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336 votes
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How to get rid of unwanted coworkers at lunch?

It is rude of people to attach themselves to a lunch party without being invited. Lunch is not work time, and people can spend it how they want. On the other hand you have identified an issue, that ...
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229 votes
Accepted

I just started; should I accept a farewell lunch for a coworker I don't know?

You were invited for a team event and you should go unless you are not available for official or personal reasons during that time. None of the reason can be "I do not know the person". If you do ...
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  • 18.4k
226 votes
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I mistakenly took someone else's lunch; how should I proceed?

I really want to come forward and say something among the lines of "I'm really sorry, I meant no ill intention, it was all a mistake and I can even offer to pay back the caterer's fee if you want."...
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191 votes
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Having lunch at home

Let's look at this from a different angle. The laws of the land would classify this time away from your desk as not only lunch, but a lunch BREAK. And a break, by definition, means a separation of ...
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  • 35.8k
146 votes

How to politely avoid eating with a colleague

The next time he messages you, go a little meta. No thank you. I am not going to agree to go to lunch just you and me. I would like you to stop inviting me for that. No more. Don't say why. Don't ...
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133 votes
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Lunch with the CEO

Since you say that you won this one-on-one lunch with the CEO as some sort of prize, I wouldn't go in expecting to spend the whole time talking business. With 1500 people in the company, the CEO would ...
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  • 2,493
119 votes

Would it be unprofessional not to eat during a team lunch?

So my question here is: "Would it be unprofessional to go to a team lunch and not eat anything." I wouldn't specifically label it "unprofessional", but some might. But it would likely be considered ...
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113 votes

Boss wants to use my lunchtime for work

There are two issues here I think. First issue is lunch itself. Put it on your boss. When they send you the meeting request, simply ask: This is clashing with my lunch. Do you want me to break for ...
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  • 18.4k
109 votes

Does my boss have any say on when my team should take their lunch breaks?

What problem is this trying to solve? Reception of this policy will entirely depend on whether the team perceives a problem with current state -- or not. A boss ramrodding this for no reason? It ...
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  • 110k
105 votes
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How to politely avoid eating with a colleague

My question, how can I effectively avoid eating with him in a restaurant and not make him turn to be an enemy? This is going to be a challenge. My suggestion to you is to let him know that you ...
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  • 84.1k
96 votes

How to get rid of unwanted coworkers at lunch?

For at least a few lunches, pick a restaurant that is busy but takes lunch reservations. Reserve, in advance, a table for just the number in your group. "I'm sorry, we only have a table for 6 people."...
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84 votes

Team lunch - I have food preferences the venue can't accommodate

To take it one step further, don't just check the menu: call the restaurant and tell them what party you will be coming with (company lunch from X Inc and the date) and ask if they have or can make ...
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  • 1,596
80 votes
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What are reasonable dietary preferences to expect employers to accommodate?

It is perfectly acceptable to ask your employer if they could include vegetables in the finger food. There are plenty of options, like snack tomatoes, mini carrots, party cucumbers, pickles, slices of ...
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  • 717
76 votes

Should I tell my boss a coworker stiffed the waiters on a team lunch we all paid for

If I am at a lunch, and everybody contributes money to the bill under the assumption that there is a tip, and the person handing over the money is not handing over a tip, then this is not just "...
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  • 156k
75 votes

Having lunch at home

How can I deal with such situation ? In general there isn't anything wrong with what you are doing. I also eat lunch at my desk or at home for health and cost reasons. Do not lie about your ...
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  • 84.1k
75 votes

How can I influence a manager to not schedule team meetings during lunch?

While probably not what you want to hear, when one has a unique aversive objection to something that is a widespread social norm within an industry and cannot realistically be argued to be harmful, ...
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63 votes

I just started; should I accept a farewell lunch for a coworker I don't know?

Absolutely. While there's one person going to this lunch who isn't going to be around very long, there are going to be a lot of other people who are going to be important to know and work with in ...
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  • 1,867
56 votes

Lunch with the CEO

As this is a prize won, I doubt the CEO will be interrested in a deep analysis of the company. It will be a light conversation, small talk. Most likely about the non-workplace side of you. If the CEO ...
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  • 845
54 votes

How to get rid of unwanted coworkers at lunch?

The problem: For some reason, there are people joining us without being invited. That really isn't the problem. The problem is that you are trying to have a clique in a bigger sphere of people - a ...
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51 votes
Accepted

Is it common practice for a school to force its staff to use school canteen?

I was wondering if it is a common practice for schools (or institutions) to force their staff to use canteen? No, it’s not common, and it’s probably not legal for them to do so, but I am not ...
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  • 84.1k
46 votes

Boss wants to use my lunchtime for work

Unless you actually have a set lunch time, just take your lunch at a different time. Where I work, most of my colleague are in a different time zone (1hr difference). I often spend my normal lunch ...
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  • 14.9k
42 votes

Should I tell my boss a coworker stiffed the waiters on a team lunch we all paid for

This has nothing to do with your manager. If you are the only employee that noticed this then you may want to just leave it alone. If you are all talking about it then the sensible thing to do would ...
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  • 22k
37 votes

How to get rid of unwanted coworkers at lunch?

I know how you feel. You want a small group for lunch. It is easier to coordinate, it is easier to talk, it is easier to find a table, it is more efficient. My experience when getting a group ...
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36 votes

What happens if I poison a co-worker who has been stealing my food?

There is zero chance of any sane person answering that this is a good idea or even a reasonable thing to do. So I'm going to give a resolution to what I think is the core issue. Your stuff is being ...
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  • 202k
36 votes

I just started; should I accept a farewell lunch for a coworker I don't know?

Free food. End of story. Also, a chance to meet the rest of the team in an informal setting.
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  • 16.8k
35 votes

Does my boss have any say on when my team should take their lunch breaks?

Unless specifically stated otherwise in the individual employment contracts, this is fair game for change. I don't think the effect on morale should be oversimplified. Being able to consistently ...
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  • 33.9k
35 votes

How to arrange candidate lunch break during interviews?

You could take them out or bring food in, whichever works best for your setup. But whatever you choose to do, let them know ahead of time, and ask if they have any food preferences or allergies. ...
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34 votes
Accepted

How can I drop a polite hint to a coworker to stop pestering me with daily questions about my lunch?

The behavior you are describing is called "Phatic" talk, and it performs an important social function. Phatic talk is the reason people greet each other in hallways, and ask coworkers things like, "...
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34 votes

Left out of team Lunch; how to handle this professionally?

You may not be being petty Are you a manager? If you are, you have a problem. You did not say whether or not you were a manager, but if you are and you were not invited to this, then you are clearly ...
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32 votes

Would it be unprofessional not to eat during a team lunch?

I don't think it would be particularly problematic. It's certainly not unprofessional. You'd very likely be asked a few questions about it, but if you're not worried about that and have a good ...
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  • 15.4k

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