Does Our Whininess Have No End?

Whole Foods is implementing a plan to give a bigger employee discount to employees that don’t smoke, have lower blood pressure and have a BMI under 30. Naturally, people are whining about discrimination. This includes one quote that I can’t possibly do justice to other than to reproduce it in full:

“Why are you rewarding people who are naturally thin? We believe it’s discrimination,” said Peggy Howell, a spokeswoman for the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance. “We are encouraging our membership and anyone else who agrees with us to shop elsewhere.”

Sigh. Look, Peggy Howell, I’ve got news for you. Most of your membership IS ALREADY shopping somewhere else like Taco Bell and Long John Silver’s. My tiny little brain can’t even comprehend the idea of a National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance.

This is a voluntary program to reward people for doing something valuable in the eyes of their employer. On top of that, it rewards people for doing what it takes to be healthier. It’s a fucking voluntary incentive program, no different than giving out bonuses to people who do more or better work. In the huge majority of instances, fat is a choice. Yes, some body types find it easier to not gain weight but contrary to Ms. Howell’s assertion, almost everyone is naturally thin. We eat too much and we exercise too little because we choose to.

I think it’s sad that it’s come to the point not only where being fat and out of shape is a badge of honor but where there is an association trying to spread the acceptance of it. This is not the same thing as civil rights or gay freedom or anything else out there. We are fat because we eat too much, exercise too little and live in a country where we have to do almost no physical labor at any time. Just today, I saw a commercial by a bariatric surgeon that told me if I was fat, I didn’t have a weight control problem, I had a medical condition called obesity. We are to the point where being overweight is a medical condition and not a choice. That’s unbelievable. Is weight loss hard? Only because our diet is so screwed up and our exercise output is so low. Get 30 minutes of exercise a day, eat nothing but meat, vegetables, nuts, seeds and fruit in 2000 calorie daily totals and you will lose weight in all most all cases. It just isn’t that hard from a physical standpoint. The rules are simple and easy to define. It’s the discipline to do so that goes so terribly wanting.

Whole Foods is trying to get their employees to be healthier. People who choose not to participate still get the same damn discount they have always gotten. This is an incentive program, plain and simple. Choose to do what it takes to be healthy and we’ll reward you. There’s nothing discriminatory about it. Bill Maher said it best: “Ask your doctor if getting off your ass is right for you.”

You Really Want The Leftmost Button or Possibly No Button At All

Have you ever watched someone repeatedly do something over and over again even though it didn’t do what he thought it did? Like in The Princess Bride when Vizzini kept saying things were inconceivable even though those very things had already in fact happened and thus, could not by any definition of the word be considered inconceivable? Have you ever seen that to happen in real life? For the most part, I think it never happens (evolution kinda prevents it, long term speaking and all) but there is one event, one thing that is so horrifically misused that reams of Internet bits have been spewed forth about its misuse and still, the despicable behavior lives on, in apparent infamy.

It must be a sign of my impending descent into senility and general all around crotchetyness but people who hit reply to all when in fact they shouldn’t be hitting reply to all at all cause me a great deal of consternation. I spent a full 20 minutes today trying to figure out what in the world makes people do this thing, this reply to all with a single word that can’t possibly be intended for everyone. Seriously. I sat there, trying to explain a behavior that is inexplicable (mmm smells like irony). I’m losing it. Do they need validation that they exist (“Look, I’m alive!”)? Is it more sinister (“I’m more important than everyone else on the email chain!”)? Is it less sinister (“There’s a Reply button?!?”)? I asked these questions over and over for 20 full minutes. And I’m writing a 500 word blog post about it. I AM losing it.

Look, email is almost rendered useless as it is. I used to write long, wonderfully explicit emails regarding best practices and processes and gotchas until I realized that email is probably irrevocably broken, not to mention requires entirely too much attention for the average person to spend in one sitting these days. Not unlike my blog posts.

However, you can do your part to make email useful again. It’s really easy. If you have a habit of hitting reply to all when you really ought to be hitting reply, take a deep breath, have a sip of scotch or coffee or arsenic and ask yourself if what you are about to say is really worth the 5 seconds of my life (and every other persons’ life on the email chain, hey I’m a hedonistic utilitarian if nothing else) that I’ll never get back after I read your email that I made the mistake of thinking might be important. It’s the least you can do.

[This post is written in honor of my friend, Nish, the world’s worst offender of the Reply To All button though in her defense, what she usually has to say is relevant to the conversation at hand.]