As previously mentioned, I am a girl who likes her food. So you would think I would relish my lunch hour. And I would,


I have a lunch *half* hour. What heartless bastard came up with a half hour lunch for people who work? There’s no way you can eat anything even approximating a healthy meal in that time. Believe me, I’ve tried. For awhile, I was having a grilled chicken breast, half a baked potato, and a spinach salad for lunch. Yummy *and* nutritious. But even with cooking the chicken and potato at home the night before, I’d still have to reheat it for about 2 1/2 minutes at lunch. And then I’d have to assemble my salad; spinach, Parmesan cheese, croutons, and bacon bits. I’d do this while the microwave was going, then grab my chicken and potato. I’d butter, salt and pepper the potato, then I’d start eating. So it was about 5 minutes all told to make my lunch. That should leave 25 minutes to eat my lunch, right? WRONG! It leaves me 10 minutes to eat lunch.

“How do you figger that?” you might scoff. “Thirty minus five is twenty-five, you dummy!” While I will admit that two College Algebra professors and an Astronomy professor have scoffed similarly at my mathematical prowess, I’m not *that* hopeless. I’m not the one saying “figger”, you yokel. Anyway, I figure this because eating is not the only thing I have to try and cram into 30 minutes. My bosses expect us to stuff any and all personal matters into our lunch break, including going to the restroom. Management severely frowns on excessive restroom use. So at lunch, I am forced to shovel my food into my face as if the fate of all my loved ones depended on my haste, in order to sprint from the break room to the women’s restroom in the hopes of snagging one of the four stalls the building has for over 100 women. So each day, I have to calculate not only how long my bodily functions will last, but also how many other women I will have to vie with over a toilet stall. And then once inside the stall, there is usually some sort of “souvenir” left by the previous occupant, which makes me have to decontaminate the seat with hand sanitizer I have for just such a purpose. So after I’m finished with the restroom, If I’m lucky, I’ll have about 5 minutes left of my lunch so I can just sit quietly at my desk and mentally prepare myself to face the rest of the day. And even then, I usually spend those last precious and few moments deflecting “Hey Finch” requests that I clock back in early so that I can answer just this one simple, quick little question for them.

As you can see, my lunch half hour leave precious little time for actual eating. Nutritious food takes too long to prepare, so I’m usually stuck with a microwave cheeseburger and chips. Or I can venture to one of the fast food places that are within a 5 minute drive form my work and get some of their delectable fare to wolf down in the car on the way back to the office. It’s just utterly ridiculous to expect a grown person to cram an hour’s worth of activity into half the time. If I had an hour for lunch, I could eat at a leisurely pace, use the restroom at a leisurely pace, and maybe even have time for a short, leisurely nap.

If I were running my own business, I would make sure that any worker who wanted an hour lunch would have one. Even if I were to become an evil overlord, my minions and thugs and other assorted staff would have at least an hour for lunch. I’d be evil, not heartless. Plus, happy minions are obedient and loyal minions, I always say. I, on the other hand, would have lunch whenever the hell I wanted, for however the hell long I wanted, because that would be my prerogative as the supreme ruler of all I survey. Alas, all I can do is fantasize about this. I’ll probably be stuck in this job until I die, or go insane, or do both at once. And on my grave, they will inscribe the following: “Here lies Finch Terwilliker. You should have given her a damn hour for lunch, you bastards.”

And then the company will feel really bad and maybe institute longer lunches in my honor out of guilt. Or else I’ll be replaced by another sad sack and nothing will ever change. I’m betting on the latter.