Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Hunger coordination

I think our office lunch situation very well illustrates some differences between Denmark and Ukraine. In my Danish office we always eat at 12 o'clock precisely. Everybody knows that that is the time we eat and so everybody will be hungry at that time. This is different in Ukraine because every day we have to negotiate about when to go eating. Every day everybody arrives at the office at different times and so every day everybody will be hungry at different times. Sometimes we will go eating at 2 o'clock, sometimes half past 12. But every day the timing will be wrong for some of us. And on average I think each person must waste about half an hour every day because he is too hungry to think about anything but food. And then we also waste some time because we have to negotiate and interrupt each others' work to talk about when to go eating. And then someone will say 'let's go eating in 10 minutes' and you decide that this is too little time to start a new task, but then actually 10 minutes often turn into 45.

Even though my team often go out to eat it is actually possible to get lunch at the office. Every day, also at different times, a company will bring us some food that we can have cheap and eat by our computers. Usually there was a guy called Max who brought us some pretty OK stuff, but our office manager wasn't quite pleased with the service, he sent us a mail where he wrote the following.

"We will change our lunches provider in the nearest time. The reason is obvious J Quality of food. And the main thing that I can not accept is when Lunches provider react on the claims as thou as he is making great favour to us. Explanation that making something other “ will bother me” also is not acceptable."

Then for the last few weeks we had been trying out some different other providers and now someone decided that we all should settle with the provider which was absolutely the worst. Now there are not a lot of people eating lunch at the office anymore.

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