Monday, 10 April 2006

Tuna here, tuna there

Today I had my first taste of tuna since leaving Volanpex, which means that it's been a month since I last had it. It's funny how as much as I devoured tuna back on my Ipex days - probably something like three lunches a week - I still crave for tuna whenever I don't get it. I even craved for it while we were on our Euro trip.
It's funny, but tuna is the ideal lunch. It doesn't require much in the way of preparation; it's tasty; it's cheap; and it goes well with reading the paper. I usually have it with bits of our wholemeal home made bread (we only do wholemeal; personally, I think white bread is as interesting to eat as a piece of foam).
There were some significant differences between today's tuna and the tuna of yonder. For a start, I now have the privilege of using a plate instead of having my lunch over a few pieces of paper (strategically placed to absorb the occasional drop of oil). You see, at the Ipex kitchen there's nothing but a table and a chair; my current kitchen actually has what one would normally expect to find in a kitchen. It even has cutlery - no need to bring it from home!
On the other hand, one major thing the current tuna lacks camaraderie. Ipex I hardly ever had my tuna on my own; it was always a "company" lunch, unless I was really hungry and wanted to have lunch on my own or unless I was overly focused on my paper. Now, people have this city mentality with lunch: come lunch, no one is friends with anyone else. People just disappear at seemingly random points in time, only to come back a certain time later. Some come back to work, others come back with a take away lunch they tend to eat at their desk. And those that take their lunch to eat in the kitchen are so few they tend to eat on their own, accompanied only by the occasional magazine or by the kitchen's TV.
I miss the company.
Of course, all this discussion about lunch at work brings back memories of Israel. With all the jobs I've had in Israel, I always had lunch provided by work. At El-Al it was at the company's messhall, but with 3Com and Tecnomatix it was at genuine high quality restaurants. Those tuna cans are as far away from those restaurants as Australia is from Israel.
Sadly, I cannot escape the impression that the Australian employee tends to get the tuna can treatment much more often than the Israeli who gets the restaurant treatment.
It's not only the lunch; the employee tends to be much better looked after in Israel than in here. Although there's a significant difference between the hi-tech environment I enjoyed in Israel to what the average Israeli gets at work, stuff like the new industrial relations legislations will not take Australia towards the right direction; they'll only make those that will never even consider having a can of tuna for lunch much less prone to considering the idea.

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