Mike Reynolds, communications officer for the Office of the Associate Vice-President, speaks about lunch roulette at Carleton – a program that gives faculty the chance to meet coworkers for hearty conversation. 

Three or four weeks ago in some corner of the interwebs, I  saw the story of an employee at a big company who, long story short, dreamed up a big game of lunch roulette that got hundreds of people interacting with co-workers they otherwise would never have met.

The concept sounded interesting—get people sharing ideas with one another and build up a little spirit in the company. Obviously, there’s more to a person’s life than then words they type from 9-5 or the pylons they place in a construction zone at 6 a.m. or the presentation they gave to a boardroom full of executives. While it’s great to talk to people who really care about their job, it’s greater yet to sit down and talk to someone about their passion—whether that be their job, their kids, their side business, their pets, anything.

I was thrilled to jump at the opportunity to take part in a lunch roulette session provided at Carleton by Fresh Thinking Series. My lunch date was with Nancy Delcellier, Assistant Director, Environmental Health and Safety.

While the food part was secondary, it was till nice to try out the Fresh Food Company’s offerings. I hadn’t been to the residence cafeteria since my years living in Lanark House in the late 90s and I was impressed with what we got to sample.

The real treat though, was the conversation. Well maybe the conversation and one butter tart. No matter who I had been paired with, I expect we would have found common ground along some topic. One of the areas we had a connection was family members involved in amateur sports. Minutes worth of ranting on the lack of national funding for these athletes had us on the same page and in under an hour we went from having never met to becoming campus friends.

At the same time, somewhere in those 54 minutes or so we lunched together, we of course got talking shop. Having never met before, we realized there were things we both worked on that could benefit the other. I doubt we were the only ones who benefited from some lively conversation fueled by buffet style calories.

I’d like to thank the Fresh Thinking Series for taking the initiative to start a program like this and thank Nancy for being a willing participant. Here’s to more ideas, and buttertarts, in the near future.

Submitted by Mike Reynolds, communications officer at the Office of the Associate Vice-President (Students and Enrolment). 

To learn more about The Fresh Thinking Series, please visit carleton.ca/qualityinitiatives/community/the-fresh-thinking-series/


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