Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Food for Thought

Once in a while

Today was one of those days where I wanted to have lunch alone. My colleagues told me they were all going for fish head curry (again), but I told them I had a lunch appointment. They then started whistling and poking me in the arm, thinking that I was going to lunch with some hot chick, when in fact my lunch appointment was with myself.

Why lunch alone?

Well, for starters, I wasn’t in the mood for talking. Nor was I in the mood to listen to the latest office gossips. All I wanted to do at exactly 1pm today was to drive off to McDonalds and munch on six pieces of crunchy nuggets, one large iced Coke minus the salty fries. And that was exactly what I did.

“Excuse me.” I looked up and saw this senior man in an immaculate dark suit by my table. “Are these seats taken?”

There were obviously three empty seats, so I shook my head no.

“You don’t mind?”

Not at all, I said.

He sat down, I smiled, and then I munch munch munch and stare stare stare out the window. So peaceful, I thought.

“You work around these parts?”

I turned my head, and apparently the stranger was talking to me. Oh no, I said. My office is (bleep). I just came here for lunch.

“Oh that’s far,” he said.

I know, I said. At that moment, I was hoping that the guy would smell from my short responses that I was actually in NO MOOD to chit chat. But the guy did not get it and continued talking.

He told me that he was in the security business. He told me that his partners are from Singapore, and they are “financially-smart but have poor people skills”. He told me that he was looking forward to play golf in Indonesia. He told me his opinions about the Israel-Lebanon situation. And I listened, because at that point, I was actually interested.

“Where are your colleagues?” he suddenly asked me.

Oh they wanted local, but I wanted fast food, I said, which was partially the truth. Where are yours?

“Well,” he said, “I am the boss and apparently, I have been eating lunches alone.”


“Just to let you know that when you do climb the corporate ladder, it does get lonely sometimes.”

He later gave a huge sigh as if a huge burden was lifted from him.

At the moment, I realized the difference between him and I was that I wanted to have lunch alone, while he did not. But the similar thing about us was that we were both enjoying what McD’s got to offer, as well as the conversation were having over lunch today.


Blogger pugly said...

Hmmm ... that's what I prefer to do sometimes, too ... just have my lunch alone or even go to a movie by myself ... it's not sad, it's just that sometimes I feel this overwhelming need to give myself some down-time after spending most of the day surrounded by people (I'm in marketing, you see). A little time on my own is sometimes a luxury in this line of job :-)

But that dude who sat next to you in McD's, now that's sad ...

Poor geezer.

1:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


dude, be a boss and eat alone. not really, i am sure there are many apple polishers that would like to keep such bosses company..



2:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi so glad that u r blogging more often. Was so excited 2 see a post from you that I had to sheild my excitement so that the others in the office wouldnt notice...

Miss the way I have my fries.. dipped in chocolate sunday xtra chocolate...... btw am off to Croatia on Saturday. Wish you could come along.... Bali part 2 ??

3:12 AM  
Blogger shobshob said...

yeah i like eating alone sometimes... it gives me some peace of mind..


3:49 AM  
Blogger SaR said...

i enjoy eating alone when I want quality time with myself. It's calming and I can make plans for the week ahead.

BTW, McD's my fav place & the place for me to be alone. I even do my revision there when there's an exam. Fav drive-thru restaurants - SS15, NKVE highway & Ampang.

6:47 PM  
Blogger Vlad said...

It's just the mindset.

We were taught from school to do that.

Keep distance with teacher/boss. Do not question them.

If you stay within their eyesight, some people might call you an apple polisher, no matter if you are not.

Fries in chocolate sundae. Now I am all psyched for McD.

7:40 PM  
Blogger Muddy said...

pugly :

i totally get you about the luxury of me-time. it's absolutely necessary to remain sane. hehehe. as for watching movies by myself, i did that twice largely because i needed to watch those movies again; when you go watch a movie with a large group of friends who can't seem to keep their opinions to themselves, you need to go watch them again with full concentration. huhu...

dudae :

hahaha you got a point there. but i guess the man rather be himself than be with apple polishers. perhaps he wanted to be around genuine people, hence the complication...

anon :

oh babe, croatia? first, ibiza and now croatia??? i really envy you babe. you need to compensate this envy by buying me tons of touristy gifts. kekeke. ;)

11:39 PM  
Blogger Muddy said...

shobshob :

i think you are the MAIN contributor the success of McD's Kertih. kekeke!!!

sar :

hey, thanks for dropping by! :) exactly. on the dot. self investment is the best investment.

catch you at McD NKVE, if i see you around.

vlad :

hahaha talking about teachers: for some reason, when i was still in school, it was really awkward when i caught my teachers at the grocery or eating at a steakhouse. for some reason, it surprised me that they actually have lives outside the school. huhu.

11:45 PM  
Blogger the kimster said...

once upon an antelope, I worked for this evil Boss (he has since left the green pasture) who was just plain mean. He would spend the day shouting at people and generally giving everyone a hard time.

I left the office quite late one day and I walked past his office. There he was, sitting alone, deep in his thoughts, smoking his Camel (the ciggies, not the mammal!). He cut a forlorn and lonely figure, and I thought: "what a price to pay."

Indeed, what is the price to pay?

6:11 PM  
Blogger Blabs said...

I need "me" time too. LOTS of it. So much so that sometimes, my friends just don't dig it. Even at work, I'd sometimes strike the lone figure when I go for my lunches and all. More so now in Egypt, when I need to "get away" from the wives and remind myself of the person I really am (a crabby, antisocial old goat). But I love it. It's a good time to reflect on yourself and everything around you.

But that man you met - that's really quite sad. The man in the gilded palace has no friends. :(

5:04 AM  
Anonymous khaylis said...

okay, now i have a major craving for nuggets and coke, damn you! (MOUTH-watering, hehehe)

5:15 AM  
Blogger Muddy said...

the kimster :

the price of being obnoxious, not-understanding and at the end, a poor leader is the loss of respect among your subordinates. i know plently of leaders/bosses who are well-liked, and are constantly surrounded by people who sincerely do enjoy their company because they are indeed relatable.

But I think its never too late to be nice. The senior guy I met seemed quite a friendly bloke: I guess it was easier for him to talk to me because I was a stranger. I think if he really wanted to have genuine company and be liked, he can, but it depends on whether he can accept in changing his attitude at work.

blabs :

I totally can relate to you. Although, please don't call yourself a goat. Kekeke...;P

khaylis :

so that was you who cut me in line at mcd's huh? kekeke ;P hey, see you this friday. need to plan plan plan for the merdeka party!

5:25 PM  
Blogger disco-very said...

singularly engaging in otherwise social activities can be quite a breath of fresh air sometimes. i've had chats with the random loner too. it's one of the most intruiging ways to get to know new people. i've become good friends who a guy who asked me to watch my step when boarding the train!

12:46 AM  

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