Monday, February 15, 2010

No such thing as a free ride

Nearly every day someone tries to push free food on us. They seem a bit disappointed, a bit disgusted when we refuse to eat a free pasta, sandwiches, morning donuts and the likes. Low income earners wouldn’t turn down a free meal, they remind us. I don’t argue because that’s not my point.

We are trying to make this a real challenge. We want to experience the physical and mental anguish that those less fortunate face on a daily basis. Sure they may be offered a free meal from time to time, but I’m certain there are longer stretches when they aren’t offered any free meals. We want to experience those frequent, longer periods when our $80 is all you have for the month.

Those same co-workers who persuade us to eat free food also fail to realize that employers who pay their workers minimum wage aren’t likely to provide lunches for their co-workers. There’s a reason why they pay their workers low wages. They can’t afford to pay them more, let alone shell out lunch and donuts. I’ve worked for a small companies and larger companies. Most of my friends work for large corporations. When meetings are scheduled over lunch, lunch is often provided. When your boss wants to show his appreciation for a job well done, lunch is provided. It you’re working for $6 an hour, I highly doubt your boss is going to take you out for lunch to thank you for working overtime that week.

1:50 p.m. It's Family Day today, so I work up rather late and haven't eaten anything yet.
Breakfast: nothing
Lunch: nothing
Dinner: 2 cups of rice and three small beef meatballs.
1 cup of milk, 1 orange


  1. I have to agree with you there. Being on both sides of the fence...having enough money to eat, and barely getting by, I know all too well the feeling of being offered "free" food.

    As well, nothing worse than all your co-workers going out for lunch and asking you along and knowing you will say no.

    When I constantly said no, they thought I was a bitch. No, I wasn't, I just didn't have the money to throw away on one meal.

    As well, a lot of companies can afford to pay better, they just chose not to. I wish those would do this very same experiment you are.


  2. Interesting point. I've always assumed that co-workers who decline lunch invitations were anti-social. I never realized that perhaps they can't afford it. I just asssume that if we work in the same office, and I can afford to go for lunch, they can too.