With the deplorable habit of eating lunch at one's desk - eating al desko, as some wags call it - now firmly established in many a workplace, the BBC News website has taken the opportunity to unroll another of its endless Stories About Nothing, one that's almost up there with the legendary Cardboard Box epic ('We've all been there...'). The undoubted star of the al desko Story About Nothing is etiquette expert William Hanson, with his 17-inch-square linen lunch napkin at the ready, folded half-way with the crease towards him (rather than - heaven forbid - towards the computer screen). Good eating manners, he reminds us, 'could be the difference between getting a promotion [and what?], especially if your boss is watching'. Good thinking, Hanson...
Passing over the truly disgusting bulgar wheat recipe that follows, back
comes Hanson in the next section with more sound advice about taking a
break every four mouthfuls, resting your idle fork on your knife.Then
it's on to the etiquette minefield of the after-lunch coffee - drunk, of
course, in a demitasse. Whatever you do, counsels Hanson, put the sugar
in the cup after the coffee, and don't stir clockwise only - 'coffee
dissolves better if you stir backwards and forwards, 12 till 6'. Which
sounds like rather a long lunch break to me.