Things That Suck: TV’s in the Lunch Room

My main work office recently moved from Lombard to the Tower in Oakbrook. It’s been mostly an upgrade; the commute, so far, seems to be nominally less shitty by a few minutes. The cafeteria here is actually decent and, to date, hasn’t caused any Code Brown incidents. Unlike Lombard’s. Ahem.

So, while the food’s decent, the sitting area for the cafeteria has one glaring flaw:

Mother. Fucking. Televisions.

I like to use my lunch hour to eat, relax, and read. Having the cafeteria here is nice because it means I don’t have to burn 20-30 minutes of my lunch driving somewhere. I’d LOVE to be able to just eat in quiet, read, with the hum of other tables’ conversation around me…

…but no.

Every single goddamned chair in the seating area is in eyesight of a fucking TV screen, which is either blaring fucking ESPN or motherfucking Maury Povich or, depending on how America America is being on a given day (like today), live news updates of the latest mass shooting.

Do you know how NOT relaxing this all is? I can’t even open Twitter on my lunchbreak anymore because something within the first five Tweets I see will spiral me off into a deep depression for the rest of the day, so I’ve given up on that during lunch. Now my choices are:

  1. the screaming inanities of whatever C-Grade morons staff ESPN’s mid-afternoon coverage
  2. the downright-demoralising wails and screechings of someone either:
    • super-pissed at being cheated on
    • super-excited to not be the father
  3. the sad woe of some jackoff in a suit on FOX or CNN gravely stretching about 7 seconds worth of actual information into a stultifyingly repetitive hour of Non-Stop Tragedy Whoring

I honestly don’t see ANYBODY even watching this shit. Everybody’s head down on a phone, book or tablet, or HOLY SHIT actually engaging in conversation with their tablemates. So what the point of the max-volume Windows Into Awfulness even is, I couldn’t tell you.

I’m going to drop the building management out here a note; leave the screens on if you must, but can we nuke the sound? Lunch is supposed to be a relaxing, rejuvenating hour, one that girds me for the back half of Intense Productivity that is my work day.

Instead, I leave in worse shape than the guy who just found out that one-night stand he had seven years ago means he’s the daddy of triplets and owes a metric fuckton of back child support.