Friday 8 February 2013

Al Desko Etiquette

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.


  1. It's good but nothing tops that cardboard box one. Just been reading it back and LOLing in sheer disbelief. I expect Jenny Sims is head of news or something now, following the Savile cull.

  2. What fun to revisit "Enter the Cardboard Box". I think it's unimprovable, but the knight with the lance & "Enter the Dragon" is the best of the second-best.
    Susan in NYC -- where it's snowing very hard indeed.