99.9% of the time I eat lunch outside of the office. I like getting out of the office, meeting friends, and having a complete break from work. On a few occasions, however, I've gotten take-out and eaten in the break room where some of our staff eats their lunch. In comparison to the coworkers (attorneys) I sometimes eat lunch with, the ladies in the break room can seem like a complaining and gossiping bunch, although I suspect it's one ringleader that stirs them all up. And admittedly, my firm doesn't take human resources very seriously; I see so many ways we could encourage and support employees and have even mentioned several to our firm administrator, but the firm just isn't interested in things like that. It's really too bad.
So one day I joined them in the middle of a conversation about "certain people" (who it seemed like they had named before I joined them) who don't always wash their hands after using the restroom. This conversation seemed like it lasted five minutes. In an attempt to quell their outrage, I suggested that perhaps some people kept anti-bacterial lotions in their desk drawer and simply used that instead of drying out their hands with soap with repeated washings.
Anyway, I saw one of the participants "wash" her hands the other day. The washing included wetting her hands—no soap and 5 seconds of water. I'm not sure what the point was, but in her mind, that makes her superior to the women she was criticizing the other day. I personally don't get wound up about whether or not someone washes their hands, although I admit that I don't understand the point of wetting your hands--but whatever.
So all of this prompted me to think about lunch conversations in general. While I certainly don't mind lunching with coworkers and sometimes enjoy it, we never talk about anything beside ourselves (and our close friends, family, etc.). Granted it's better than when I taught elementary school and the teachers would share graphic details about their babies' bowel movements/eating habits and other stuff that was incredibly boring (not to mention gross). And as you know from my blog, I don't mind talking about myself and I love knowing what is going on with my friends' lives and feeling like I really know someone. But when my friend Charles worked at the firm this summer we'd talk about our faith, religious beliefs, the world, etc., and it was a lovely break from the monotony of just talking about weekend plans, etc.
I guess I would have thought that a bunch of lawyers would at least occasionally talk about politics or world events, but perhaps they all heed the advice my father gave me a long time ago—and that's to not talk about sex, politics, or religion. Needless to say I believe that excludes some of my most favorite discussion topics, and therefore I haven't abided by his recommendation. Anyway all of this made me think of a saying on a plaque in my step-father's old office: "Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people." --Eleanor Roosevelt. I discuss all three, so I'm not sure what that means, but I'm sure I'd be well served to focus more on God and ideas than other people (and what they are or are not discussing in the breakroom!).
p.s. Another side note about Grey's--I'm glad they are adding another hot guy (McSteamy) to the cast.