Last night I lost my temper a bit with one of the cooks. He's one of those borderline alcoholic, wannabe hood, thoroughly average guys who thinks he's The Shit. I was walking through the kitchen to get something, and one of my coworkers was standing by the food line. This girl drives me up a damn wall; I think she's a complete idiot, that she sleeps around out of a lack of self-esteem, and that she's way too willing to let men walk all over her. As far as I know, she and this AFC (asshat fry cook) aren't really friends; he just thinks it's fun to pick on her because she gets riled up and, sadly, probably lets his comments get under her skin.

Anyway, she grabbed a French fry out of the fry bin, and as she was eating it, AFC says to her, "Stop eating! You're like a fucking cow!"

A mish-mash of things I've read about the connection between dieting, misogyny, and control rushed through my mind. The girl was already "defending" herself--not by telling him to fuck off, of course, but by saying she hadn't eaten that day. I glared at AFC as I stalked by and told him "It's none of your damn business what she eats, don't be so fucking rude."

Of course, AFC and his fellow asshat broil cook immediately started mocking me, mimicking me saying "that's soooo rude!" and other things. I don't care--they left my coworker alone, and I've got a hell of a lot more self-confidence than she does, so the little bastards can try to cow me if they want. Good luck with that, boys.

I know it's a very little thing; it certainly isn't earth-shaking. But I'm glad that reacting to those sorts of things has become normal for me. I used to be so afraid of rocking the boat I wouldn't speak up; I used to be afraid of being mocked for going against the societal norms that say I should shut up and not get involved. I used to think I had no right to speak up, because I'm a fatass, so naturally my opinions aren't valid. FUCK THAT NOISE.

It may not change things; AFC may not think twice next time he wants to say something like that, and my female coworker may continue accepting it. But maybe it at least planted an idea that that shit isn't okay.

Of course, I'm still working on that in my own life, too. I had to shoot my own father down for something like this tonight; he asked where I was, and I told him I had a coupon for a free burrito so I was at Qdoba. His response was, "Well that sounds fattening. Shouldn't you be eating something with less carbs?"

I paused for a second before answering, because I almost responded similar to how my coworker did--with justifications. But you know what? Even though he's my father, it's still not really his business.

So I paraphrased a line from an Anita Blake book. "You didn't know I was eating when you called, so I'm pretty sure you didn't call to lecture me about my dinner." We got to the actual point of his phone call then.

4 Responses
  1. Simon Says:

    I like that last bit about your dad. A snappy comeback.

  2. Aunty Pol Says:

    I have lived with shit comments like that for the better part of my life..from the well meaning to the down right soul killing. Yes, I am pear shaped like the rest of my family, have health issues etc. Been to Bariatric doctor..lost a lot of weight..then had to take steriod shots for the polio related issues in my life., . My realistic husband ( SU/Hubs)said :

    " have a choice..don't take the shots..end up back in the wheelchair sooner than later..or take the shots..gain some weight , we buy you new clothes and you live your life."

    Just another reason I keep his sorry ass (j/k) around.

    I've made peace with being who I am at the age of 55..I will not be defined as a number for any reason.

    Good for you for sticking up for her PG..even to the AFC's of the world.



  3. purplegirl Says:

    @Simon - wish I could take credit. :)

    @AP - sounds like your husband's a definite keeper! :) You (obviously) made the right choice; hating yourself for something out of your control is exhausting--and there are so many better things to think about in life!

  4. I did a couple of side stints at non-Chinese restaurants and I noticed that the cooks were usually so full of themselves, always making snarky remarks to the waitresses. Like breading up fish and dunking french fries into grease is the height of achievement.
    This is not to say there were no altercations with the Chinese cooks, but for the most part they were fun and pretty respectful. We did learn the common Chinese swear words though, and used them freely ;)