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“This peanut butter is so dry that it’s sucking the moisture completely from my mouth.

I threw my office lunch down haphazardly onto my plate, looking wistfully at my coworker Stephanie’s lunch – a delicious, cheesy homemade lasagna. 

The world is bleak today. But at least I saved $8 by not buying anything…

Rewind to 9:30 pm the night before. As I scrolled through shows on Netflix in the category “Because you watched ‘The Office’, you might like”, I started thinking about work tomorrow.  

I have no idea what to bring for lunch. And I really don’t feel like getting up from this couch. I’m sure I’ll figure out something in the morning…

And then the morning came.

I scrambled frantically in my kitchen, throwing random food into my lunch bag and hoping that the ingredients would magically form a meal on their own. 

They didn’t. 

As a result from not meal planning and being too cheap to buy a proper lunch, here are the top 9 sad office lunches we’ve had at the office. REGRETS! 

1. A can of tuna and a few slices of Havarti cheese. 

What’s worse than eating your sad desk lunch in your cubicle? When your lunch is loosely based on the idea of a tuna sandwich, minus the bread. There might even be a bit of mold and fuzz growing on your cheese, but if you don’t see it, it’s not there right? 

And besides, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. 

2. Avocado and toast

So you want to be just like everyone else on Instagram and make the perfect looking avocado and toast. The only problem was that when you peel it, the avocado is not yet ripe. You can barely cut into the thing. Have you ever tried eating an unripened avocado? 

Don’t. Just try some wet cardboard instead. 

3. Quinoa salad

I’m sure you’ve eaten it before with a smug look on your face and even refused your coworkers invitation to join them at Chipotle. 

“No thank you, I’m having qeenwaaaa today.” 

Except in your haste this morning you neglected to season it with fancy lemon and oil opting instead for a few leaves of unwashed spinach thrown on top. Your smugness will steadily evaporate with each bland mouthful. You’re going to wish that quinoa would transform itself into a burrito. 

4. Leftover leftover spaghetti

Leftover anything when it’s way past its prime is a sad sight. What once brought joy to your palate now has you sniffing around, pulling it apart and thinking “Well, what’s one more day? I’ve got a strong stomach anyways.” That extra day has helped unify all the ingredients into a jelly-like block and created a beautiful slime layer at the bottom of the container.

And you swore that the pasta sauce used to be a vibrant red, unlike the lackluster brown goo that’s looking up at you now. 

5. Free food from a meeting

Thai veggie wraps anyone? Egg salad sandwich? I don’t know about you guys, but at our office, we hawk around like vultures whenever there’s free anything. But once you grab that vegetable wrap and it feels like a soggy napkin, there’s no turning back. Or when you take a bite of that sandwich and all you get is a mouthful mayonnaise- you’re donezo. 

So put on a brave face, finish what you’ve taken and remembered that you get what you pay for (nothing, it was FREE). 

6. Leftover pizza from last week’s conference

The “I can just revive it in the microwave” idea might hold up for a few things, but when you’re trying to salvage week old pizza that’s been tossed in the back of the office fridge, good luck. There’s nothing you can really do to resuscitate the dry, hard-like-a-rock dough. Even the strongest microwave cannot melt that cheese. 

But you still eat it anyways, because “pizza”!

7. Sushi box for $3.99

You gave in and decided to buy your lunch. But you’re no “moneybags”, so you choose the cheapest option: sushi in a box from that sketchy place close to the office.

You may as well have thrown your change in the toilet because now all you’re left with are bits of fake crab, cubes of browning avocado wrapped in cold, sweet rice, all soaked together in a spicy mayo sauce that resembles pink goop than anything else. 

Next time you might re-think cheapening out on raw seafood. The sour taste won’t go away. 

8. Microwave packaged food 

You bought a large box of “healthy” frozen meals from Costco in the case of an emergency. Except you’ve been having emergencies the entire week because every evening you’ve not been able to unglue yourself from “Black Mirror” on Netflix. 

Now it’s day 4 of eating “Smart Choices: Spinach and Alfredo Pasta.” It’s sad looking, but it came out to only $1.50 each!

Beware, however, your laziness will be furiously judged by your coworker with the homemade quinoa salad. With all the fancy dressings.

9. Exploding bean chili

“What’s that fishy smell coming from the kitchen?”

You pray that those gross food molecules from the microwave don’t cling onto your bean chili as you heat it up. 

Pop, pop, pop! 

Okay, your lunch has now exploded everywhere in the microwave because you were too lazy to put that weird plastic lid on top. Have fun cleaning that up! (or just sneak out quickly before anyone sees you…

So what are some of your sad office lunches? Let’s share and reminisce together! 

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  1. Marcia Loughman Marcia Loughman

    I can definitely relate to this, I ate Quinoa so much that it eventually lost all taste and meaning. My colleagues started calling me the Quinoa gal.

    Netflix should have a feature that pauses your show until you’ve packed your lunch!

    • Modern Flourish Modern Flourish

      Thanks for your comment.

      That’s hilarious! Quinoa can be so good with the right seasoning and add-ons but sometimes it just feels like too much work!

      You should write to Netflix and suggest that feature!


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