Slow fasting – The boss is making me a Gandhi?

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I met a neighbour in the elevator, “You have reduced a lot! Dieting?” “Yes, you can say that again”, i replied. “I should go on a diet too. I need to get into shape”, she said. “Trust me, its over-rated”, was my straight-faced reply. She thought I was being rude. If only she knew.

I am in shape like I have never before. Not one inch of extra fat anywhere. I don’t even need any yoga or exercise anymore. I might need to shop for new pairs of jeans. Nine out of ten girls would dream of saying those lines with full conviction. But I just said it with plain dismay. Don’t get me wrong, like those 9 statistics-girls, I have always wanted the perfect shape too. But didn’t want it to happen this way…

By our boss’s rule, all of us at work have our lunch together everyday. We have to wait for everyone to wind up their work and get together to eat. Then we share food, we laugh together, its fun. Every once in a while someone would bring dessert for others. Most cooperates spend a big amount on team building exercises, when it actually is just this simple – share food.But the problem is, the bossmakes it compulsory. We have to wait for the boss to wind his work up and be free for lunch – which takes not less than an hour at the least. When he goes out for meetings, we have to watch the clock go tick tick and hear our stomach grumble in low bass while we wait for him. There are days when we don’t have lunch before 4pm. Only because we had been waiting for him. By that time, the stomach churns, grumbles, hurts and eventually the stomach stops bothering too. Don’t even get to nibble things before lunch. And this happens day after day after day. Only once in a blue moon do we ever eat on time. Nobody at work understands this rules. But there is no changing this ritual. I used to sneak in some snacks to eat when nobody is watching. But rare are such occasions at our work place, plus it never does the work of a proper lunch.

This weird rule is taking its toil on me. I am not used to staying hungry for such long hours everyday. Nobody told me ‘ability to stay hungry for hours’ should be up on the résumé too. I am not just going lean, but I’m probably going weak too. I have to conceal my dark under-eye circles with dabs of make-up, I am probably going anemic. I have always wanted to reduce a little weight but now I am at a stage where I wish to fiercely preserve my curves. I have confessed, cribbed and taunted about this rule to the boss; with as much effort as a hungry being can put in. Tried to talk the colleagues into it. All vain. When the boss thinks staying hungry is not good, there are also employees who are unwillingly trying to live up to it! Bosses are meant to be quirky and vicious, but this beats all the fables I have heard – a quirky, vicious boss who also insists that you starve yourself for no apparent good reason.
Once a colleague and I were away for a meeting during lunch and we came back late. Did he ask everyone to wait for us? No.
He is a huge foodie. Eating with him is pleasure, he makes it fun. He knows all the eateries in the city inside out. For his birthday card too, they had his caricature made eating out a grand feast.You just need to mention the word ‘food’ to get him talking. And this is exactly what trips my fuse. If you love food enough, how can you keep someone from theirs?
When my stomach grumbles and I can’t think of anything else but food, that rule feels nothing better than the stone that is pelted at an oblivious street dog by a spoilt little brat kid. It is cruel, lame, unnecessary and painful. And it is hard not to plan about turning around and chewing their foot off or hurt them in some heinous way. Watch them suffer the same way you did.But I won’t. All bosses are these vile creatures that test your patience. You try to understand them, then you curse them but eventually end up ignoring them, accepting them. Try to Gandhi it out, by learning to ignore what you cannot change. Try to Gandhi it out, by learning to face the hardships, no matter how silly they are. I could push the issue more, win the fight and earn his scorn or I could push myself to rise.

There are very few people who challenge you in so many ways. Not only do I have to live up to his standards work-wise, I am in process of making major lifestyle changes.  Whether he is right or wrong is irrelevant. Only thing I can do is adapt. I still don’t see the point of it, but I don’t see another smart way out too
There are fights in which you must surrender. There are times when the only thing you can do is take the blow and not fall down on your knees. And keep believing that in the end it will, somehow, make you stronger. The street dog finally realizes the brat is not worth the bite. Gandhi inside you takes over. I hope mine is on his way too.
Has the Gandhi inside you ever been summoned?

