COLUMBUS, OH—Engaging in stilted chitchat about their spouses, exercise routines, and weekend plans at a Buffalo Wild Wings a quarter mile from their workplace, employees from local software company Cortel Systems referred to making awkward conversation outside the normal confines of their office as “going out to lunch,” sources confirmed Thursday. “So, uh, Henry, how long does it take you to drive into work in the morning?” asked account manager Elizabeth Harris, who called the brief snippets of forced conversation interspersed with long, uncomfortable pauses that took place over a chicken BLT with a side of potato wedges instead of at the table in their office kitchen a “nice change of pace.” “25 minutes? That’s not as bad as I thought. About the same as mine, you know, maybe a couple minutes longer…yeah.” At press time, Harris could be overheard referring to the individuals she solely knows in a professional capacity and is paid to work with as “friends.”

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