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Tuesday, May 31, 2005

So What Do You Have for Lunch?

I had a late lunch this afternoon. There were still some parts of a fried fish, a bit of "traditional" salad, and a fresh banana in front of me when most people had left the canteen (or gazebo, to be exact).

Then I saw one of the office boys came in, bringing his lunch (he probably bought it somewhere near the office). These were on his menu: rice (plain), some pieces of fried tofu, and tofu soup. I thought that was it.

But he took one fried fish from a plate served earlier to the directors. And searched inside a stack of lunch boxes provided by the company's catering service. Voila, he found a fresh yellow banana (in one full piece, of course) in one of those green plastic boxes.

Perhaps it's a common view everybody else sees each day. But I wouldn't have witnessed it had I not postponed my lunch time. And I wouldn't write it here today, had he found the banana in a lunch box still sealed.

But what he ate was our leftovers. Probably something we didn't want or didn't like because it tasted awful. And it was there inside the "dirty" lunch boxes, ready to be discarded.

He ate what we considered waste, or rubbish.

I just don't feel right about it. He's one of the employees so he deserves the same menu as others--a fresh sealed lunch box from the caterer. Not rummage around for our leftovers. It's not about your functional position in the organizational structure. It's about humanity. A lower salary is fine, but food leftovers?

Then, as I was writing this, I just realized I had done almost the same thing.

Our house maid is given options whether to pick what she wants to eat from our dining table or to let my mom pick for her. Sometimes my mom tells her what she can eat. But even if she chooses the menu by herself, there's always this "golden rule" that she'd better take stuff we like the least or those we're already fed up with. It's just slightly better than giving her leftovers (or it's not, considering that they're implicitly "leftovers" anyway).

Perhaps it's a common view everybody else sees each day. But I wouldn't have witnessed it had I not postponed my lunch time. And I wouldn't have had this nice reminder had I not decided to write it here.

[Not here to make excuses for "neglecting" my blog.]

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