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Saturday, March 2, 2013

Do the words FREE FOOD get your attention?

Me?  I feel kinda funny about FREE FOOD.
I'm not sure if it's my upbringing or something much deeper but I just don't like the whole dash to the free food line.
Sure, I am good with trying samples at restaurants or food stores.
But, free lunches or knowing that someone else is buying my food or  buying food for my family is not my thing.  
It  just makes me feel uncomfortable. 
And, the people who just run to the free food  just because it's FREE make me uncomfortable too. 
Let's be honest....there really is nothing wrong with any of it.  
It's me.....not them. 

Most likely, part of why I don't like the whole free food thing is that I am not one of  those people who feel entitled to anything.
Truth-- I am not too smitten with people who do feel entitled to anything.   
When it comes to free food---perhaps the other part of my FREE FOOD AVERSION has to do with my many years of being so damn weight conscious. You know....I was always so worried that someone would ridicule me or make me feel ashamed.....

Now, I know I might have been right.....
A few weeks ago, one of my spirited friends invited a few of us to a corporate event that her company was having to launch a pretty big product that she had been working onIt was held at a swanky place in town.  She promised that the booze would be flowing, the food would be non stop and the entertainment would be incredible.  EVERYTHING FREE.  And, she wasn't kidding.  The liquor and the wine was top shelf and the food displays were beyond spectacular and the entertainment was amazing--strolling musicians, jugglers, artists and magicians .    My friends and I decided to meet up at the establishment's bar to have a before-party drink.  We all admitted to feeling a little bit funny about participating in such an elaborate event that we had absolutely nothing at all to do with nor would we ever have anything to do with.  It just didn't feel right.  So, we hung around the bar and chatted for a bit.  After awhile, our friend whose company was hosting the party came to find us.  She was concerned that we hadn't come into the party.  When we told her how we felt, she laughed out loud---"you wouldn't be the only people who would have had nothing to do with any of this or would have no future intention of having anything to do with it".    She went on to tell us that they actually have many, many people who just come for the FREE FOOD AND BOOZE---"they make a pig of themselves.  They would never eat or drink as much if they had to pay....come on in and I will point them out to you!  It's like a show in itself!"  she offered.  Although it sounded like a creepy way to have a good time, we all went into the party and stood by as she pointed to particular people and asked us to watch their behavior. 
It was pretty incredible.  
"Here comes a waiter with a new tray of appetizers.....just watch what happens," she instructed.
Sure enough, the waiter was mobbed with people.
"Not one of those people have anything to do with our product.....not even the fat woman who loaded her dish with almost the entire tray!"   she told us with a hint of disgust.
"OOOOH......look over there....they just put the chocolate fountain out!"  she said pointing across the room to a table mobbed with people.
I noticed the fat woman heading in that direction, trying to balance her dish while popping appetizers in her mouth.  I was embarrassed for her and ashamed of us for watching her.
"Yep, there she goes!"  my friend howled, slapping her leg and pointing at the fat woman. 
Just then, a colleague of my friend's came over to join our group.
"The fat freeloaders are out in full force tonight!"  he said, rolling his eyes.
I didn't know what to make of it all.  These fat freeloaders didn't seem like they were homeless....they were all dressed in business attire.  They didn't seem like they couldn't afford to eat.
Trying to defend these fat freeloaders, I piped up"but they were invited for the FREE FOOD AND DRINKS...Right?
My friend's colleague rolled his eyes and gave a knowing look to my friend. 
"Do you go to every FREE FOOD event that you get an email about?"  my friend asked me.
"No, I can't be bothered.  But, still, they were invited for FREE FOOD AND DRINKS...."  I asserted.
"Right.  They were.  We sent out an email blast to over 2000 people.   Over 75% of them are people who just get their names on FREE FOOD lists!"  my friend's colleague pointed out.
"We see the same people doing the same thing at all of the vendor events that we go to.  These are the people who RUN FOR FREE FOOD! Do they really have to make a pig of themselves just because it's FREE....I guess so!!!"  my friend shook her head in mock disgust.
"THE SAME PEOPLE!"  she repeated for effect.
"Well, that is just wrong,"  another friend chirped.
Still, I couldn't fault the fat freeloaders.   "Then, why does your company and all those vendors do these types of things when surely none of you will ever make a profit from them?  It seems like a big waste of money!"
My friend and her colleague shrugged their shoulders and gave a little laugh.
"It's business!  And, it gives us something to laugh about while we are here because we would prefer not to be here!  Like I said---the fat freeloaders are our entertainment!"  my friend said.
"Plus, it's great water cooler talk!"  her colleague chimed in.

There's nothing FREE about FREE FOOD.......

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