About sayali611

Spent a lifetime building a wall around myself, only to realize that what remained inside was as hideous as anything I would protect myself from. This blog is my attempt to break free, one brick at a time, and to make sense of what was blocked out.

Posted on October 10, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 27 Comments.

  1. Wow, this really is such a difficult and unusual situation. The only thing I could possibly suggest is just to continue with the snacks… if it’s making you ill or anemic, you really shouldn’t have to put up with it, though I understand why you feel you have to.

    I have Diabetes and every now and then I’ll have a hypoglycemic attack and have to go and eat something. Only I won’t until it’s much, much too late… because I feel awful getting to go and sit down to eat something when nobody else is allowed to. Plus, I always have this paranoid feeling that people think I’m just using it as an excuse. Having a hypo is awful, but potentially making people hate me is somehow worse. So I do understand. You just gotta find your sneaky ways to stop being hungry… I keep glucose tablets in my pockets. Maybe you could just shove a drawer full of cake? 🙂

    • Anna, take your breaks. Several of my family members have had, or have Diabetes. Even my blood sugar was recently a bit too high, and I’m trying to change my Diet. Anyone who thinks you’re taking advantage, can shove it up their A$#@! And anyone who hates you because you’re taking care of your health isn’t worth the gum on the bottom of your shoe. I understand about caring what people think, but try to be selective about who it is you are caring about. You are a beautiful soul, and this is the only body you’ve got. Not to be cliche’, but Treat it like a Temple man. And F#@# what anyone else thinks. Be healthy, and well. And for god sake keep Writing, lol

      Meh, Nuff said

      My Ranting is over, lol


      • I have to agree with Darkjade, Anna. I can understand how you feel but yours is a serious case. In your situation, you shouldn’t keep yourself hungry, even if it means making people wait.
        And yes, I am still sneaking a lil to eat, until I can finally learn to control those grumbles completely. Step by step.

  2. I’ve never heard of such a thing! I understand the idea of a “team” approach at work, but this seems taking the power reins and pulling them a bit too hard. Is this really about the group or about the one individual who got to make this rule? And then to be so serendipitous with your food schedules…this seems like even more of a power play. The best way to keep people in their place is to continually keep them off balance.

    I once heard of a company who announce that each year one person would get fired. Just a random firing would happen. The boss thought this was motivation to work hard. I thought it was cruel.

    I applaud your inner Gandhi approach to the whole matter (either by necessity or choice). I tried for years taking the route of quite acceptance of some pretty untenable circumstances. Then I figured out that the person I was serving the most was the person to whom I was acquiescing all my power. I needed to stand up for myself (in my own gentle way) and respect myself enough to say, “I want to continue this relationship, but here are my rules.”

    I know it’s different with a boss, but you have numbers on your side. Can you at least insist on a regular time for lunch? Come on. It shouldn’t always be about someone other than you!

    • You are right, this is some kind of power play. And the way I see it, the only way a power play doesn’t work on you is when you are stronger in the game. If he had any sense, I would have managed to convince him with my persistence by now. I’m dealing with a man who would enjoy a tussle if I give him one. Then he will pull it up a notch, for his pleasure only. If I can ignore all that he does, I win peace.

  3. Yeah, like Anna, I find that situation to be almost impossible. Like Anna, I get hypos (hypoglycemic attacks) but unlike her, I’m not diabetic.

    We don’t all have the same constitutions as each other – and I think your boss is wrong to make everyone, particularly his employees, behave to his standards. There are certain ‘rules’ for a workplace that make sense, for instance if you were working with food, you’d have to cover your hair or wear gloves or whatever, but so-called work rules that threaten health are ridiculous! Is there a higher body you can go to about it? Is he master of his own universe or has he a superior tucked away somewhere. Is there some sort of ombudsman? Because if you’ve tried reasoning with him and he hasn’t given way, it’s probably time to take action.

    By the way, does your boss read your blog or is he likely to? Because your blog is searchable via Google and anyway the posts in the Forum are searchable… so he could find it. Just sayin’…

    I like your blog and I’m subscribing as of… now!

    • I won’t deny, that deep down, I hope he reads this, finds out how this bothers me and then have a change of heart…But then I day dream a lot. lol. This blog is safe for now.

