Loud-mouthed liberal feminist. Anarchist knitter. Tequila-drinking artsy-smartsy fat chick. Bluesy folk-rock singer-songwriter. Rebel with too many causes. Quirky eclectic pagan poet. Paradoxical intuitive smartass. Sarcastic brainiac insomniac. You know, for starters.


Marketing in the Office.

As I often mention (is my guilt transparent?), I work in a cubicle for a big giant corporation. In addition to the paycheck and health insurance, this also earns me perks like riding elevators and getting to say I "work downtown" "in a skyscraper" whenever I am talking to people from high school. (Petty? Mois? Non!)

Also, it makes me a captive audience for massive amounts of marketing. (Because it's not enough for ads to plaster everywhere outside the office - must get inside, too!) My company junk mails me offers for home and auto insurance (I own neither house nor car), I get telemarketed at work by investment firms and loan companies (isn't my name red-flagged somewhere as a virulent anti-capitalist?!), and then there are the Weight Watchers ads all the fuck over the office. Every door, every bulletin board, pasted with posters telling me how much diets suck, and why don't I try one? I mean, seriously, am I ready to lose? Am I? Huh?! AM I?!?!

I tear them down often.

Today's batch of bullshit was more annoying and illogical than usual. It was a mass e-mail from our Benefits Department, touting the weight loss focused "Positive Directions" wellness program. An excerpt:

Eating because something’s eating you?

If chocolate, cake or a bag of chips has become your “friend” when you’re stressed or anxious, you may be an emotional eater. It’s likely you’ve been conditioned to turn to food for comfort if it makes you feel better.

If you eat because of emotions, keep a food journal of what you eat, when you eat and why you eat. To help break the habit of emotional eating, find other things to do, such as walking around the block, taking a bike ride or playing with the kids. Check out the poster below for some other weight loss tips.

Okay, number one...they used the word "may," which is the first sign of stinky bullshit.

Number two...I think finding different ways to handle emotions than knee-jerk eating is great (although I don't necessarily think all emotional eating is bad, either - moderation and all); but maybe they could also drop in something about counseling, or help in case people think they might have an eating disorder? Sheesh.

Number three...I love the way there's an assumption that *if* I'm an emotional eater, I must be fat and/or need to lose weight. Right there at the end - it says to check out the attached poster for *more* "weight loss tips." Ummmm....if I'm an emotional eater, maybe what I need is some counseling and perhaps treatment for disordered eating? Maybe losing weight wouldn't magically make the emotional eating part go away?!

My favorite part of today's dose of marketing genius, however, was the part where they reward you if you go through the "weight loss module" of the "Wellness Program." You get $75 in a healthcare spending account, to use on any covered medical expenses!!

Wait, when you lose weight, don't all your health problems magically disappear? Why would someone who's lost weight need *extra* money for medical expenses?! (Especially when preventive care is covered at 100%, so it's only interventive care that would be involved....hmmmm...)

I continue to be frustrated with the way this shit works.


Kate Harding said...

telling me how much diets suck, and why don't I try one?

Hee! Nailed it.

And yeah, "Wellness Programs" make me so ranty I can't even write about them. Everyone on Al's team except him was on WW recently, 'cause the company was pushing it. Fortunately, he's the boss of the team, so they weren't going to be like, "Hey, fat guy, why aren't YOU doing this?" but his co-workers WOULD NOT SHUT UP about how little they were eating and how great it felt for a couple months there, before the novelty wore off.

Tari said...

Yeah, they market the WW pretty hardcore at my office. Sometimes, I like to go through the scenario of what could happen should one of my bosses mention it to me.

Boy, that sure would be FUN.