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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....

blackeyedsusan Mon 21-Mar-11 21:14:12

i hate the noise of forks on crockery bowls... it hurts my ears (not just annoys, hurts) I would tend to disappear to the loo whist you ate though. i would ask dh/ close family to eat with a plastic cutlery, but not anyone else.

theinet Mon 21-Mar-11 21:19:29

only the slaves eat their lunch at the desk.

If you're big and powerful, you're out lunching and power broking.

OTheHugeManatee Mon 21-Mar-11 21:21:44

YABU. Even the thought of a metal spoon on a stoneware bowl gives me goosebumps.

Valpollicella Mon 21-Mar-11 21:23:47

The yoghurt pot scrapers annoy me more...
<scrapy scrapy scrape scrape> <scrape> <scrape> <scrape scrape scrape>

Every last fucking molecule of yoghurt out of the pot...

Just bring another one to work! <implodes>

SquigglePigs Mon 21-Mar-11 21:28:16

Most people in our office (open plan) eat lunch at their desks. Mostly sandwiches, but often soups etc in flasks. He needs to get over it. Although it is considerate not to eat anything too smelly!

justhavintheone Mon 21-Mar-11 21:28:58

gosh, cant believe such an issue!! thats guys an arse, slurp away x

myonlysunshine Mon 21-Mar-11 21:29:08

bananas are the worst. I can hear people eat them two offices away. But I am more than a little uptight about food noises....Once had to sit through a seminar with a bowl of fruit on the table, and four people chose bananas and ate them. I was so tense I didn't know what to do with myself.

Zettelbox Mon 21-Mar-11 21:31:57

porcelain bowl ok.

pottery bowl is making me squirm just thinking about the noise of a spoon being dragged over the slightly rough surface <shudders>


matchesmatchesnevertouch Mon 21-Mar-11 21:34:26


I don't hold with soup in cups.

OTheHugeManatee Mon 21-Mar-11 21:48:56

Get a wooden spoon or a porcelain bowl. Otherwise you might as well sit running your fingernails down a blackboard for ten minutes. <shiver>

AnnoyingOrange Mon 21-Mar-11 22:05:28

No-one eats at their desk in my office. I think I'd find it quite distracting to hear and smell soup being eaten whilst I was trying to work

octopusinabox Mon 21-Mar-11 22:12:56

YABU. That would drive me nuts hearing someone scraping and slurping soup. If there was nowhere else to eat your lunch then I'd understand.

hormonesnomore Mon 21-Mar-11 22:14:46

I work in an open-plan office and think it's rude & inconsiderate to eat hot food (or puddings with spoons) there.

I can't abide the smell or the noise (slurping & scraping) when I'm trying to work and speak on the phone or to other colleagues.

I'm hmm and shock at how many people have to eat hot food at lunchtime and even at breakfast time.

What's wrong with sandwiches for lunch and eating breakfast at home where it should be eaten?

Porridge and soup do not belong in the office.

hormonesnomore Mon 21-Mar-11 22:18:48

myonlysunshine - you have my sympathies. A bowl of fruit at a seminar! I particulary detest the smell of oranges but bananas are bad too.

Don't get me wrong, I eat at my desk - but a cooked meal or all that peeling and juice - ugh, neither the time nor the place!

GreenEyesandHam Mon 21-Mar-11 22:21:42

I have soup at my desk- cup a soups though (Ainsley Harriot Seczuan Hot and Sour if you were wondering confused ) I don't think I'd eat out of a bowl.

