Wednesday, June 15, 2011

into the details

Fixing my lunch is as cathartic to me as eating it.

I disappear into the break room, which my boss jokes should have my name on a plaque on the door because of my deeply expressed affection for the break room. It’s not that I spend a lot of time there; it’s that I love the time I spend there. One of the other editors usually joins me and typically our mentor is there too. Lately, though, more people have circulated through and have started eating lunch with us. The web guy, a circulation manager, a couple reporters, some of the press operators – people who I don’t usually see, but end up talking to for the duration of my half-hour lunch.

It’s a familiar session.

They ask me questions like, “So how’s your diet going?” “You were raised on a farm?” “Is it safe for me to walk through the newsroom?”

I’ve introduced some of my staff to them.

“This is Eric, he works in circulation.” And when he musters up the courage to walk through the editorial department, I always wave. No matter what I’m doing or who I’m talking to. He waves back with both hands.

I always bring my lunch to work, and if you should really know, my breakfast and dinner too.

One night last week I popped out of the break room with my dinner and one of my reporters asked, “Do you eat all your meals here?”

I replied with a hasty, “no!”

But I usually do.

Oatmeal and coffee at 9:15 a.m., lunch at noon, dinner usually at 6.

Sometimes when it’s 8 p.m. and I’ve been here for 12 hours and haven’t left the building, and I’m walking out of the newsroom and telling the copy desk, “Call me if you need anything,” I wonder if they think my life is pathetic.

I go back to my space and eat my trail mix and drink my glass of wine.

Back to lunch preparation.

My meal prep actually begins on Sunday nights, and like clockwork, that’s where you can find me until the wee hours of the morning. When I leave for work Monday, I have everything with me I need for 8-10 meals to last me through the week. And usually a bottle of wine.

I unpack my groceries and prepared meals at the woman’s house I stay with during the week, and every day I bring my meals to the office.

Today, I had a ham sandwich and green beans.

Sounds simple, but somehow I end up with multiple containers on the table. The sandwich container, the container with lettuce and tomatoes, another with blue cheese, another for the green beans, a small salt and pepper shaker, a can of Diet Mt. Dew, and a container of strawberries.

I always bring Tupperware to eliminate waste in the form of Ziploc bags.

I’m not sure when I started caring about these things. Ziploc bags vs. Tupperware, Googling TCBY nutrition facts prior to ordering at TCBY, Googling the difference between “good” and “well”, pumping gas in the morning only, and cutting up extra budgets for scrap paper before I even leave the editorial meetings.

And they call me detail oriented.

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