Recently, I had occasion to visit one of Oregon’s fine credit unions. These institutions offer many services, and  they provide competition to traditional banks. They tend to be friendly, informal, places. Not that my local bank is unfriendly; I’m always greeted with a smile there, and they have free coffee. But my neighborhood credit union offers free pop corn as well. Hard to beat that!

Unfortunately, this recent visit was not to my local credit union. It was to one on the other side of town, in not-so-friendly East Portland, home to many tweakers and white trash – who have formed an unholy alliance of filth with trayvons and other assorted diversity.

The female banker who sat across from me gave the impression she had no intention of doing anything more than the minimum for me. A smile would cost me extra. When I asked for a specific printed document, she curtly informed me that such documents weren’t provided. Only after I mentioned that I’d been told, previously by phone, that I’d get such a document, did she acquiesce.

As she rose from her chair, I understood her reluctance. Her buttocks was so large, it almost took the chair with it. As I starred in disbelief, I imagined how each year it must have spread out, like some sort of personal continental drift, over the chair she was required to sit upon for 8 hours a day. Given enough time, it would spill over to the floor and create a tripping hazard to her coworkers.

What a way to make a living! There are exercises one can do while seated, but not with a steady stream of customers coming your way. She could attend a gym, or go on a diet, but maintaining a healthy weight is usually an uphill battle when one’s job consists of sitting at a desk for long hours. Diets typically don’t work either.  Perhaps she had few other choices when she chose to take the credit union job. I try not to be judgmental.

But there was a time, not very long ago, when a woman didn’t have to take a job. All she had to do was get married and let her man bring home the bacon. Her job, and we’re reminded it wasn’t an easy one, was to be a “homemaker” and to raise kids.

According to Self’s calorie calculator, a woman can burn almost 200 calories by doing housework for an hour. With several hours of housework, and responsible eating, she can maintain a svelte figure. Others have pointed out that feminism causes obesity by increasing the number of prepared meals we eat at the expense of home-cooked meals. This may be so, but desk jobs certainly share some of the blame – and many of the women, who now work such jobs, would have been better off doing housework and raising kids. That way, she’d have time to cook her own (healthy) meals and she’d be burning almost 200 calories an hour.

In general, I don’t think it makes much sense “making a living” by dying. A desk job may not be as bad as being a coal miner (in the old days) but people need to set some sort of limit: “If my butt spreads out beyond such and such a point, I’m getting up off this chair and finding a more active job.”

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