See those deviled eggs in the picture. They look delicious don't they? I bet you'd like to have one or twelve! Deviled eggs not your thing? Then imagine some other delicious looking food that you'd love to dig your hands into. Well, I'll tell you something, feel free to have them, have all of them! Especially my share! I wouldn't touch them for all the money in the world.
You know why? Because these delicious looking deviled eggs are a product of an office potluck and are probably filled with some of the grossest things I can think of. How does this happen you ask? Well, I'll tell you how.
People rarely wear gloves when they cook at home. Do you wash your hands EVERY time you touch something in the kitchen? I do! People also touch their faces or other things without realizing it while they are cooking.
One "Boy it's hot in this kitchen" will cause an arm or a hand to rise and wipe your forehead. Are you sweating and standing over the stove? When that sweat drops from your face, where do you think it goes? I'll tell you, right into that pot the food is in! Did you wash the sweat off your arm/hands or did you just dry them with a paper towel?
People will also taste what they are cooking. Not a problem, unless they taste it from the spoon they are cooking with. Yup, right from the pan to their lips for that one innocent little taste to see if it needs more salt or more lemon or more whatever, and then right back into the pan, unwashed.
And who's that you're talking to while you cook?? Your kids did you say? The ones who want to help. Kids are so wonderful that way. Sure, you can have a little taste sweetie. Oh you want to help Mommy prepare the vegetables? Great!
What if little Sarah has a cold that you don't know about yet and now she just put her lips on the cooking spoon too! And the vegetables that she's helping you with, did she wash her hands first?
Did you happen to notice if she picked her nose or washed her hands after she came out of the bathroom?? Probably not since you were in the kitchen busy with what you're making. This is how I imagine things get made at someone's house.
Not because they are dirty or unclean, but because they cook for others the way that they cook for themselves. And because they aren't germaphobes like me. Of course it's possible that everyone is just as clean and germ paranoid as me when they cook, but I doubt it. Here's an example of what I mean.
I was at a friend’s house having dinner. She's been my friend for years and I've never had issue with eating her cooking. But then one night as we sat around the table waiting for the main course to finish in the oven, we snacked on some veggies on the table. Her dog came into the kitchen. She looked down and quickly told him to move away from the table with a soft pet on the head. Her way of saying "I still love you, even though I just told you to go away". But then she turned and put that same hand right into the veggie tray.
I almost screamed! Uh, you know you just touched your dog, and then touched food with that same hand, right? YUCK!!!!! I love my friend and her dog, but I will never eat dog hair, not on purpose anyway! Maybe there wasn't any hair on her hand, but in my mind there were a million little hairs now attached to her hand from the dog that fell right onto the veggie tray! Yikes! Now, I'll have to say no thanks on the veggies.
I used to work with this woman who brought food into the office all the time. About twice a week. I was still pretty new when she asked why I never tried any of the food she made. I told her that I have lots of food allergies as to not offend her. Especially being the newest person on the team.
Months went by before the issue was ever brought up again. She asked me what sort of allergies I have but before I could think of some response, she starts to tell me why I'd love whatever it was that she made.
As a way of convincing me to try it, she starts to tell me how she prepares her food. She told me how much pleasure she gets from cooking for people. She told me how her love of cooking had really deepened her bond with her pet rat because he keeps her company while she cooks. "Mojo" (that's the rat's name) loves to sit on the counter and watch me cook"! He's so cute!
HOLD UP! Did this bitch just say there's a rat sitting on her counter while she's cooking?!!!!!!!! I almost threw up at the idea that other people in the office have been eating this woman's food for years! I wonder if they know this. After that, I didn't even want to go OUT to lunch with her. The association between her, food and a rodent had been ingrained in my mind FOREVER!!!!
But the person who made the whatever, is not the only issue. What happens after it gets to the office is just as bad. The people who grab food with their hands and touch pieces other than the one they are going to eat. Where have your hands been?? Yuck!
These are also the same people who will lick their fingers and then reach onto another platter and grab something else with their hands. Double YUCK! The people who stand over the food and talk while they are choosing what they want.
Do you know that some people spit when they talk? Chances are, if you're talking while standing over the food, you're probably also spitting on the food! Triple YUCK!!!!
I've found myself eating or pretending to eat food at these office potlucks while fighting back the urge to vomit so many times! I do not want to offend anyone, but I just can't do it anymore!
I tried to ease people into it by telling them that I don't want food that's been touched already. Insisting that I take pieces from the side that nobody has touched yet, or shoving forks, napkins and anti-bacterial hand sanitizer into people's faces. Secretly dumping the plate you handed me because your thumb was on it and quickly grabbing another so you don't ask me why I just threw away the plate you gave me.
It's too much pressure, I can't take it! Me and potlucks have got to part ways!
So, while it appears that I'm looking at that delicious tray of deviled eggs, all I see is dog hair, cat hair, rat hair, flu germs, mad cow's disease, spit, snot and salmonella from sitting out too long. This is why....
Happy Monday everyone! Have a GREAT day at work today! And, don't do anything that will get you fired and/or arrested!
The Working Poor
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