I’ve worked in a mall for the majority of my time since High School- lets call it… 8 years. When I got my current job, I was excited to find out the store I am in, is no longer in a mall. Don’t get me wrong, working in Corporate America, there are a lot of bonuses to being surrounded by other stores where people can just wander in and out as they please. Numbers can be higher for the store, and for the employees -you can easily walk next door and buy a new shirt if you spill coffee on the first one. And by spill coffee, I mean “spill coffee”, like I used to do when I just no longer liked what I was wearing. This was fabulous for my wardrobe, awful for my bank account.
Another feature of working in a mall that was awful for my bank account, was also awful for my stomach, in more than one way. Most retail employees, at one time or another, fall into the Food Court Curse- yes, this is the official term, that I just made up.
The food court is not that appealing as a regular shopper (to me at least); it has cheap, crappy food, that won’t really satisfy or fill, and you’ll be running to the nearest bathroom in minutes- hopefully you’re in a department store at the time, they’re the only ones that have them available. To a retail employee though- the food court turns into this escape. No matter where you work you are required to take a break after a certain number of hours; the food court gets you out of the store, away from customer. It’s a place that you can go with your coworker to chitchat or to meet up with employees of other stores. It is also a place that is selling food, that looks more appealing, than what you brought from home.
Food also seems like a good deal when you’re paying $6 a day for a portion the size of two meals. But if you work 5 days a week:
And a lot of times, in retail, you’re lucky if you only work 5 days a week. The salad I make and take to work every day costs a total of $7, this lasts me all week. So BAM I’m saving $21 a week, which equals, $1,092 a year.
While I watch people’s wallets get smaller, I watch their stomachs quickly expand- myself included. Eating unhealthy one day a week is okay, you can get away with it, sometimes two on a special occasion. But every single day, that’s just bad news bears.
Even not being inside a mall, I still have trouble some days, there is a McDonald’s run at least once a day. That’s why I make my meals at the beginning of the week. It’s why I leave my money at home- debit card, credit card, every form of money McDonald’s will possibly take. This is especially the case on payday.
My other strategy is that every time someone gets food, I google the amount of calories in it. Shockingly, my brown bagged lunch suddenly looks better.
I refuse to fall back into the fast food cycle, I refuse to give my body anything less than the best when it comes to my daily meals. I didn’t get fat from eating vegetables before, that’s for sure.
What food temptation is at your work place?
What is your strategy against it?