Consuming Negativity: Perhaps the Best Reason of All to Eat at Home
Photo byÂ Scott Ableman
When I was first introduced to Feng Shui in the mid-90’s, I was told by an expert that I should place mirrors behind the stove to reflect the energy I put into the food I cook. I’ve heard other experts’ reasoning since then, and though it varies, it always comes back to the cook being happy. I know a lot more about energy now than I did over a decade ago, and I know that I certainly don’t want to serve food to my family if I’m slaving over a hot stove and mad at them for not doing chores. All that negativity goes straight into everything I touch, and instead of infusing a meal with love, I will have funneled all my crappy feelings into dinner.
I’ve heard diet experts comment on how we really don’t know what restaurants put into our food. Tons of fat for one thing. Lots of salt and preservatives, for another. But there’s really more going into what you eat when you eat out than just ingredients and a bazillion calories.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve commented several times about the poor service I’ve received at a breakfast biscuit drive-through whenever I’ve been running behind in the mornings and skipped breakfast at home in favor of something on the way. The employees make it very clear that they really don’t care about serving the customer—they’re just there for their paychecks so don’t expect them to correct your order or to care if your food is cold. I don’t think they’ve been spitting in my orange juice (it’s sealed!), but I do know that kind of thing does happen at some resaturants and I’ve heard former disgruntled employees admit it years later.
In a conversation with an employee of a fast food restaurant that prides itself on excellent customer service, I was surprised to learn that an employee’s smile often masks a lot of negativity. I hadn’t considered this before. I mean, I know that innately but I hadn’t realized how much so many fast food employees despise their jobs and their customers. These are usually minimum wage jobs or just above and, around here at least, there’s always another minimum wage job next door if too many customers complain and you get fired. Somehow, the happy, pleasant, friendly manner of this restaurant’s employees gave the impression that they were all enthusiastic about their job. I’ve been in there many times and the place has always been buzzing with friendliness.
“Oh, no,” the star employee told me. “A customer orders the special and we smile and say ‘Sure! I’d love to make that for you!’ and then we go into the back to make it and it’s like, ‘Oh, @$^#%! I have to make that #*$&^@ &*($# special!’ Then we make it, cursing the whole time, and carry it out and smile and say thanks.”
Hmmm, so maybe it’s better to eat in more often, make it ourselves with love and respect for ourselves, than to get those extra ingredients from angry food makers!