Refers to a study done by a misguided sociologist. He discovered the remarkable fact that workers make boring jobs more bearable by talking to each other. No shit! He observed the least productive part of the workers' day was when one guy stole another guys banana. This happened on every day of the study. Hence - when you're at work, doing bugger all, you are having 'banana time'.
Check this out on any search engine if you don't beleive me.
"Jenkins! You were supposed to have that report on my desk by three!"
"Sorry boss, we've been having a bit of banana time."
"You're all fired." (etc)
Weekdays, 3.15pm: Enjoy a banana with some friends.
Not the same banana though.
"Is it banana time yet?"
"I left to go home at around twenty to banana time."
"Stop! Banana time."
Banana Time: Job Satisfaction and Informal Interaction.
Maybe a little humorous, but certainly not misguided.
What he means that during boring work activities, that people will develop amusements to break up the monotony of repetitive and non-thinking actions. The workers were really not enjoying themselves, even though they made a game out of some of the routines with "times" and "themes."
Ritualized "games" to help make it through the day, are not restricted to work. What happens to a worker that retires from a life of meaningless work? Well, many retire and sit around bored and try to suck the life out of anyone that passes by. But they have their "times," also. My retired neighbor washes laundry everyday, watches the 'Price is Right," and then it is "My News time," when everything on the news causes a lot of, "Oh My God," "those dirty bastards," and "Oh No!" But all is not lost, because then it "Mail Time."
The lesson from "Banana Time" is to lead a life of purpose, and don't sell your soul for a paycheck.
Maybe it is good for America that those types of manufacturing jobs are getting scarce.
During the day the workers had "Peach Time," Coke Time," and other's including the famous "Banana Time."
One of the themes might be childishly repeating incoherent words or sounds, like "Sammy is a bad man. George is a good man. Sammy is a bad man." This theme might be repeated many times with or without any seemingly provocation. Or another worker might ask someone twenty or thirty times, without expecting or wanting a reply: "Are you a man or a mouse? I asked you, are you man or mouse"