvert, and so are many others on the team, all of whom chose to work there knowing about this.

It's not very useful to give yourself and others a binary label and then use it to assume people's behaviors, desires, habits, etc.


For someone who gets anxiety about judgment from others for what they eat (and what they don't), this would be absolutely horrifying.


The remote people don't get to take their eyes off the screen...


Wat. What kind of an adult doesn't have stuff to do on lunch? I usually do some of these: work out, get my dry cleaning, run home to grab packages, make lunch, take a nap, shower real quick after a work out, go to the dentist, etc. If I was purely locked in to 45 hours a week with my coworkers id be job hunting.


What about adults having shorter hours? Standard work-week in my country is 37.5 hours. If I were so cramped on time that I had to stress to get shit done in the middle of my job-day I'd be job hunting.


Good luck job hunting for a job like that in the US. Here standard vacation is 1-2 weeks per year and getting your 8 hours in between 8am and 5pm is also the norm.

Sadly we don't have the luxury of having such flexible hours and large vacation packages as is standard in foreign countries.


I am a kind of an adult who doesn't have stuff to do on lunch. Not only am I eating lunch, but I plan activities like what you mention to times outside of work. At most I'll add in a visit to the post office. If I have to cash a cheque, that's a Saturday morning.


Wow, that's weird. I need the one hour break from my colleagues as with how our office is laid out it can get pretty busy and noisy and I can't listen to music all day.

Luckily where I work there's a small boating lake that I can walk around just across the road which is incredibly nice to walk around for half an hour every lunch time. It's also lucky that my colleagues all like to go alone for lunch too :D


Is it uncommon in your country to have kitchen areas where you can prepare/heat food and eat it? At work maybe half of the office bring or buy food and eat together. Some make a quick salad. Others eat together at a restaurant or alone.




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: