Photo: A spiced beef Manoush from the Lebanese Sajeria in Amsterdam.
When I started working at ELIA in February 2016, I arrived with a fresh energy, ready to take on my first (second, but WWC somehow doesn’t count) real job. A job where I could stay for at least a year. It felt like a security blanket warm and fuzzy and filled with potentially fun co-workers.
Little did I know that I joined an office environment where everyone ate at their desks, glued to their screen. I came from offices where everyone ate at a communal lunch table, fought over the avocados and shared stories about the latest TV shows they watched. I was psyched to finally have a real connection with my colleagues.
At the first staff meeting I brought up the topic. Two of my colleagues were very supportive of the idea and enthusiastically approved the idea of having lunch together every day. But the others shot me down. It was quite painful. But I tried to keep a smiling face and say it doesn’t matter, we will make the office lunches look so good, they would definitely want to join!
Of course, this did not happen. We had two or three lunches together and then we reverted to having food in front of our screens. I lost my energy to fight. At least we had the smoking breaks.
2017 is a new year, new energy, new colleagues! I am happy to say that it only took one extra person, that one little bit of critical mass to push us over the threshold. Now we have lunch every day together. We even order food and we have Falafel Tuesdays! Sometimes the discussions are forced and there are times where I would prefer having a half hour to myself. But everything beats eating in front of my screen.