In my last organization, which I quit three years back, lunch was a quiet affair, with no fixed area or group as lunch companions. It was eat wherever you want with whomsoever you want, as lunch was served & eaten only in cafeteria; & with multiple offices & employee rotation, no permanent place of lunch was possible. In my present workplace, lunch is eaten by all employees of HR everyday together in conference room, with all eating from each others plate & tiffin. With many coming from diversified regions, it also provides for diversified culinary. So one can savor Bengali dal with Mallu fried rice, Punjabi saag with dosa & parantha with nariyal chutney. It is also time to gossip about office & life & know what happens in everybody’s life & home.
The earlier office building had a secluded room for utility purposes, which doubled as lunch room. The present swanky building has open workstations on large floors, so it is one table per group, as a result of which the chatter is also subdued, lest anybody hears in. However this also gives sound bytes from neighboring table which is within earshot distance & has some interesting females. There is no dearth of females in HR either, but don’t know why the spicy gossip evaporates when males are around !