When serving up meals in the cafeteria, where the desired results are that the employee actually eats said meal, the Kitchen Staff has learned it is best to employ one of the following methods.

1) Place food on table and walk away. Do not, unless the employee is in a super-good mood, offer choices, even if it's only two. The employee tends to have her own ideas about what would be a good thing to eat, and they usually do not correspond to the proper shift. For example, K.Lo believes that employees should eat cookies for breakfast and lollipops for dinner. So naive, young employees. The proper response to this outlandish suggestion is, by the way, "When you go off to college, you may have have cookies for breakfast and lollipops for dinner. Until then, while you're still employed at my company..."

Offering choices can be useful if it is an extremely simple one, proposed with all cabinet and refrigerator doors completely closed, so the employee's eyes and hands and whims do not wander. Cheese goldfish or pretzel goldfish is one such example.

2) Bring said food to your next company picnic. When eating away from the office (with no other options on hand), any food contained in that picnic basket suddenly seems magical and delicious. K.Lo never ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich at home, viewing both the peanut butter and jelly as bread contaminants. But served out of doors and on a company excursion, the sandwich was suddenly a fantastic treat.

3) Present the employee a plate with very little or nothing on it. Then, sit down with your plate, filled to the brim with delicious, nutritious foods that the employee would otherwise not touch with a ten-foot pole, such as green beans, potato salad, and pork chops. Begin eating without meal-related comment, except the occasional food name-drop: "Boy, these green beans sure are tasty!" Continue conversation with the staff. The employee will, even if it is against everything they stand for, inevitably take the bait. First she will peer over at your plate, checking out the goods. Then she will point at your plate and mutter a little bit, looking back at her own, sadly empty plate.
Ultimately, the request: "I want some... green beans!"
To which you will respond, "You want green beans? Some of my green beans? I don't know..."
And the employee will say, "I want green beans!"
And you will ask, "What do you say?"
The employee: "Say please!"
With flourish, you place a few green beans on her plate.
"Thank you!" says the employee, smiling widely and digging in.
And, success! The employee eats actual food for dinner, food that happens to be nutritious, and she asked for it politely. The whole company wins!

*Bonus Trick of the Trade: Popsicles can be one such food item that the employee brazenly requests at all hours of the work day. Trump her craftiness by buying a set of popsicle molds and filling them with fruit juice. Our company enjoys limeade for popsicles. The Kitchen Staff can not only offer these popsicles in good conscience at any time, but suggest that the employee is receiving a special treat, and coming out on top in her battle with Management.

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9 peanuts:
  1. Andria says:

    Great tips! Thanks for sharing.

    We still offer Dellaina too many choices, probably, but the standby approach that (amazingly still) really works is pretending to offer Wyatt anything and she'll quickly come running screaching, "nooo, miiiine!"

  1. penelope says:

    Ooo. That's a good one, too. Nice!

  1. penelope says:

    And I think choices are fine for many employees. K.Lo is just a bit irrational about it all. Helps to narrow the focus.

  1. no choice but food or sleep...hehehehe... we do V8 fusion in our molds and call them icee pops!
    tried the food on my plate is better, he took one bite of a green bean and said, "all done green beans" handed me back the uneaten portion and then the slightly chewed portion as well... at lesat he quasi-tried it...better than nothing! glad it's working for you though!

  1. Megan says:

    Mean Manager reporting in: No choices at my house. This is what's for breakfast/lunch/supper. Eat it or don't. Soooo mean. So.Mean.

    I suppose it helps that E is very keen to eat what's put in front of her, and just eat in general. ;)

    But no broccoli. Noooo broccoli will ever be forced upon her since she threw up on it once (at school). That happened to me with Vienna Sausages at my preschool and to this day I almost vomit every time I see them. I TOLD my teachers I didn't like them!

  1. ashley says:

    Dillon has an aversion to carrots for that reason, Megs. That was what he had eaten when we all got the terrible stomach flu.

    I'll be interested to see what happens to the Monster as he gets older. Eva is VERY strict that he doesn't get what's on Mommy's plate. (Not sure how much Daddy reinforces that...)

  1. penelope says:

    Kind of like the time I ate butterscotch pudding and went on the Sit & Spin? Still won't touch the stuff. Blyech!

  1. JanMary says:

    Found you through BlogHer. Love your style. In our company we used to generously reward our little employees with special raisin "sweets" and if we were felling particuarly generous maybe some Cheerio treats too.

  1. Brian says:

    Very entertaining. This is my first time on your blog so it took me a few minutes to realize who "the employees" were. At first Iwas somewhat confused, but then the light bulb went on. Thanks for a fun post!