Eating take out in front of customers while working. A necessity or just bad habits?
The French say Americans are always eating and drinking
I hear it a lot living over in France: Americans are always eating. We eat in our cars, at work, in front of the TV and computer and we always have a drink in our hands, the bigger the better. Visit a typical American mall and you get to see all this in action: eating and drinking while walking.
Are the French just showing off their cultural food arrogance or do they have a point? Do Americans lack basic meal discipline? Do we eat and drink all the time?
Well tonight, in small town Tuckerton, New Jersey, the French might have just hit it right. Because I saw something that I haven’t seen in a long time. Or maybe I am just more perceptive living in France for most of the year.
Something that makes me question my cultural identity. And I ask myself (and you) “Is this just a food snobbish attitude?”
Food snob or bad manners?
It started with a quick visit to the store around dinner time. I found what I needed and started to walk up to the register to pay for it. As I approached the counter there were three employees hanging out working and one Styrofoam take out container with fries and a half eaten grilled cheese sitting in it on the register’s counter. One of the cashiers is standing there, eating the other half of the cheese sandwich. I am thinking, “Hmm, this guy isn’t working and eating his dinner too? No, he can’t be”
Ummm, like yeah.
He grabs my items to buy, rings it up and while taking another bite into his grilled cheese he takes my money with his other hand.
And that was it.
But it made my stomach turn. And as my 8 daughter and I walked out of the store, I turned to her and said “Can you believe that guy? He was eating his dinner and waiting on us!” She said “That wasn’t very polite, was it Mommy?”
And then I thought, “Mary, you are turning into a horrible food snob.”
The cashier and greasy fingers broke some basic meal discipline ‘rules’
Was this food snobbism or was this cashier just breaking basic manners?
He wasn’t alone working, there were other employees, the store wasn’t busy. Why didn’t he take a 10 minute break to eat? Or at least put the food away from the counter where people pay? Just bad manners?
He broke some of my favorite meal discipline food rules:
- Sit down while eating
- Eat at a table
- Take time to eat in a relaxed environment
- Don’t eat and multitask at the same time.
Your verdict? Bad manners or bad food discipline?
Do the French have some merit in their blanket statement? Or am I just a bad food snob from living most of the year in France, a country with strict meal discipline?
Love to hear your comments. (And don’t worry, I won’t be upset if you call me a snob!)
BrightonYourHealth is a website devoted to helping you stay healthy for the long road. Mary Brighton MS, RD, believes in realistic back to basics ways towards good health. If you would like to subscribe to the newsletter or to receive email updates please subscribe by clicking on the link: Join BrightonYourHealth. Thanks for your support!