Wednesday, May 20, 2015

To Pray or Not to Pray

Tonight I worked an off-site catering event. 

Ask any one who works in kitchens what the thing they hate the most about their job is. They will say when someone calls off and off-site catering. Some of them might bitch about the heat, but those people are idiots. Hello, sweat diet!

So, it's a party for 75 people. Salad, two entree options, bread and dessert. We don't have to bring anything other than food and set up for chafing dishes. Easy as shit.

Of course, two people didn't show up for their shifts and the prep on the restaurant side of things SUCKED SO MUCH ASS, but the guests thought it was flawless and were super happy. 

Here's the thing...

And I am going to preface this with a minor beliefs are my own. As are all of yours. In no way shape or form am I saying anything here that is meant to be judgmental or against anybodies personal freedom of choice. I respect you all and hopefully that is mutual.

We got all the food out and one of the hosts asked us to come out in the dining room to join them in prayer. 


I participated 100%. I didn't even make a face, despite really wanting to. I did what every decent, well-mannered human being would do. But I did not like it.

Is it just me, or is that moderately offensive? I would never ever ever ever ever ask someone to do something that was against their belief system. Especially total strangers who were working for me. Or at the very least, approached it as "we are about to pray, if you would like to join us." It was a request, not a courtesy. 

I don't believe in God. My family is not on the same page. It is frequent that I sit down to meals with them and a prayer is said. The difference is that I choose to participate because it makes people I love happy. To have a total stranger require me to pray on the clock at a work function....I feel like it crosses a line. And it was a high school robotics club award ceremony. It certainly wasn't a bible study that was catered.

It was just really weird to me that they asked the wait staff and the chefs to participate. 

And I know what everyone is's nice that they included you. And I agree, to an extent. If it was presented as an option, it would be nice if they included us. But it wasn't. 

This sort of circles around to something I am realizing more and more as an adult. I live in a bubble. I surround myself with like-minded people with similar morals and values. Some of them are religious, some aren't. But we are all generally on the same page when it comes to how we conduct our lives and how we treat people. 

Then one day, WHAM. I encounter someone who does not fit in this bubble I have created and I find myself shocked that people exist outside of what I am used to.  

Like I said, I went along with it and sort of shrugged my shoulders and moved on. 

It just struck me as odd. What do you all think? Am I the minority in this opinion?


Jos said...

We pray as a family before every meal - even our 16 month old folds his hands and smiles. That being said, even I agree that request crossed the line. An offer to join would have been okay (weird, but okay), but to actually request/require in that way? Not cool

Mrs. Case said...

I never have time to comment anymore since adding another new baby to my mix but here I am, still loyally reading! Anyway...

I'm a Christian and we pray before meals, during times of stress, before bed, and many more times.

I've never asked support staff to stop working to pray with us. I find it odd. Prayer is supposed to be a personal time in which to communicate with God. Even if they wanted to pray FOR you, it is usually customary to ask. Not sure why they would need to have you participate.

How, specifically, did they word it?!?!?

Kudos to you for being classy and exercising graciousness. That said, I guess all you can do is give them the benefit of the doubt that they were thankful for the privilege of a catered meal, and you were part of what they were thankful for.