Several times a month, we get these desperate emails at work. The subject says it all. Whether it’s leftover pastries from a morning meeting, cooked hot dogs from a lunch program, or something else, we’re constantly assaulted with appeals to come eat.
So many of our not-so-pleasant activities on campus use a free meal as motivators. Not only for students, but also for faculty and staff. My college has a yearly please-and-thank-you dinner which entails bringing the employees together to feed them chicken and policies. Other gatherings on campus that include food are more pleasant, such as our recent holiday gathering.
Some of these can be avoided — I immediately dismiss the “FOOD!” emails. When I’m forced to attend a please-and-thank-you dinner, I bring my own food. At celebration times, I attend for the celebration but leave the food alone. If I know what’s on the menu, I will plan the food into my own meal plan. For example, I’ll skip my morning fruit at home and eat a piece of pineapple at the gathering.
I’m so fortunate to be able to identify and deflect most of these situations. Having visited with some of you, I hear that this is more difficult for some than others. What I’d like to hear is how you handle situations where food is either made available or presented to you at work.