Why Is It So Hard To Eat Alone?

Dr Stuart Woolley
6 min readJun 8, 2024

An examination of corporate comestible consumption in the Grand Game of Software Engineering.

“Image generated using OpenAI’s DALL·E.”

Many things have changed over the past few years in the Grand Game of Software Engineering — the waking up to the fact that commuting was always costly unpaid overtime, the realisation that us progressive software engineers are more efficient, happier souls when allowed to work remotely, and the fact that offices are so much more like panopticon torture prisons than places conducive to actual work.

Unfortunately, one thing that hasn’t changed is how hard it is to get an opportunity to eat, calmly, in a relaxed fashion, and on your own.

Let yourself drift for a moment into that beautiful “me time” where it’s all so blissfully quiet and free of managerial small talk, where chewing can be noisy, fast and as furious as you want, where crumbs fall where they may, and most importantly of all where you don’t have to worry about keeping your mouth closed when you’re enjoying something really quite tasty¹.

In pre-pandemic times when many of us progressive engineers were forced to attend those laughingly named workplaces in far, distant crowded city centres the only time we got to have any kind of comestible me time was gobbling up a doughnut on the way from the bus stop or train station to the office, munching down on a flapjack…

--

--

Dr Stuart Woolley

Worries about the future. Way too involved with software. Likes coffee, maths, and . Would prefer to be in academia. SpaceX, X, and Overwatch fan.