So my GF (works at a FANG) asked “Why cannot you tell your Principal and Partner you need to eat lunch first before sending them the work? Don’t they eat lunch?” I really don’t know what to say...

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Omg this is such a BCG thing. Happens all the time. Best is the 6 pm sign out where they sketch out 10 slides. Then ask to see it by tomorrow morning. The convo always ends with: “I don’t want you up late working on this” 🙄

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BCG9: I am in data science and I get pretty much same thing every time from strategy folks. I struggle a lot to convince them that if a data pull needs two hours, it is two hours. I thought after more than a dozen engagements, now they know my team and I are hard ass. But initially it was very difficult. And I am sure strategy folks crib about us in some other way. I felt doing a expectation setting on day zero is helpful always.

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Telling a partner you’re prioritizing lunch over their work is just rude. It’s not that you can’t have lunch; just lie a little. “I have one more thing to finish up before I can get to that.” Even if the partner knows it’s a lie, this is a matter of etiquette.

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ew P1

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My wife makes the same comments... I just telle her she can’t understand but deep down I know she is 100% right - and most of the deadlines / constraints we make up ourselves

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Ummm every partner I know would 100% encourage me to eat lunch if I told them I was hungry and needed to eat lunch.....

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They say that on our side of the wall, but what they really mean is you better finish my shit first.

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Not relevant but how did you meet your girlfriend?

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Im guessing no one told you A5...

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I can attest a lot of this is self afflicted. When they were junior consultants, Partners and Principals were treated this way. They feel it is normal and they are repeating the same behaviors now towards juniors. I usually get food ordered for my team using apps - Caviar or ubereats etc. Hungry people can't think well. That is my philosophy.

With WFH, some P&Ps seem to forget the time boundaries.

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@EY2 at least we can expense lunch now!

Deloitte is a respectful place that values work life balance and that would never happen here.

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Ahahahhh...you are so adorable and innocent . Please add more years to it and we will talk .

Partner 1 is nuts.

Tell me you’re hungry and you’d like to eat lunch. I’m either going to say “no worries, this can wait another hour” or (rarely) “I’m really sorry but we really need it done before X, need you to delay your lunch a bit, let’s figure out a way to divide and conquer so we can get this done more quickly”. Just tell the truth and we’ll work something out. We’re all people, we all eat.

likeupliftinghelpful

In my first week after leaving consulting my manager told me to block off my lunch hour on my calendar. It’s still weird to me to not work through lunch...so I just leave work early instead

likefunnysmart

TAKE US WITH YOU

likefunny

Agree with your gf 100%

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I would love to have you as an employee hehe

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If you know something is absolutely due at 12:30 or 1, you usually know this in advance and should adjust accordingly. If it’s a surprise deadline, it’s probably poor planning on leadership’s side. You should say you have another commitment and eat lunch and send right after. I know you should be able to say you’re eating, and I get hangry and less productive when I don’t, but being GenX, I know saying you’re eating would annoy many people.

Now, if it’s a sudden deadline because of a client, be annoyed by it, grab a snack, power through and then once you send, go unavailable for a bit and eat lunch.

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Our culture has developed in response to our client’s needs. We are essentially a service provider, with a contract to be paid. When you get a fence installed or a major repair done, do you ask or care if the contractors eat at 12? No. You just care that the work is done at the expected and agreed upon time.

It is the responsibility of management to schedule their project such that they meet the needs of their employees while also meeting customer expectations. It’s as simple as that.

