Strategic Power Lunch

Although I’d sworn off fast-food lunches last month after realizing that I’d spent over 40% of my weekly income on “extra guacamole,” today I decided to violate my midday meal policy with several co-workers at the nearest Baja Buds. I needed the camaraderie–the inevitable, universal co-worker mumblings and gripes about upper management’s staggering incompetency, in and out of bed. Without variation, a lunch session with co-slaves consists of three separate Acts:

Simultaneous, furious scooping of fried nourishment from the serving utensil to the mouth with the speed of starved cattle let go at the trough. No talking. This is the climax of the meal.

Bodies slouched at 45 degree angles, looks of sudden relief and terror (how many hours til we eat again?), dust settling over the maimed carcasses of Special Value Super-sized foul. A few mumbles, most resembling indigestion. Everyone looks at everyone else as if to say, “I’m sleepy, too. Let’s snuggle.”

After realizing that we’ve managed to burn only 14 minutes of the lunch hour, we succumb to that intoxicatingly familiar urge to trash talk our superiors. Nothing and no one is sacred, especially those who litter their “plates” with “high-level” “deliverables” that clog the “bandwidth” in their “pipelines.” Much burping occurs, by me.

Today, unfortunately, we veered from our script and spent the entire third act dissecting This Past Week’s Events. I say unfortunately only because That One Co-worker Who Manages To Say Something Stupid Every Time He Opens His Mouth was sitting directly beside me.

“Did you know, ” he began, “that the attacks last week were strategic?”

“Excuse me?”

“You can tell,” he continued, “because they targeted the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, two symbols of the American economy and government.”

“Did you just say that outloud?”

“Well, it’s true!” he said as if no one at the table could believe it. “It had to be strategic.”

This is the same person who once said, while standing in line to buy an avocado-turkey sub at Togo’s, “Have you noticed that a lot of people in the internet industry have been losing their jobs lately? I’m not completely sure, but think it has something to do with the stock market.”