Al Desko – Friday’s Word of the Day Haibun

al desko

Today’s word of the day…Al Desko…is patterned after al fresco and was first used in the 1980’s. Its facetious meaning alludes to eating a meal at one’s desk in an office: always snacking al desko; having an al desko lunch.


Here’s a look at my al desko lunch today, as a matter of fact. It’s not much different any other week day, though the menu changes slightly. I get 30 minutes of unpaid time for lunch. But most days, the lunch hour is exactly the time when my boss needs me to write notes from the morning’s meetings or prepare presentations for the afternoon meetings. It is a rare thing for me to even leave me desk in the course of an 8-1/2 to 9 hour day; rarer still to actually finish my soup while it is still warm. But today is a good day. The boss is flying as I type somewhere over the Rockies, so I am enjoying an uninterrupted break.

We are work-a-holics here in the US. The sad truth is we are encouraged to work long hours, and do, with the hopes of gaining the boss’s attention. Positive notice is what it takes to ace an evaluation which translates into a favorable raise, not the minimum pittance required for breathing, and positions one for future opportunities as a person who “works hard and gets the job done”. Sadly, though loyalty is a thing oft cited in great reviews, companies are loath to return the favor.

I’m exhausted just thinking about it. And yet I acquiesce to”the man” hoping that I might one day be able to afford to retire. It is highly unlikely that I ever will, but I like saying the word retire and thinking that I might have a shot at it. Especially now that I’ve passed the 60’s mark.

I’m sorry. I’m afraid I have digressed a bit. The word of the day al desko has nothing to do with retiring. But here I sit, eating my healthy store-bought soup, heated in the office breakroom, with my little bag of goldfish and a cup of ice water. Dining al desko, catching up on Facebook and WordPress. Checking the news and the weather; glad that I brought my umbrella in from my car this morning. It’s going to rain this afternoon.

I’ll leave this desk around 5:30 or so, squinting as I emerge from the building at seeing the light of day outside for the first time in hours. A quick 15-20 minute trip in traffic will deposit me home where I will feed my pets, grab a bit of grub myself and then settle in for the night. All to start again at 6 am next morning when I will get up…feed the pets…and pack another al desko lunch to tide me over mid-day.

I’m shaking my head as I read this back to myself. I really do need to step away from my desk at least once during the day. It occurs to me…I need a life! 😉 At least I have words and writing to sooth the lunacy. Blogging has saved me. 🙂

Have a great week. Step away from the keyboard every now and again. You deserve it. (I say this, hoping that I’ll remember to take my own advice!)

work-a-holics dine
on bagged lunches and take-out
al desko gourmets


8 responses to “Al Desko – Friday’s Word of the Day Haibun

  • alongtheinterstice

    ah yes, many of keyboards have suffered from the drippings from my take out (never organized enough to bring a lunch from home)

    Liked by 1 person

  • dornahainds

    Scrumptious! 😎😎😎

    Liked by 1 person

  • ron877

    I am impressed by the amount of time you spend at your day job and still manage to produce all these great posts.

    Your paragraph on work-a-holics particularly interested me. The ethic you described is common in countries where I have worked throughout SE Asia over the past 30 years although it is possible and even easy to resist. I thought of it as some sort of Asian-specific anomaly and mentioned to my colleagues “We don’t have it this grim in the US.” I guess I was wrong. I obviously don’t get out enough (in the US).

    Liked by 2 people

    • Kat Myrman

      Hi Ron. What an interesting perspective you shed on Asian culture. I work for an international company and we are all a bit envious of our European co-workers who seem to have much more time for life beyond the office. More vacation time, better compensation and a culture that supports family and a more liberal work-life balance. This may not be true, but it is our general impression. I do think this is a reality for many people here in the US. With rising costs and stagnant wages that don’t rise proportionately because companies consistently propose smaller budgets each year to increase profits for their shareholders, it is a rather grim reality…working to survive, grateful to have a job. Which is why I write. It is the bright spot, a passion for me. It helps keep me sane. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  • anotherfoodieblogger

    I am sure glad my days of “al desko” lunches are behind me, I sure had my share of those! I hope your weekend has been rejuvenating. xo

    Liked by 1 person

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