The first lunch time I spent here at the Young Post office was definitely one of the most memorable experiences I’ve ever had. I was expecting it to be more mature than the school lunch times I was used too, but the blatant differences gave me quite a shock. There is no loud ringing bell dictating your life and making you temporarily deaf at the same time. It was very independent.
On the first day, I was unsure of the lunch timings. I predicted that they must be around one, as that’s when most workplaces start lunch. The clock hit one but no one left their seats. Everyone was so dedicated to their work that it felt like lunch was unimportant for them. My stomach growled; I was extremely hungry. Finally I noticed some people leaving, quickly I followed them.
As we approached the canteen, I noticed how different it was from school and from what I was expecting. There were no loud, screaming kids, pushing and shoving trying to get in front of the line. It was all very sophisticated and professional. There were clear single file lines of people queuing up to buy their food. The professionalism and the maturity shocked me a little, as I was ready to fight to get my food the way I was used to.
The thing that definitely shocked me the most was the quality and the quantity of the food. The food was actually very appetising. I was expecting the food to be overly priced and not worth the money like stereotypical canteen food is – unhealthy, undercooked, limited, just generally borderline inedible. I was quite surprised to see that the food was cooked fresh when ordered; it took a little bit longer than it does at school, but a small sacrifice for the brilliant quality of the food.
Looking around the canteen I noticed how many different options there were. You could have authentic Chinese food, different kinds of pasta, or even go healthy with a salad. As a self-proclaimed food lover this was like heaven for me. There were so many options it was hard for me to decide what to get, I wanted everything. I decided on starting off with something simple like a salad. Even the options at the salad bar were more than I was normally used too. I felt like a little kid at the candy shop, wanting to have and try everything.
I sat down for lunch at a secluded table with my fellow cadets, all of us in awe of the place. Around us everyone was chatting and having a good time. The loud environment made me feel more at home, it reminded me of lunch times at school, just much calmer and less chaotic.
Lunch times here were so much more independent than I had expected them to be. Everyone leaves when they want to and then come back within a reasonable time. There is no bell dictating what to do and when to do it. While being extremely independent working here is not boring. There is always something interesting going on.