Against The Law?

Who knew it was against the law? Good thing I’m not French.

These days I work from home, so I don’t eat my lunch at my desk. When I’m hungry I walk down the hall to the kitchen, make my self something to eat and sit at the dining room table.

But when I worked on Parliament Hill, I almost always ate lunch at my desk. Which would have been against the law had I been living in France.

That law is being changed, possibly a result of the pandemic. I just have difficulty accepting that it was there in the first place. What right has the government to determine where you eat your noon-time meal?

I suppose you could argue that the law was to stop employers from taking advantage of their workers. If you can’t eat at your desk, then you are forced to take a break. Or maybe you just don’t eat during your workday.

When I was eating at my desk, I was rarely working. Usually I would have a book, magazine or newspaper spread out and would read as I ate. True, I was available if an emergency work situation cropped up, but that rarely (or maybe never) happened. And better to be at my desk than in a restaurant and have to leave my meal uneaten to deal with an urgent situation.

There are times when i wonder about the power and influence of the state over our society. Something that seems good to legislators may look less so on reflection. But that presumes that there is reflection and that the state will reverse its course. How often does that take place?

I’m rather curious what the average French worker thought about not being allowed to eat at their desk. And what people think about the change, which is designed to help with the idea of social distancing during the pandemic. Will they revert to the old rules once the lockdown is over, if it is ever over?

How about you? Do you eat at your desk? Is that a recent habit or have you always done so? What do you think of not being allowed to eat in your workspace? Is that a good idea, or a bad one?

Lots of questions – I look forward to your answers.


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