Weird Ways People Spend Their Lunch Hour

lunch hour fun

By Luke Roney, CareerBliss

Each day, workers around the U.S. are faced with a crucial decision: what to have for lunch. For some, however, the "lunch" in their lunch break is a mere suggestion. And their midday hour away from the office has little to do with eating.

Check out these novel ways people spend their lunch breaks:

Play The Pool Shark
Christina Kugel worked as a wine buyer and bar manager for a high-end restaurant in Manhattan. The job was interesting, she says, but her co-workers weren't. "I felt like I was losing my mind," Kugel says.

One morning she saw the light -- a neon sign flickering "Billiards" in the front window of a dive bar near her restaurant. "The sign immediately flashed me back to the youthful days of sneaking my dad's beers out of the fridge in the garage and playing pool in the basement with my brother," Kugel says.

After another "bleak" morning at work, she hurried into the dive bar at lunch time. Once there, she ordered a Guinness. "Almost immediately," she recalls, "an old, weathered-looking man to my right asked me if I wanted to play." Despite losing the game, "it was the most fun I'd had in a long time," Kugel says.

From then on, Kugel spent lunch shooting pool. Nicknamed "The Lady" by regulars, she began playing for money, pulling in $200 on a good day. "It felt like I had a cool, secret identity -- my edgy pool-shark life."


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Serve Other People Lunch
When Hope Rising, a paralegal, worked in Colorado, she would spend her lunch break by serving lunch: "I would work behind the counter of the deli around the corner from my office during the lunch rush."

The perks were threefold: "It filled my lunch hour and I got a free lunch, plus $10 an hour."


Participate In A Fight Club
Danny Boice used to train in mixed martial arts. His training partner was a world champion kickboxer. One day, they had a session during Boice's lunch break. Another experienced MMA fighter, a former Olmpian, also was at the gym.

"Both of these guys were really good, and way better than I was," says Boice, co-founder and CTO of the Internet teleconferencing startup Speek. Nonetheless, Boice agreed to a sparring session, taking turns with each fighter.

"I got my butt kicked. I came back to the office with a bloody nose and generally red face. It looked like I had been at Fight Club or something," Boice recalls. "As an executive at a very old, conservative and $1 billion company, I got some very strange looks."


Pursue Thrills
"Years ago, we would walk down the street to Rye Playland [in Rye, N.Y.] and ride the Dragon Coaster a few times," says Rich DiGirolamo, who describes himself as a superhero, RECESSitator and champion of great employee experiences.


More: Workers Log An Extra 16 Days A Year, Gobbling Lunch At Desk


Go To Sleep
"I used to have a job where I'd drive to a local park and sleep on the ground under a live oak tree every day at lunch," says Steve Silberberg. "It was by far the best part of my day."


Have Another Job Interview
Sarah Taylor liked her position, but the constant squabbling and gossip of her co-workers was hacking away at her happiness.

One day Taylor, who works these days as a manager for Admission-essays.org, was on her way to lunch with a friend. She complained about her working conditions. And her friend said that she had a better idea than getting lunch. The friend's company was hiring.

"And instead of eating," Taylor says, "I was being interviewed."

She got the job. And, better yet, the new position was a step forward in her career. Upon returning from her impromptu lunchtime job interview, Taylor immediately wrote her letter of resignation.

"My boss was quite surprised, I have to admit."


Go After A Dream
"I would leave my job as a drug and alcohol counselor at a social service agency, get all dressed up and go out on commercial auditions," Says Jen Bosworth. "People never questioned why I left [for lunch] looking like a schlub and came back all glammed up."


More: 10 Tricks Employers Use To Cheat Workers Out Of Overtime


Do Something Noble
"Once every eight weeks, I use a lunch hour as a time to donate blood," says Leslie Handmaker, who works for Next Day Fliers. "My office is close enough to the facilities, or the bloodmobile is usually making a stop at a nearby location. So it's both a convenient and a productive way to spend my lunch hour."


Surf in the Mediterranean Sea
"While living in Barcelona," says Michael Freeman, a senior manager with ShoreTel Sky. "I'd head out to the beach to surf in the Mediterranean whenever there were waves."


Get A Little Color
Kelsey Meyer, now president of Digital Talent Agents, came back from one lunch break glowing. "I had gotten a spray tan during lunch," she says, "and during the period, when you're waiting for it to dry before the first shower, you look almost orange."

Meyer confounded her co-workers by denying that she'd done anything more than eat lunch during the break.

"They spent the rest of the day trying to figure out why I looked different," she recalls.



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13 Comments

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eraem12

I rush to eat and take a nap or get away from coworkers,

April 16 2013 at 1:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Terry

When I worked on the Hill in DC, I would change into shorts and a tube top, go out to the closest park and work on my tan.

February 08 2013 at 9:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rhianon

After eatting, I would rub my belly and fart. Duh....

February 08 2013 at 12:26 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
mennis0852

I have a friend that goes to a nearby county park and plays the bagpipes during his lunch hour.

February 07 2013 at 8:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bulletinboardsn

We started playing Jenga after eating, then it turned into different board games and we got more players. It eventually turned into a Friday night gameboard party with beer and food (we had the huge floor to ourselves) and all the big shots had gone home, we would hole up in someone's office. Then it turned to a monthly game night with family on weekends at different places like at the beach where we would BBQ and the kids would go swimming. It was pretty cool. We would play simple stuff like Uno - I had over 30 game boards by the time we stopped (due to downsizing). That was so much fun and included all the different people from the different units/departments.

February 07 2013 at 5:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rknudsen25

I used to go to the cemetery to eat my lunch. Then I would look at the grave sites to see at what age people died.

February 07 2013 at 3:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to rknudsen25's comment
GOD IS LOVE

that is so creepy
I love it

February 07 2013 at 4:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sindfetish

Eat ?

February 07 2013 at 1:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
idoglady1

This struck a nerve with me ~ the picture of the woman playing billiards! That's exactly what I did on my lunch hour during the early-mid 1980s. I had a burning desire to be a good pool player, and so I practiced and practiced and practiced..... on lunch hours, evenings and every other spare moment. Did I get good? Oh, yeah!! I still love the game. Those lunch hours? My wonderful boss, a school superintendent, said "Please, for the love of God, don't tell anyone what you do on your lunch hour!!" I still laugh about it. Poor guy.

February 05 2013 at 8:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
TobiLuciaStarr

I usually spend my lunch hour eating. Of course, it generally doesn't take an hour to eat, so I may read also.

February 05 2013 at 3:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John Lewis

Some of these activities involve way longer than an hour lunch. My guess is that these folks have some very flexible schedules to do them.

February 05 2013 at 2:31 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

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