You’re in your cubicle. It’s noon (okay…11:30) and you’re already thinking about lunch. How early is too early to eat? What happens if I give into the Hunger Gods before noon? Did Tom in accounting steal my yogurt from the work fridge again? Do I even care?
When the lunch hour strikes, you’ll probably run into the following people. You might even be one of them yourself.
1. Cool Sandwich Guy
Fresh out of the doors of Taylor Gourmet (or wherever the reigning sandwich spot is in your city) and heading back to the office, sub-in-hand, this guy exudes coolness — maybe it’s the sunglasses and crisp button down, maybe it’s the wind blowing through his hair, or maybe it’s the fact that his sandwich contains Italian meats you can’t pronounce and vegetables beyond lettuce and tomatoes. Try not to trip when you do a double take, and take solace in the fact that most of us will never look this cool on our lunch break.
2. Retired Cool Sandwich Guy
We can’t all stay cool forever, as evidenced by Retired Cool Sandwich Guy. He’s settled down with a spouse and kids, and in the interest of budgeting, he’s replaced his gourmet sub with a homemade turkey or tuna sandwich (if it’s the latter, hopefully he’ll quarantine himself in his office to keep the entire floor from smelling fishy). Don’t pity him, though — he manages the optimal balance of nutrition, budget, and speed from his years of experience. Respect.
3. Fancy Salad Duo
Often a pair of work BFFs, listen for their call as feeding time approaches: “Chop’t or Sweetgreen?” At least one of them goes to SoulCycle regularly, and both of them have very strong feelings about kale. If you join them, your salad game needs to be on point — if your ingredients aren’t organic and local, what are you even doing here?
4. Lean Cuisiners
The Retired Cool Sandwich Guy’s counterpart, Lean Cuisiners have been in the game too long to put effort into their lunches anymore… but they still want to watch their figure. The logical solution, of course, is a portion of Five-Cheese-Rigatoni that will barely fill the stomach of a 5 year old…but at least it’s less than 400 calories!
5. Iron Chef
Scenario: you enter your office kitchen and instead of an empty countertop and a Keurig, it seems you’ve walked onto the set of Chopped. Iron Chef is at work again. While she clearly has the most enviable lunch in the office, you’re also annoyed that she’s taking up two-thirds of the counter to chop vegetables, because now you don’t have any space to stir your Lean Cuisine.
6. Benjamin Button
Benjamin Button’s quantity of child-appropriate snacks increases with his age. It’s all fun, games, and Dunkaroos until his kid finds out dad’s been stealing his lunch all week. Ben Jr. can’t master the elementary school bartering system with dad’s egg salad sandwich. Gross.
A true Darwinian, this character has a sixth sense for when there’s extra food in the office kitchen, and will always be the first one there. Befriend this colleague for VIP access to all of the best leftovers, but proceed with caution — he’ll always choose the last leftover sandwich over you.
8. #TheStruggleIsReal Colleague
It’s been a difficult week, and he or she is the one coping by eating McDonald’s or ordering Dominos directly to the office. Once in a while? It’s okay buddy, some days are harder than others. Every day for a week? Cancel your afternoon meetings — it’s intervention time.
9. Food Truck Guy
He’s the Yelp of food trucks and will talk you into walking ten blocks for Korean tacos. Next thing you know, you’re in a 15 minute line, sweating, overpaying for lunch, and talking about kimchi for longer than you thought was possible.
10. Juice Cleanser
Hey, you know what’s better than a hearty lunch? Cold-pressed juice! …said no one ever. Juice Cleanser will rave about antioxidants and how she feels so much better after drinking blended spinach. Keep a granola bar at your desk for when Juicer comes to you lightheaded, realizing she’s been lying to herself the whole time.
11. Chipotle Fiend
In the burrito hierarchy, this character has very strong feeling about which restaurant sits at the top. He gets the same order every time, and don’t even think about suggesting steak over barbacoa. Be careful bringing up the fact that guac is extra — it’s a sensitive subject for him.