So studies have shown that married people live longer and are healthier over the course of their lives. Married men have lower risks for heart attack and stroke. Insurance companies are jumping on the bandwagon, and employers–ever eager for lower insurance rates–are too. That’s why an unmarried friend of mine was required to attend a compulsory after-hours meeting at her company. They brought in a representative from Match.com who was offering a special deal to employees. For only $75.00 you could have a 10-week “ground floor” membership. You meet with a make-over consultant from Clinique, a wardrobe specialist and an ettiquette specialist. You get a free booklet with conversation-starters for first- and second dates and you also receive three tailor-made match-ups with a person of the opposite sex. (No options were available for same-sex preferences.)
The weird thing is that about 95% of my friend’s colleagues were already married. Ten minutes into the presentation she could feel all eyes in her direction, and by the end of the compulsory meeting she was ready to pay the $75 for no other reason than the unspoken pressure from her colleagues. She doesn’t particularly WANT to be married. She’s never found the right person and a few years ago felt that perhaps she was being called to a life of singlehood. But she’s put up with digs from her co-workers often, and is always getting the scutwork assignments because she doesn’t have a husband and family to get home to. (Most of her co-workers are married women.) She called me in a dither to ask my opinion. She didn’t really have the spare $75, but the fact that the meeting was compulsory and her co-workers were following her out to her car with such phrases as “this may be just what you need!” and “I bet this will help you get back on track with the dating scene!” were all conspiring to make her feel like she should just fork over and be done with it. She’d stayed an hour and a half late after work to put up with the whole lecture.
What do you think? Are you as offended as I am about how a company would meddle in someone’s personal life? How such pressure creates a negative work environment?
Well, replace the whole “Match.com” and “married people live longer” with “Weight loss program” and “Obesity anecdotal health risk”. Because that’s what really happened. Although we’re so used to the Diets Are Good For You party line we don’t think about the other stuff anymore. Even though there is more conclusive evidence that married people live longer than there is about obesity CAUSING disease. (Remeber, gang, correlation doesn’t equal causation.)
We wouldn’t force non-Christian employees to attend a church service even though life is easier, and therefore less stressful and healthier, if you are Christian in this part of the country. We wouldn’t force straight people to get involved in gay relationships even though homosexual couples have more disposable income. So why is okay to force someone to stay late to be guilted into a diet?