Man speaking in kitchen with pantry door open (l) man speaking in front of tan walls (c) man speaking in kitchen with pantry door open (r)

@mattandjones/TikTok

‘It’s like an invasion of privacy and fat shaming all at the same time’: Remote worker says lunch-shaming is the reason to continue to working from home (updated)

'Co-worker asked how many calories in my Trader Joe's lunch.'

 

Braden Bjella

IRL

Posted on Sep 21, 2022   Updated on Sep 21, 2022, 2:36 pm CDT

This story mentions calorie-counting and eating disorders.

Remote workers cite many reasons for wanting to stay at home rather than returning to the office. People working remotely report more free time and higher productivity than their in-office colleagues while also saving commuting time and gasoline money.

But working remotely has other benefits, says TikToker Matt (@mattandjones). Namely, no one can comment on food choices.

“If you were to ask me the determining factor in me continuing to work a remote job as opposed to going back into an office job, it would be the fact that, when I make myself lunch here in the comfort of my home, there’s nobody around to comment on it,” he explains.

briefcase

In the caption, he adds: “Its like an invasion of privacy and fat shaming all at the same time.”

The video currently has over 180,000 views.

@mattandjones its like an invasion of privacy and fat shaming all at the same time #wfh #remotework ♬ original sound – matt jones

While it may seem like a minor complaint, many users on the internet have agreed with Matt in saying that lunch-shaming is a significant issue in an office environment.

“The running commentary didn’t just make me question my culinary choices. It made me feel like my fellow desk jockeys cared as much as I did about what I was eating. And I care, a whole lot,” explained author Lizz Schumer for Good Housekeeping

Additionally, as Matt shows in a skit later in the video, there is generally no meal that satisfies the desires of a lunch-shamer.

“At my college job, other employees asked why I subjected myself to 280-calorie frozen diet meals, and then raised their eyebrows when people ate ‘too much’ fast food. At my first job after graduation, I shared an office with a guy who always expressed his surprise if I bought lunch several days in a row instead of bringing it myself,” recalled author Amanda Mull in the Atlantic. “After being laid off, I embarked on a 10-year career in fashion, where we talked a lot about juice fasts and an intern once fussed at me for ordering a chicken quesadilla.”

According to TikTok commenters, stories like these are common.

“Someone ALWAYS needs to tell you they can’t eat something you’re having. I did NOT ask,” one user wrote.

“Coworker asked how many calories in my trader joe’s lunch. read package, 370. she goes ‘oh so that’s a TREAT then, I couldn’t have that,’” another added.

“Every single job I’ve had, men comment on how much I eat. I used to be anorexic,” a third shared. “They’re lucky I have a good therapist LMAO.”

Update 2:36pm CT, Sept. 21: In an Instagram DM exchange with Daily Dot, Matt offered further thoughts on the issue of lunch-shaming.

“The thing is, it’s just aggravating,” Matt said. “I see it one of two ways: it’s either passive aggressive commentary from Karens and Kens who have suppressed a lifetime of insecurity of their own bodies/dietary habits to project onto the office intern who just wanted an easy lunch meal, OR it’s [a] simple invasion of the one time of day that many employees get to be by themselves and have a modicum of privacy (even if it’s in a public space such as the break room).”

“There’s a reason why so many of the comments under that video are people confessing to voluntarily eat in their car rather than suffer the idle observations of their food choice by some random woman from the revenue department who’s like, ‘totally not doing carbs right now,’” he concluded.

Working remotely has also created a mindset shift for Matt, causing him to question the typical 9 to 5 and capitalism more generally.

“Working from home has sort of woken me up to the fact that so much of what we do at our jobs is just bullshit busy work — things to keep bodies in the building to justify the corporate leases, which justify the contracts with the commercial construction companies, and up and up and up at the expense of the american worker,” he detailed. “We sacrifice hours of our precious time commuting, with our own money going towards gasoline that skyrockets every year while pay stays the same, only for the lobbied politicians and fiscally conservative journalists to lament (loudly) how there is no more work ethic anymore; how the millennial has cast off the life of their fathers for something ‘lazier’ like a remote job. Lunchtime commentary is the least of it, but perfectly encapsulates soulless, NPC nature of the average workers lived experience.”

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*First Published: Sep 21, 2022, 8:19 am CDT