I prefer to be a lunch loner usually. My poor listening skills are to blame. People who talk slow and who talk problems/free-advices are the least i want to listen to. And most my professional acquaintances fall in either of the categories. I cant stand the test to ‘active-listening’ any more past my school age. I feel i have enough betrayed some of my teachers by nodding my head in assent to their humdrum lessons, though i never listened to a word. My job to make teachers happy was long done as was my job to pretend ‘active-listening’. Since secondary school, i had liberty to choose whom to listen to. This choice grew narrower after i started office-job. I couldn’t whisk away from my manager and fellow elderly peers when they wanted to make conversations with me. I attributed this to their helplessness at home where they couldn’t force their children/spouse to listen to them.Life Sucks! Nodding head in assent without listening is my ingrained art. The heavier i nod, the sooner i mean them to wrap up. This seldom back fires when they blabber more, encouraged by my assent-nod. Life sucks more!!! I never choose friends out of my age. I fear that i might ask them to shut-up, as I do to my real friends when they bore-talk. But what if you are expected to be friends with everybody? Assume your work-peers are like your teachers. Some are lovely and nice, others not any better than growling pigs. Then you would know who to engage with and who to just nod and let go-off.
A happy soul eats alone rather than nodding to a deadhead. Married peers didnt take much time to ruin the eating-together experience by talking about kids,spouses and kids again. The stack of lunch boxes they bring, with roti-curry-dal-yogurt-chips combo, resembles beyond the lunch basket that i used to carry when i was in primary school. The spice aromas of unpacked hot food fills upto 5 meters in radius along with sticking hard to your clothes. The person who gets the most food is poked and laughed upon, despite taking his offered left-overs. Lunching in a group is an art. Don’t be loud, for you will be opined about. Don’t be calm,for you will be picked upon. Go with flow – laugh even if you don’t understand, like everybody does when the manager thinks he cracked a joke.
Lunch groups are of different kinds – the blabbers, the money talkers, the career builders, the pokers and finally the jokers. Getting into the cult of money talkers and career-builders needs homework, for your should offer so as to gain in return. If you have nothing to share, you’ll be forgotten to be invited to the lunch one day.And such one-days grow till you will never know where the group meets now for lunch. However, its free entry to jokers,poker and blabbers as far as you don’t disturb the integrity of the group by proving your new leadership skills.
A meal is supposed to fill ones heart as well,not just stomach. Its important to enjoy the food with a happy company than gulping it talking over life-tension or gossips. A happy heart with a happy stomach can out-rule all other purposes of life.