How To Eat With Shame & Guilt at Work

Here's another post/video inspired by Francis Foucachon's Food For Thought: Reflections and Recipes. A full book review will be up in time for you to buy it as a Christmas gift for yourself or some other loved one. Or you could go buy this book that I earnestly and honestly recommend to you now, just 'cause I said so.

In an early part of the book Foucachon tells a couple of anecdotes to emphasize the different mindsets that Americans and the French have when it comes to food. Both stories revolved around eating in the workplace.

Foucachon makes the point that deliberateness and thoughtfulness at mealtime (or, given American workday habits, ingestion time) is spiritually salutary, and that haste in one's meal will make for waste in one's spirit.

Which is something I wholeheartedly agree with, but will not defend here. Instead, I want to assume it and move on to explore one particular aspect of this American attitude. It makes me sad to think that this is a thing, but it's a thing, and a thing I've experienced. See video below, mes amis.

Before watching the video, ask yourself this question: how willing are you to be seen eating by the CEO of your company? by your boss? by your colleagues? And why is that so?


  1. This video really opened my eyes to ways of thinking I didn't even understand I was doing. I own my own barber shop, and RARELY eat lunch. Partially out of respect to the older men that always seem to show up at lunch, but yes, also the shame thing. I will not eat at the shop because I can't stand for my clients to see me eating. I've eaten in the bathroom, I've even pulled my vehicle around the back of the shop and locked the door from the inside and climbed out the bathroom window to sit on a cinder block out back and scarf down a sandwich. This video kind of put it all in perspective. I eat out once a week, with a friend (on Tuesday) and that day is consistently my best day emotionally, spiritually etc etc. But what to do? I need one of those "If I were you..." kicks in the butt.

    1. Man, I don't know. I suppose my first question would be, how busy/important is the noon hour for you?

  2. Probably not any more important than any other time of the day. I could literally, and do often, work 10 hours straight. But it should be flexible right? Like, 11-1 should be an understood in there that, "this man should eat at some time."

    1. I'll bet you would find that having a regularly appointed lunch hour would be totally respected, and would probably make your work day better. I would just always make it the same. I could see customers expecting noon to stay open, since it would often be their lunch hour. Maybe you could set aside half an hour in the late morning for lunch and half an hour in the afternoon for coffee and snacks. I imagine something like every day after finishing your 3:30 appointment you pull out some coffee, and ham and cheese, and munch while you chat with guests.

      You'd have to draw boundaries, but I could see it contributing positively to the atmosphere.

      Regardless of what you decide to do, keep me abreast. I'm very curious.


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