A former colleague once called me a ‘feeder’. A charming expression but he pretty much nailed it. That is exactly what I am.
I find that food, generally of the highly calorific and free variety is very useful. As a management tool, as a provider of energy for reporters in an exhausted newsroom, as a bringer of hope.
Even on the most intense or despairing of days, the sight of a muffin or chocolate coated biscuit can bring a smile to the face of even the sourest journalist who has been waiting for hours for a contact to return a call, has been asked to write another three page leads in 15 minutes, or has just returned from a failed vox pop in the freezing rain.
And I know, during high levels discussions with my fellow North West editors, that a plate of sandwiches or free pizza, can lift spirits of any staff member at any given time. It is a proven fact. And I’m pretty sure applies to most offices.
Trouble is. I eat it too. Where I would never usually consider chocolate shortbread a food source - if bought in bulk and for the good of the office as a whole, it is perfectly acceptable to chow down on a half a packet. Rude not to in fact.
It is particularly ironic in January, as we discuss our expanded waistlines and muffin tops in between the important breaking news of the day, thatmy feeder instincts are on high alert. Nothing is more depressing than thinking about healthy eating - I find a choc chip cookie or five dispels this nicely.
And with everybody trying to clear their kitchens of sweet, sugary and savoury goodies gifted to them over the festive season by great aunt Mavis, our free food table (yes, we haveone) is festooned with delights that one cannot possibly eat all at at home -while it is perfectly acceptable to do so in the work environment.
Much easier I find not to make any New Year resolutions related to food. To make one is virtually a challenge to yourself to break one. Never is a chocolate cake more attractive than when it is forbidden. And my reporters aren’t working hard enough.. Cakes it is.