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  • I heart construction workers

    No, I’m not a fan of construction workers in the way you’re thinking! Rather, each day on my way to work, I pass a construction site that has a steady stream of arriving workers. And I marvel that each and every one of them is carrying a well-worn cooler. As a big fan of bringing lunches from home, I love seeing a culture where this is the norm.

    I’d love to see a study about how this came to be. Do the roots of this culture go way back, to when construction workers didn’t have ready access to prepared foods and cold drinks on the job site? (The construction project I pass is close to quite a few restaurants, cafes and fast food places, plus there are lunch trucks.) Or is it a culture of frugality, where they universally agree that schlepping a cooler full of food and drink to save money is the thing to do?

    And of course, I can’t help but wonder what’s in their coolers . . .

    Image credit:


    1. Erin and Chris says:

      My husband is in construction and takes his lunch every day. The roach coach does come, but he knows that what he takes is better for him and won’t make him sick. I believe that it is because they do not know when they are going to take lunch and sometimes don’t know where they will be so they cannot count on any resaurants being in close proximity to the job site.

    2. maggie's mommy says:

      when i was a little girl, i used to think that construction workers had the best job ever because they got to have a picnic everyday! as an avid bring-my-own-luncher, i have to chow down at a desk. jealous!

    3. My husband is also in construction and takes his cooler every day- because I make him. Manual labor takes it out of you, and you have to keep feeding the machine; that runs into mad cash over the course of the week. Sometimes he would spend as much on lunches and snacks, as I did on a whole week’s groceries for five people!

      Apparently, the homecooked fare he brings with him acts as currency; he’s always boasting how his baked mac-and-cheese traded for half a hoagie and a soda, or how his slices of cherry pie (painstakingly made by hand) went for slices of pizza and a snapple.

      Oh well, at least SOMEONE is enjoying a healthy lunch…

    4. Chief Family Officer says:

      @Erin & Robin – Thanks for sharing your insight! I think it's wonderful 🙂

      @Robin – LOL at the daily picnic. What a wonderful perspective!

    5. My husband also works in construction and we both take our lunch. He works with machines that have to be tapped into a power source, somehow. He installed a microwave on his work van. He is able to tap into the power and have a hot lunch! But the microwave access does create a fight for last night’s leftovers. 🙂

    6. marci lambert says:

      one of my first jobs was working for a real estate/construction company. i did the marketing (in a nice cool office), but one day i decided to spend the day on a job site. those guys put me to work! and yes, they all had giant coolers and since they started at 7, by 11 they were cracking them open for lunch. i think since they worked so hard, they needed a lot of fuel. going to a restaurant (which i doubt they would do because of the time factor and because of how dirty they got) would be really expensive, even for just fast food.

      overall i think bringing the big cooler saves time and money for them.

      btw, when i got off work that day (at 3) i immediately went home and took a nap!

    7. Has a lot to do with time and somewhat with money. For my husband, leaving the job site means he needs to roll up all his tools and lock up before leaving–tool theft is really high and the tools are very expensive. Much better to just eat right there and not have to put everything away and roll it back out when you get back.

    8. Father Sez says:

      Funny, I never thought about this. Consruction workers generally do this in my country. Jami’s commments make a lot of sense.


    9. Chief Family Officer says:

      @Leah – Okay, that’s weird! But how awesome for him – I guess you’ll just have to cook some extra 🙂

      @Marci – Oh my, I think I’d die if I had to work that hard for a whole day!

      @Jami – I mentioned your comment to Marc, who wasn’t the least bit surprised. Makes a lot of sense, thanks!

      @Father Sez – Must be a universal thing 🙂