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Lunch on the run

The justification of living life during business hours

by The Tattooed Mommie  |  4409 views  |  7 comments  |        Rate this now! 

You know the average business person (woman, in my case) gets the shaft when it comes to life vs. work balance. See, those of us who work the nine-to-five gig are really at a serious disadvantage when it comes to balancing work time and personal time. Yes, I know we choose to put big-fat-corporate-butts in our ergonomic chairs, rolling around in our cube-farms, but a girl’s got to pay the bills somehow!

The average person who works nine-to-five is working the standard business hours, meaning the hours that businesses are open for business. There are no after hours special for other business people, like there are for service-industry workers. You know, like at the local bar where you show up in your bar/restaurant uniform and you get discounts on beers? Wouldn’t it be nice to get to go to the bank at 9 pm and show your little corporate badge and get in to do business while all the other bank-goers look on at your late-night-deposits with envy? Ok, so I’m sure the people who are hanging around outside a bank at 9 pm are probably not the type to be making deposits at any hour, but you get my drift, right?

Somehow, our companies expect us to juggle our own personal business (i.e., paying mortgages, making deposits, shopping for a new purse…) within these hours without, of course, stepping on our companies toes by using company resources to pay our bills, reserve cabins in the Smokey Mountains (Oktoberfest in Helen, GA anyone?) or using the mailroom for receiving E-bay orders. (I seriously never would have gotten busted if the damn seller didn’t ship their “Like New” Ralph Lauren purse that I won for a measly $45, in E-bay designed wrapping paper around the box!)

So, where does that leave us nine-to-fivers?

That leaves us on our lunch break, running around like mad people trying to plunge 18 pounds of “to-do” crap in the toilet of a one-hour lunch break that we are allotted. Seriously, one hour? I can’t even get properly dressed for work in one hour, let alone get most of my daily errands ran. The post office usually takes up 15 minutes of time and that’s just dealing with the counter person and trying to explain to them that, “Yes, I know I’m mailing a book, however, I do not wish to mail it media mail, I wish to mail it first class mail as it is cheaper and usually arrives sooner regardless if you can’t get past the fact that I am mailing media at the non-media rate.” And that’s not even factoring in the wait in line or the drive over there!

How do we find that time to do those small but important tasks without having to rush ourselves through lunch, eating while driving back to the office or having to skip lunch all together (since that’s really bad for your metabolism) without getting fired?

7 comments so far...

  • I love this article!! You are sbsolutely right! I have (3) children, husband, & Fibromyalgia. I struggle daily with things that need to be done. I feel as if there are not enough hours in the day. When I finally colapse somewhere around midnight all I have to look forward to is getting up before sunrise to do it all over again!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by jludysgirl on 6th October 2010

  • Hi Tattooed Mama! You seem to be everywhere!

    I get MORE done in one hour at lunch than most people do in a whole day! Not because I want to, but because I HAVE to. I never gave it much thought before your article, but if I didn't pay my bills online, from my desk at work, I'd be in BIG trouble b/c they'd never get paid!

    Keep the articles coming!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Robyn on 18th January 2008

  • I have a similar problem. When I make appointments for myself or for my kids, I ask for times outside of school hours. It's not that they can't miss school for an hour, it's that I teach, and there is no flexibility in teaching. The bell rings, I'm there.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Daisy on 26th October 2007

  • So insightful--your timing was perfect! This week I had to deal with the septic tank getting pumped, a tree that fell over due to high winds, and new flooring getting installed.
    That on top of the full time job with the high-strung boss, thenanny, the 2 dogs, and the twins!!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by spacegeek on 26th October 2007

  • I loved this, although like JLauren, I'm not much for the "lunch break" either. I tend to try to wiggle my work hours around and leave early or come in late if I have errands that have to get done during the business day. But being able to do so much online now is a godsend - as is the fact that my employer mostly turns a blind eye to it (as long as it's not abused!). But seriously, it seems like in order for everyone to get everything done that we need to do, it almost seems like the whole world needs to move toward non-standard schedules to accommodate it. Like THAT will happen... :-)

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Florinda Pendley Vasquez on 1st October 2007

  • It never even occurred to me not to do that type of thing at work. I always have - it's five minutes here and there, no more distracting than going to the bathroom. If they want me to answer email, answer my cell, finish that brief, etc., on my own time, you better believe I'm doing some personal stuff on "their" time. Errands are a little different, I've never been able to run errands during "lunch", which has usually involved a microwaved thingy at my desk while I go over something. Frankly, I saw your title and said, lunch break? What's that? : )

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by jlauren on 1st October 2007

  • ha! you make me laugh :) i agree, its impossible to live and work and not have the two overlap! i love that all my bills are paid through my bank online - HUGE! but i have actually had this conversation with my boss, and he agrreed, as much as our work runs over into our lives (working from home at night, etc.) then it is perfectly fine to do a few private things while at work - it all works out in the end! but of course, that depends on where you work and your boss - mine just happens to be outstanding!!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Kate on 28th September 2007