Two weeks ago, I decided it would be nice to have a nice big candy bowl on my desk at work. Picked up four bags of candy from grocery store, found a big bowl in the kitchen at work, and filled it with the Reese’s cups, Kit Kats, Snickers, and 3 Musketeers I had just purchased. My desk is right up front there, so it would be a nice treat for passers by. I’m just cool like that.
You know what? It went over nicely. Some remarks I got were interesting. My boss kept telling me the candy was evil (while taking one). At least three people wondered how I could sit there all day with this big ass candy bowl in front of me and not eat all of it. Others “complained” that putting that candy there was just going to make them fat.
It was a Friday I first put out the candy, and the bowl was empty by Tuesday. So Wednesday morning, I picked up four more bags and refilled the bowl. Candy didn’t disappear quite as quickly now, but it was still going. It’s been over a week, and that batch is about finished.
So. Wondering why this entry is under the Youth Rights category when youth have yet to be mentioned? Well, I’ll get to that now.
I’m 23 and am by several years the youngest person there. Most of my coworkers are over 40. Men just barely outnumber women. As a whole, anyone coming by and taking from that bowl, which included coworkers as well as package delivery folks, random visitors, and even people who worked in other labs on the same floor, weren’t what you’d call youth, and certainly not what you’d call kids.
And that candy was still gone in three days (remembering nobody was there Saturday and Sunday).
That’s right. We’ve stumbled on yet another double standard. If I worked in a high school instead of a small biomedical research lab, I’d catch a lot of heat for having a bowl of candy on my desk. God forbid “kids” are aware that candy exists, especially in a “take all you want” scenario. Nope. You’ve got to restrict that stuff until they’re 18. And do they grow up to be then? They grow up to be the candy hogs like the ones I work with!
And this begs another question. I was asked commonly how I was able to “control myself” and not gulp down every last piece in that bowl. Well, any number of things could have contributed to this. For one, I don’t eat what I don’t feel like eating at the moment. Not a tricky concept there. I’m not all “OMFG!!! Candy! Munch, munch, munch, munch…”
Then I consider another thing. Growing up, candy and other sweets weren’t particularly kept away. There were some restrictions here and there, but in my house growing up, there was usually some kind of candy around. Got candy at Halloween, Christmas, Easter, and other times. Other treats, too. Cookies. Cake. Ice cream. Brownies. Good stuff!
But in a somewhat “take as much as you want” situation, I learned a couple of things. One, eating too much gives you a stomach ache. Heh. For that, parents should LET kids eat too many sweets and get that stomach ache they warn them about. That works way better than just hiding it saying “It’ll give you a stomach ache!” Two, a simple fact. When you eat all of something, you don’t have it anymore. Can’t just get more. You have to wait until we go to the store again, and even then, that’s if we feel like buying it. So you learn not to eat it all right away. What if you want it later? Then you won’t have it.
And at work, I placed this unrestricted candy bowl in a situation accessible only to working adults, and look how fast it went. The company CEO grabbed a piece EVERY time he walked by. And he walks by a lot. Sure, everyone had this sort of guilty smirk whenever they took a piece, like doing so was wrong or something.
Got to love the “you’re making me fat” remarks. As if I were forcing the candy down their throats. Or they otherwise were not choosing to take the candy that was sitting there. Like they couldn’t resist. Candy! They can’t resist candy.
And did I mention these people are adults?