Since I’ve started working here, we’ve had free lunches, on average, about once every two weeks. I never, ever partake of the free lunch. “Why?” you ask, knowing of my enjoyment of all things free, especially when said free things are food.
Because I’m paranoid to an unhealthy degree, I see free corporate lunches this way: they don’t pay you what you’re worth, so they give you a “free” lunch (that, technically, would be considered compensation if only we were paid in food, the most delicious currency of all) to keep the worker man fat and happy. It makes you forget about stuff like, for example, not getting paid what you’re worth, or the fact that you have to work until 9 o’clock every month when you close. It also, in many cases, forces people to “work through” lunch. Because when they have food delivered, you really are supposed to sit there and eat it at your cubicle while working.
The first time I experienced this phenomenon was back in the olden days, when I worked in a warehouse. Two or three times a week, when we’d finish loading a truck, we’d be greeted by a catering table loaded with subs or pizza or fried chicken or whatever the hell else they wanted to give us. That way, instead of taking our full hour, we’d stand there yammering while we ate for fifteen minutes, and then we’d go back to work. Of course, at that place we were hourly, so if we worked through lunch we got overtime, and overtime means not only is the lunch free—it’s free plus time and a half.
I would gladly abuse the free lunches there, but not here. It’s a different circumstance, and it reeks of bullshit. The whole idea makes me uncomfortable.