I do try to be considerate though, I suck all my crisps so they don't crunch

frgr Mon 21-Mar-11 22:27:20

i have to admit this really grates on me too.

our office is open plan (a massive large room, so noisy enough as it is, with people talking, on the phone, printer noises). there are so many people here eating and making clinking noises at lunchtime that i've taken to arranging conference calls before 11am and then after 3pm, it's that bad.

seriously, the woman to my left eats early, she goes for sandwichs and a coffee at 11am, rustles the wrappings/slurps, etc.

then the guy to my right goes and gets his packed lunch at 12, normally it's crisps, so crunch crunch crunch

later on the soup people get their lunch out, so the microwave (at the side of the room hmm) pings, and there's the clinking of the bowls

It honestly drives me mad, and will be one of the criteria i'm adding to my next job: somewhere people can eat their lunch in peace, and somewhere people can get on with their jobs.

because it's not like i can just avoid doing work in that massive 4hr window, right? so i have to arrange my working life around the shitty open office design.

i have no idea how nice it was to have my own office in my last job. here, everyone, no matter what level, is in this open plan room, and it's a huge issue for me.

so no i don't think your colleague was BU. your soup bowl may just be the final straw in a wider issue (poor office planning for the type of office work you're doing e.g. like me, who has to take 3 or 4 conference calls a day, usually with non-native English speakers, so I have to speak clearly and listen intently)

MrsKwazii Mon 21-Mar-11 22:27:34

I think that your colleague is NBU to ask you not to eat at your desk - a bit odd asking you to use plastic cutlery though!

If the canteen is noisy and smelly you may be making a tiny version of that at your desk which can be annoying. Some people are very sensitive to little noises and/or smell, so if you can eat elsewhere it would be polite to.

One of my personal bugbears is people eating hot, smelly food on public transport. Makes me <boak>

frgr Mon 21-Mar-11 22:29:15

p.s. i have no issue with the smell, it's purely the noise issue (esp. whilst on the telephone) that causes me such annoyance.

i literally have to walk out the door to the toilets some days because i can't concentrate with the microwave pings, slurps and plastic wrappings being undone. what sort of office environment allows it to such a level, i wondered at first. then i realised all of the management do it too, so hardly something i can change - which is great for them, not ever having to deal with outside customers to such a frequent level on the phone hmm

cumfy Mon 21-Mar-11 22:35:16

Are you the only one who eats in the office ?

echt Tue 22-Mar-11 06:44:26


Love the way the guy who only wants to work at his desk in peace is the unreasonable one.

Desk - work.

Food - take it elsewhere. The canteen you've been provided with, for instance.

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Tue 22-Mar-11 06:58:30

Yanbu, I don't like some things my colleagues do but I don't go around dictating to them because the world doesn't owe me a living and things that irritate me are MY issues to deal with.

maddogsandenglishmen Tue 22-Mar-11 07:04:44

It wouldn't bother me, but my DH gets crazy about ANY kind of food/mouth noise and would probably throw you out of the window. The only thing I can't abide is my boss slurping his tea in meetings - but that's another story!

We all eat occasionally at our desks when busy in my office, but open the window and ask the others first!

Also, your desk is apparently the dirtiest place in the universe in terms of bacteria. YUCK!

NorkyButNice Tue 22-Mar-11 07:10:53

The reason the canteen is hot and smelly is because hot food smells.

YABU to create your own smelly micro-canteen at your desk if nobody else if it's not the done thing in your office.

I used to sit across from a guy who ate like an absolute pig - snorting, slurping, licking fingers, talking with his mouth full - I had to leave my desk everytime he arrived with his lunch to do tasks elsewhere in the building. Difference is, everyone in my office eats at their desk so I had to live with it. If he were the only one, I'd have been asking him (or his manager) to do something about it.

NinkyNonker Tue 22-Mar-11 07:24:35

He sounds very reasonable I'm afraid. Most places I've worked have had a no eating rule at desks, stops it smelling, sounding and looking like a dining hall.

LovelyJudy Tue 22-Mar-11 07:43:49

In my defense: it is porcelain. I used the wrong word. I am very unslurpy. Lots of people eat all sorts of things and he wasn't picking on me, I think he just finds me approachable and genuinely wanted to know if his was a reasonable request, as did I. Which it seems as tho it was. So thank you everyone I am off to prepare a salad which I will take elsewhere for lunch! Ps the problem with sandwiches is the proportion of carbon to protein and veg but I believe that's being handled by another thread!

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