For LUNCH I don’t care what you do! You’re on your own!
-Recent Job Prospect After A 4 Hour Non Paid Job Shadowing
LUNCH… It’s that thing that usually takes place somewhere in the middle of the day. If you are anything like me you ‘fantasize’ about the amazing things you can have for lunch: Do you just hit the cafeteria for the todays special tortilla soup? Do you run two blocks in 30-45 minutes for a savory falafel? Or just sit in the garden with your blue apron meal that you meal prepped the night before?
Personally in todays disconnected society I jump at the opportunity to have lunch with a living breathing human being! But what happens when you start a new job, and your left to do lunch on your own?
“Let’s do lunch” (meaning “let’s get together for lunch and discuss this”) was popularized from 1985 in the business speak of the entertainment industry in Los Angeles. The phrase quickly became overused and “Let’s do lunch—I’ll call you” became a way to brush someone off forever.
-Barry Popick, The Big Apple
Hollywood made the phrase “Let’s do Lunch” popular as a blow off technique: A way to divert people and perhaps lead them on. But in the healthcare world, from my personal experiences, people have just been up front and told me: Just do lunch by yourself!
It brings on that feeling of the kid sitting on the school bench by himself eating a dried up stale peanut butter sandwich on gluten free bread. It’s the stuff that mean girls was based upon.
In my school days, I don’t have any memories of being alienated and eating lunch alone. If my friends and I were having a spat, I’d always find someone else to sit and chat with during lunch! And they would so kindly share their Oreos in return for some dried up peanut butter on crusty white bread.
At recent job interview, I shadowed my prospective employer for 4 hours. Her personality was ‘dry’ and she kept calling everything stupid! And yes these signs were all red flags to taking the job, but when it came time for lunch, she sent me off on my own.
This was weird since she wanted me to run her clinic by myself while she was in a ‘remote’ location! It was interesting that she did not want to get to know me better before she hired me on. I declined the position of course! Mainly because of her attitude but also because if she was not willing to have lunch with me, it was a huge red flag for something happening in the future and her letting me sink!
Red Flag #1: This person has no time for you, and can care less about you… You are a COG!
Your new boss should at least have lunch with you… especially if you are going to run their clinic. That’s a huge responsibility. And let’s not forget your license!
At another new position I started I was ‘co-teaching’ at a private university. When I was hired for this position, I was told my ‘co-teacher’ had resigned. A Week later into my new job, she returned like a zombie from the dead.
I asked her to go to lunch to get to know her better! After all we’d be co-teaching the same class. She refused, turned her back on me. She went to lunch with her office mate whom I also shared the office with.
Red Flag #2 Mean girls never prosper in the work place.
This ‘co teacher’ literally was my worst nightmare. She never showed me the test questions before the exam. She was late daily. She would leave the students waiting for their final exams and lectures for hours. Sometimes she would call me last minute and email me the exam. I frantically had to photo copy them for my students!
I complained. No one cared. She still kept her job. I eventually quit!
Don’t get me wrong, you don’t have to have lunch with your new co-workers. But in my personal experience, it was a HUGE Red Flag for future disasters! I like to work in happy places. Places where lunch is a shared experience, and there is a bounty of mutual respect!
Just do it! Say yes to LUNCH with a new co-worker! Even if you only have a crusty peanut butter sandwich to share.