It was almost as if I’d forgotten why it was that I disliked or hated eating in public alone. And then Tuesday, in the cafeteria at work, it all came rushing back to me! That look! That look rude strangers give when they see a fat person eating food. It’s a sort of lusty-hateful look. It’s a look that makes me think they wish they were eating what I was eating and/or hate that I’m shamelessly enjoying my food or just hate that I’m fat and within their vision. Who knows?! I certainly don’t. But the way a couple of people were staring at me made me think I must be the most entertaining or engrossing show on earth!
There were two of them, sitting next to each other, but at a long and crowded table across the room from where I sat alone. I was eating a very fresh, very delicious and juicy, organic cheeseburger. It was hella good! First, I noticed a woman sort of trying not to stare, but her eyes kept finding their way back to me. Then the guy next to her simply did not care and locked eyes on me and pretty much just watched until they were all ready to leave. I tried not to notice, not to care, but you know how hard that can be. I tried to simply enjoy my lunch and let it go.
Obviously the problem is theirs, not mine. That doesn’t mean that I don’t feel their eyes on me, gazing at me with disgust and wonder. What must they be thinking? I do not care! You couldn’t fucking pay me to care! It’s rude on a very basic level. I am certain that anyone would be perturbed by being stared at while eating. These are privileged professionals who should know better, but that didn’t stop them. At one point I decided to stare back. This lead to the gal looking away and the guy not even noticing that I was looking at him. He was far too fixated on my mouth and burger interacting.
Sure, I can pretend that I’m the most gorgeous creature those two have ever laid eyes upon and thus cannot expect them to look away from such a wondrous sight…but let’s face it, their interest in me was not that. Am I wrong to assume? I don’t think so, I know how it felt. There’s a decent chance that you know how it felt, too. I don’t know what most folks do when this occurs, but I was quite honestly too damned tired to care. I get shit on enough at work as it is and generally view my lunch break as my only solace lately. That same day at lunch two of my co-workers didn’t even acknowledge my existence. I felt slighted, but resigned, now, to the fact that I was hired to be liked or make friends. I would say most of the people I have encountered at this place are not friendly. Most won’t even smile back or acknowledge my smiles and hellos. Pssht! Their loss!
My boyfriend says they don’t deserve me there and I’m beginning to think that he’s right. I can’t do anything about it, though. And seriously? Health care and great pay? Yeah, I’ll be sticking this out as long as possible. This latest cafeteria incident isn’t so terrible and really, part of me is surprised it took this long for something like that to happen. I have yet to feel the need to actually speak up about anything, so that’s good, I guess. While I have been made to feel like I’m the gross kid at school here lately, I am doing my best to shrug it off and chalk it up to stress (not my stress, but theirs). It’s always chaotic and hectic and stressful here and I get that, and so I am a bit more forgiving of how people interact with me. But every day is different and how I am treated really sucks sometimes.
Perhaps I should have stuck my tongue out at the rude staring people. I don’t think it would have helped. I mean, maybe they would have realized how ridiculous their behavior was had I matched it with my own, but that’s hardly my style…at least at work. I try to do my best with what I have to work with. I have been surprised by what I’ve been able to accomplish entirely on my own at work, but I don’t know if I’ll ever fit in. Someone recently said it’s because I haven’t made a friend at work yet. That things might at least feel better if I had a buddy to chat with, even if only at lunch. That may be true, but there’s very little opportunity for such buddy making to occur. I have befriended one of the chefs, but it’s not like they can come eat or sit and talk with me.
Sadly, I don’t matter here, at all. They needed a Jack of all trades and surely that’s me, but they also need someone cold and uncaring and that is just not in my nature. The cafeteria thing was Tuesday of this week, but yesterday was the worst. We’d been setting up for a holiday party the last two weeks. I have been truly busting my hump to get things set and put together and what have you. Yesterday was the big day and we had folks fly in from all over the world for some meeting (the party was for them). I knew it would be a tough day, but I hadn’t counted on just how awful people can be on an individual level.
To put it plainly, towards the end of the day, just before the party was to start, I was dismissed by my supervisor and then had someone literally cough in my face. No “I’m so sorry!” none of that, they didn’t even acknowledge that I was there. Mind you, seconds before I was trying to get through the crowd and tapped their shoulder and said, “excuse me” so I might get by. All they did was shift their feet and then turn to cough in my face. They didn’t even attempt to cover their mouth or make eye contact. Sure, maybe they were embarrassed, but I don’t buy it. I don’t believe that I even registered as human to them, or at least that’s how it felt. That on top of being dismissed I tracked down my co-worker to tell her that I was asked to leave and she said I could “hang out” for a bit, but I was in shock and in near tears by that point. I could barely speak! So I left.
I ugly cried the entire way home. I felt dehumanized and bullied. That may not be how it actually happened, but I know how it made me feel. I was beside myself and doing my best not to allow a full on panic attack to happen. I managed. I downed some EmergenC and had a hot shower and hard cider and fruit salad. I told myself that these things will help me not get sick. I have a touch of germaphobia, you see, and this cough will be haunting me for some time. I also had to be to work by 6:45 am this morning, so I had to get to bed early. Ugh! I was a wreck and a mess. I’m feeling a bit better if not entirely bitter this morning. I am counting the minutes until I can leave this afternoon.
It’s hard because I don’t hate my job, sometimes it’s fun. It’s always challenging, usually physically, but the people here just never cease to amaze me. I’m so mega grateful to even have a job, let alone this one. The pay is excellent and the benefits are great. I am able to do things and take care of things (and people I love) without hesitation. I’m paying off my credit card and soon I’ll be able to start saving money! What?! I know! Apparently that is a thing! Ha-ha! So, yeah, I’m not going anywhere. I was so depressed when I was unemployed, I can’t go through that again.
The one thing keeping me going is knowing that I have next week off and that I am spending it with my favorite fella! Actually, seeing him tonight is what is keeping me together today. I just hope I can stay awake that long! Ha! Caffeine is my friend this week, lemme tell ya! I know the time off and away will do me wonders, but the time with my Special Geek will be the best! 😉
- Equal Rights
- Fat Acceptance
- Oh Daddy!
- Rad Fatty Alert
- Tank Top Tuesday!!!
- Tell Me Tuesday
- TMI Tuesday