I was recently interviewed by career expert Vicki Salemi for a story on the differences between work culture in the US and Europe. In her NY Post piece, you hear from several of us who’ve escaped the fast-paced workplace environment (in my case, the East Coast) and can contrast that to…for instance, France. It’s 2:30pm right now, and that means stores have re-opened from their two-hour lunch break (I’m not joking). Yesterday was Sunday, and 95% of stores and restaurants were closed all day (the ones that were open had hours of 9am to noon). This is not a culture that puts work and productivity above all else, and definitely not above family and relationships.
Then again, rules are made to be broken. When I lived here in 2008, I watched a man take a full plate of restaurant china, a cloth napkin, and real silverware from the brasserie next door into his real estate office to eat with his colleagues. It looked like something he did regularly. If you’re going to have lunch at your desk, that’s the way to do it.
*Okay, a slight exaggeration–it’s more like a few lines instead of “my story,” but I do kick off the article.