Friday, 17 May 2019

Food for Thought

As much as I enjoy going out for food, which I might be hard-pressed to stop entirely; the cost of doing so is moving steadily toward being annoying in not prohibitive. I don't frequent the higher end establishments (due as much as anything to my not finding any of it worth the pretence, line-up or cost). I also don't eat in greasy spoons, fast food or soup kitchens (I have, but at present gratefully I don't have the need). So then too low on the spectrum & one is hard pressed to find anything healthy - too far in the other direction and you're paying for "ambiance" I don't care that much about.

Even still to ply the waters of the "middle of the road" is getting fricken expensive!! I just paid fourteen some on dollars for a salad and sandwich (granted organic this that & the other thing ....) Even at that I'm asked, "will there be anything more?"

I felt like saying, "No actually you've raped my sensibilities and wallet quite enough for now thanks!" This was before tip!! A practice that I indulge, but I generally don't enjoy, especially at this type of cafeteria tray line style place (which also features a hot beverage & smoothie bar) - all they do is ring in the cost of your meal. No coming to your table, taking your order, deliver the food, social lubricating banter - they just thrust a total into your hand via the debit terminal which conveniently posts and presumes a tip (some even default to a 20% or greater amount - which means you then must hunt & peck your way through a tip menu selection that you feel better about or a customized one.

It irritates me that I'm paying gross markup on the food and then I'm expected to subsidize the employee's wage. ("oh they work so hard and they aren't payed that well...") that may well be true, but why is Joe or Joelene's business plan holding me hostage to the vision of their annual income? The short answer would be because I let them!

If the employees want/need more money, then let them organize - collectively walk off the job and value themselves. It's not up to me to finance their choice to be there.

I don't get any "tips." Well, except when I'm busking. Thirty odd years in health care .... Nada! Of course most of those institutions, agencies etc. have mandated policies prohibiting "staff" from accepting gratuities. No doubt some throw back to old school mainstream religion, that suggests that  to be of service is reward enough!!.. To be sure it does have its intrinsic rewards. But that false virtue in turning down appreciation in whatever form, and martyrdom consciousness that is perpetuated in health care is bullshit! Nothing but a lot of cockeyed ethics - created by upper management types that make damn sure their well rewarded for drafting policies that devalue the people actually providing the service.

I'm starting to reason that in order to eat out, and eat well as often as I do - I would need to be working a great deal more than I want to work. To do so would negate any value I gain from "healthy food choices" - due to the stresses of over-working.

There is a ridiculous array of food in our society - so much of which goes to waste. At the risk of flogging a tired supposition.. I believe the reason for the food related insanity is none other than addiction/compulsion (and it's underlying disconnection, shame and the collective wounds of all that are willing to pay over-inflated prices to over-inflate their stomachs as they tie on the feed bag for any number of reasons (beyond the basic need for nutrition).

Of course I'm not suggesting a meal out alone or with friends, family, loved ones, is problematic (accept on those occasions and for they, for whom it is).

It can quite readily become part of a complex financial sabotage. Money, food, eating out, health, wellness.... All can be spokes on an overall wheel of optimal living or they can be a weave of nothing particularly good. It's all in how they are used (the underlying motivations).

The winds of change are blowing through my corridors. I'm aware that there's only one person I can change. So pointing out my perceptions of the foibles of the world, won't bring the necessary changes to my life. However along the way - it will become more clear how I need to roll. The rest of the world can continue to spin as it may.

R. O'Neill (May 17, 2019)

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