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I have low blood sugar and need to eat lunch around a certain time or can’t go longer than a few hours without eating or else I will feel very nauseous and in severe cases faint. I’ve been asked if I really needed to eat lunch before I sent them something and I’ve had to say yes I do or else I’ll faint. Of course this is a different situation since it’s a medical issue, but I think taking a few minutes to eat something is important. I guess it also depends on the company culture 

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Also, glucose tablets are a lifesaver! You can buy them at Walmart or Walgreens. And if you’re unable to get a snack or meal right away and you’re feeling faint/nauseous/ really unwell, taking one of those will help pretty quickly and raise your blood sugar and then you should eat something with carbs/sugar (crackers, cinnamon bread, chocolate) and/or have apple juice and orange juice. Also, planning around meetings, especially long meetings, and making sure you have snacks is helpful. If no one else is eating during a long meeting, I do apologize for eating during it and just explain that I need to keep my blood sugar up. No one questioned it. I also try to remember that my health is important, and I can take a few minutes to eat something before sending that email and i’ll be able to be much more productive if I’m feeling well. Just some tips that are helped me and maybe they might be helpful for people dealing with this as well.

I don’t understand, why don’t you guys eat lunch? Unless there’s a set client meeting or deadline around lunchtime (which there probably isn’t right now with all the wfh) I’ve never experienced pressure to send work at 1pm rather than 2pm

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Agreed. I don’t follow why would would have to send any email (absent a specific time deadline). Stop, eat, then do what you need to do.

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I think your gf is right most of the time. But when in doubt: just ask the partner/principal „is it ok to send this after lunch or do you need it right away to continue your work?“

I‘m pretty sure you get an honest answer and not just a „pressured“ one. And to be fair, if he really needs your work that urgent I think you will be able to have lunch a bit later. Asking just helps creating transparency about the urgency.

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Thank you for the best response I have seen so far.

My husband and I both work for AM25 firms and I get mad at him for stuff like this. It’s not about that ONE lunch. It’s that you haven’t set or enforced boundaries with your team. It’s infuriating to be the partner of someone who does not prioritize their spouse or their health over trivial work demands. Because when something real comes up (children, vacation, anniversaries, health issues, etc.), it makes your partner doubtful that you’ll set those boundaries.

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Agree TP1, hence it being a spectrum

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The partner I reported to would never say no, but she just pretends that she didn’t hear me or forgets all the time.

likefunny

PROTECT YOUR TIME. I block about 2 hrs a day on my calendar for my workout/shower/lunch. My days are pretty much 7 am- 6/7 pm so I deserve those 2 hrs off

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What time do u break for that? That’s actually a phenomenal idea if work has a gym & towel service. Most are not so lucky

Because we feed off the fading hopes and growing fear and despair of our employees. It passes through the internet or phone lines and emerges from our laptop screens and phones like an ethereal ambrosia so we don’t need lunch. Bwa hah ha!

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It all depends on the individual. P1 can’t push you to not have the lunch and you don’t have to say you are having your lunch. Just take your lunch. No one will fire you for that and if someone does then feel obliged that you are away from the toxic environment. In my experience of more than 50 clients and dealing with 20 plus partners ( I cannot take the partner path), I have never seen anyone rude. All partners are very human and care about their team. Even the clients understand if you tell them in the calls that you were having lunch while talking to them or even get one to the meeting room. It’s all how much they value you. There will always be some exceptions like P1 appears to be an outlier in this thread.

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Bigger question is why were you not more prepared to send your work in time to eat lunch with your GF?

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And why are so many people here assuming it isn’t Either OP’s or the client’s fault? I actually read the original post as it being no one’s “fault” and just a matter of the GF wanting to eat at 11:30, or 12:00, or whatever time, OP needing just a short time to wrap up what is being worked on and they GF not wanting to wait.

I am clearly in the minority in how I read this, but I think a common issue we have in communication is people reading or hearing something, and jumping to interpret it in the most negative/offensive way possible.

EY10 and MD1 - why are you presuming that P1’s question was placing blame on OP? It was a question - and maybe the answer was that the project had just been assigned, all information was just received or there was a different priority. And maybe it was poor planning on OP’s part.

No matter what the answer was ( and regardless of whether it was meant this way or meant to be accusatory) P1’s question is absolutely relevant in determining what response to give OP.

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