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To eat soup at my desk with a metal spoon and a pottery bowl?

(187 Posts)
LovelyJudy Mon 21-Mar-11 20:44:53

I work part time and often prefer to have a quick lunch break at my desk while doing some personal admin/surfing. I usually have salad but sometimes if i have soup or something that needs heating up I put it in a bowl and eat it with a metal spoon/fork as appropriate.

Today a colleague of mine came over and very politely said that he found it intensely annoying to hear people eating in the office, as it makes him feel as though he's working in a restaurant, so wondered whether it was reasonable to ask me to either use plastic cutlery/dishes, or eat hot food elsewhere.

I don't know - is he over sensitive? I'm inclined to stop doing it, because even if he's irrational i don't want him sitting there feeling annoyed. Also i know it's healthier to get up and go and eat elsewhere. but i don't always have time....

DaphneHeartsFred Mon 21-Mar-11 20:47:13

TBH if you worked near me you'd be wearing the soup. Can you not have a Cup-a-Soup?

AtYourCervix Mon 21-Mar-11 20:47:46

go and eat elswhere - i can't bear the sound of other people eating, i'd have to throw chairs at you soi think he was being very restrained.

LovelyJudy Mon 21-Mar-11 20:48:32

I like things with nutrients in them... grin

PickleSarnie Mon 21-Mar-11 20:49:46

Oh my goodness. Just the words pottery bowl makes me feel physically sick.

Although I have to run past Timpsons key shop because the noise is unbearable so perhaps I'm not entirely normal.

scurryfunge Mon 21-Mar-11 20:49:49

Do you have a rest room/dining area at work?

Lilymaid Mon 21-Mar-11 20:49:54

Your colleague is "over sensitive". We all eat at our desks normally - the only thing I don't like is the smell of cooked fish but I can live with that. I would drink my soup from a mug - otherwise it ends up all over the keyboard.

theinet Mon 21-Mar-11 20:50:48

I have a pet hate of people eating at their desk as well and in fact it's been banned in my last two workplaces, employees encouraged to go elsewhere and take a break from screens.

Don't you have a staff room, break out area or lounge room to go to?

Eating at desk is really, really, uncivilised. And dirty.

fishie Mon 21-Mar-11 20:50:55

is there somewhere set aside for staff to eat in?

CatIsSleepy Mon 21-Mar-11 20:51:34

cup-a soup is vile

i dunno, he sounds a bit over-sensitive-how long does it take to eat a bowl of soup? (answer if you are me, about 2 minutes grin

he needs to get a grip

SugarPasteFrog Mon 21-Mar-11 20:51:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Blu Mon 21-Mar-11 20:52:38

I think eating 'proper' food - anything beyond a biscuit or perhaps a non-smelling sandwich - in a shared office is not really good work etiquette.

The smell of soup would annoy me.

DaphneHeartsFred Mon 21-Mar-11 20:52:40

Eating a sandwich is fine, repeatedly "clinking" a metal spoon against a pottery bowl is irritating.

animula Mon 21-Mar-11 20:53:18

Poor old you.

People get well-tense in "undefined" social territory - which is shared but at the same time kind of weirdly personal, but not in a way that can be defined (and defended) as "your own" - like offices, and even tube trains, etc. So I can see that it would get to him, hearing someone eat ... .

But, at the same time, pottery bowl, metal spoon = making a meal rather than grabbing a quick snack - and that's especially nice if you don't, actually, get a lunch-break.

What a shame he's a bit up-tight. It is, really, a bit controlling (of him): after all, the office isn't "his" but he's laying down the law about what others (you) can and can't do in it.

This is, I guess, how weird office feuds start - with, say, a sneaky retaliation of moving his computer monitor two inches to the left every time he goes to the loo. But I guess you're too nice for that.

I guess you'll have to at least consider his request, or it will seem hostile. But, personally, I think it's a bit mean if you have a. no time to actually go out b. no area you could retire to to consume your soup outside the office.

Makingaminime Mon 21-Mar-11 20:54:24

YANBU. Hi is Bu and oversensitive.

If he said that to me HE would be wearing the soup, DaphneHeartsFred

Tell him you'll use plastic cutlery/dishes if he provides it daily and plants one tree per month to balance the carbon footprint.

headfairy Mon 21-Mar-11 20:55:15

I have visions of a roughly hewn pottery bowl and a spoon scraping noisily against it. If that's the case then you are most definitely being unreasonable! However gentle slurping is forgiveable in my book. We all have busy lives etc etc (I'm too busy to finish that sentence )

GwendolineMaryLacey Mon 21-Mar-11 20:56:11

Half the people in my office heat up lunches and soup is very very popular. But it's either bought from the cafe downstairs in which case it comes in big cups like the insulated takeaway coffee cups from Costa etc. Or I buy soup like the New Covent Garden chunky soups that come in a plastic tub. No noise whatsoever even if you eat with a metal spoon. I don't think you need to eat elsewhere but some compromise is needed.

lovemysleep Mon 21-Mar-11 20:57:11

Blimey - didn't realise it was such an issue for some people. I wouldn't find it irritating at all, but then I've taught teenagers for 12 years, so my ability to put up with annoying noises and smells is pretty spectacular grin

springydaffs Mon 21-Mar-11 20:58:57

We had someone in our office who had a phobia about broccoli, which came to light when a piece got separated from my salad bowl and ended up on the floor (dirty bitch) and he freaked out.

I think a sandwich is the thing for desks tbh, though I have been known to eat a full meal at my desk, brought in to heat up, as I've got an ishoo with wheat/gluten. Maybe it irritated my colleagues and I didnt realise blush

It's not easy to find the time for lunch when you're part time but I've recently started taking proper breaks from my desk at lunchtime and it's amazing how beneficial it is.

KenDoddsDadsDog Mon 21-Mar-11 21:01:07

The words 'pottery bowl' makes my teeth itch.
We are only allowed to eat snacks and cold food at our desks. But I work in an office where we would jokingly tell each other we are annoying. Think he's being a bit precious.

LovelyJudy Mon 21-Mar-11 21:02:52

it's a very smooth bowl, and i don't slurp. but i still feel a bit embarrassed so i think i'll start taking it to the canteen. it's just really noisy and smelly in there...

IWishIWasAFrog Mon 21-Mar-11 21:03:24


Eating hot (read smelly) food in an open office is rude, the smell hangs about all afternoon. Gross.

BetamaxBandit Mon 21-Mar-11 21:04:22

I work in an open plan office with about 30 other people and we all eat at our desks as we only have a tiny kitchen for the whole floor. I often have soup. In a bowl. With a metal spoon. Shock horror.

As do other people.

Some people go to the chippy and eat that at their desk envy

Others have pasta or ready meals.

If it gets smelly we open a window.

No one is that anal about it really. And if they are they don't say anything...

animula Mon 21-Mar-11 21:07:53


If you have a canteen, you really should eat there, I think.

So, for you I have had a think, and realised there are not many songs that feature eating soup from a pottery bowl as a prominent feature of the lyrical content - but I have found one.

KarenWalker Mon 21-Mar-11 21:07:55

I never realised people had issues with this - will bear in mind! I regularly have soup, as does the girl I share my office with - luckily we're both okay with it though. The main thing I am very careful with is that not a trace is left in the sink if I've had one with any meat in as she is vegetarian and I wouldn't want to stress her out.

I've worked in open plan offices before and eating at your desk was the done thing - how else do you demonstrate that you are so Busy and Important that you don't have time to leave your desk for lunch?!

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