Lunch room etiquette

If people ask if they can join me, I usually say, “Why? Am I coming apart?”

BA-DA-BUMP! Thanks. I’ll be here all week. And please tip your waitstaff, they’re working hard for you.

Right. As I was saying, it probably won’t be that hard. Show up in the lunchroom, attempt to sit, someone will wave you over. After you’ve been at a place for a while, you’ll have naturally developed rapport with some co-workers, so you’ll end up grabbing each other from the cubes to go to lunch.

No, the only reason I said anything at all (literally, at that point I hadn’t said a word) is that they apparently realized I had said nothing/had nothing to say about the poopy infant. They asked me some questions, I gave them a few excited answers, and that line of conversation petered out pretty quick. They went back to the poopy infant, while I quietly resolved to find somewhere else to eat.

Meh. I wasn’t expecting much, this has been my experience at every corporate job, and this was very much a “she’s only the temp” job anyway. (It really permeated the attitude of the department I worked with, their facade of politeness notwithstanding, and they underutilized my actual useful, consultant-level skills egregiously, and all around treated me like I was disposable. I have no idea why I was even there, as the interview was this massive bait-and-switch – the responsibilities we talked about were assigned to an outside vendor, which was apparently the plan from the beginning. I was happy to leave.) I’ve learned it’s a pretty bad idea to think of co-workers as friends, anyway. There’s a very fundamental conflict of interest there, and they WILL throw you under the bus if they stand to benefit from it.

Other people want to handle it differently, and that’s fine, but I myself am unmotivated to “make friends” at work. Happy to be team-mates, but work and private life are strictly separated for me.

Another vote here for walking up, seeing that they’re not close to finished with their meal, and just ask, “Hey, mind if I join you?”