      For now, my game plan is to rise up to the challenge. I want him and his antics to stop bothering me. Reach a level where he can’t touch me. Then will I consider myself capable of putting up a fight.

  4. I used to feel this way when I used to have those 8hour classes at a stretch. I usually stuffed my bag full of crackers for it or maybe even chew gum.

  5. I am currently fasting…3 days nothing but tea or coffee or diet soda (those are there to avoid the caffeine headaches..) I’ll go low carb for a week then do a 5 day fast… so I do get hungry, but then again, after cycling through this method while running and such, i can pull 40 pounds in a month and not blink an eye…the first 2 days of any fasting period are the worst…make it past that and you’re home free…it’s all about head hunger…

    OCD helps keep me on track…lol…if only we were all so lucky…


  6. But Gandhi didn’t ignore what he couldn’t change. If he would have lived with it he wouldn’t have been Gandhi. Slow fasting to please an insensitive corporate ruler? Not worth it.

    • More on the lines of “if they slap you on one cheek…”, “let the barking dogs be..” and those. Gandhi had it all figured. Please him? Hell no! Reaching a place where he doesn’t bother me – that is what we are trying.

  7. I’m not sure where you live, but I’m not even sure that’s legal. At least not in the United States, or certain States anyway. I can’t imagine that it is. Life is not a game, and in such, neither is your health. This behavior is unexceptionable by all measures. You are not a slave building a Temple in ancient times. You are a human being, and you have certain rights, legally I believe, depending on where you are. And if that is not the case, than it’s time to find another job, or give this guy an ultimatum. I’m not one to tell someone to quit their job, especially in these economic times, but allowing this guy to live in his bubble of power, and obliviousness, shouldn’t really be an option. Do yourself a favor, and find out the laws. If it’s the States, I don’t think it’s legal to do that.

    Not to be crude, but this guy sounds like a serious control freak, who either always got what he wanted as a kid, or was made to do things that were pure torture, or both.

    Any and all forms of abuse are unacceptable, forever. No acceptions. And this is definitely a form of abuse, whether he knows it or not. Boss = Does not equal all knowing, in fact it doesn’t mean anything other than he writes the checks. And that’s it.

    Do not continue to think of this as some test that you are trying to pass. Life isn’t a test. Life is a gift. A gift which is yours, an no one elses. Ever.

    Don’t Fear, or succumb to Fear, when it threatens your health.


      • Oh I forgot to tell you all the most amusing fact – the boss is also a qualified lawyer. So going the law way is effectively ruled out. Plus, spending money over court proceedings, bringing in the union and then make my work life more acerbic in the process..too much with only a Pyrrhic victory in the end.
        It is not about fear or submission. Neither about pleasing him. I don’t want to be one of those who throw things at a wall and then eat the ricochet in their nose. Once I was done with the talking and saw his indifference, I knew I was not dealing with someone who reasons well.
        I want to be able to look him in the eye and flash a buddha smile at him, “Peace to you too.” When I see his face when all his arsenal fails, that is what I wait to see. That is when peace will come to me.

  8. You have a control freak of a boss and yet you are still working there – most probably this means that something about your job makes you want to stay. So just work your way around it until it’s really time to quit (

    Ah well, just keep a bunch of bananas at your desk and munch on one while waiting for lunch. It’s enough to satisfy you for an hour, it’s not junk, and we can sure use the nutrients within.

    • The job is great. Until I find something better, I have no other reason to leave. Right now, its hard to tell if its one of those small dips or the larger slope. Plus, since I plan to join an MBA college next year, in my subconscious, I’m just sailing through till next year.

      Im carrying things along. Today was apricot day. Let’s see where it goes…

  9. This is not at all healthy. I don’t know what business you are in, but any boss worth his salt should know this is NOT a healthy thing to enforce on his staff. People should eat at regular intervals.

    I’d be looking for another job and not be looking back.

  10. lifeandothermisadventures

    Yep, that’s very, very illegal. Complain to human resources, and stockpile your desk with food!

  11. The team lunch reminded me of the small offices in villages where the employees gathered for lunch the same way. I thought the concept was kept alive only by movies these days. Nice to see it in real life, somewhere!

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