|Without a scowl|
At another job — at an even bigger company — there was a huge cafeteria for the employees. This was a full-service restaurant with a quick-serve area and another section that served a selection full-course platters. In the middle of the workday, there were people eating giant grilled steaks with baked potatoes and green beans. I still joined my co-workers, marveling at their midday fare and still being questioned by my lack of eating.
As I got older, I developed hypertension, better known as high blood pressure. I also began a propensity to pass out, in an occurrence known as "vasovagal syncope." Under a doctor's recommendation, I was told to begin a regular eating regimen. So, now I eat breakfast every morning and I began eating lunch on a daily basis. Prior to this diagnosis, I had adopted a vegetarian diet. So, while my co-workers were chowing down on hamburgers and meat-filled hoagies, I was purchasing a grilled tofu sandwich on seven-grain bread. Trying to remain inconspicuous among my carnivorous co-workers proved difficult. "What's that?," they'd inquire, pointing an accusatory finger just inches from my sandwich — sometimes as it was going into my mouth. When I explained what I was eating, I was usually met with "Oh, what's it taste like?" or, more frequently, "EWWWWWWW!" I'm not sure who taught these people manners. It was instilled in me, by my mother, to be polite and never ever make derogatory comments about food that someone was about to eat. We all have different preferences. These particular co-workers had never met my mom.
Every so often, some supplier or client will buy a bunch of pizzas for the employees at work. My boss, a nice guy around my son's age, informs me of the availability of "free pizza." I politely thank him, yet I do not move from my desk. After a few times that pizzas were supplied for lunch, he stopped informing me. Aside from the fact that I don't eat during the day, the thought of my co-workers fingering and poking and prodding every pizza sounds so unappetizing, it turns my stomach. I wouldn't eat it anyway.
I know I am in the overwhelming minority. I don't like to eat at work during the day. I just don't understand why anybody cares?