Earlier this week, I accompanied my client Mrs. A (not her real initial) to lunch at the local senior center. The special of the day was roast chicken, which was pretty but turned out to be too dry for Mrs. A’s taste. I ended up boxing it up and taking it home. Mrs. A insisted that either her evening caregiver or I needed to take it home with us. Technically, we’re not allowed to eat a client’s food, but our boss has told us that we’re also not to argue with a client who requests that we take food, for example, if it’s something the client doesn’t like and is never going to eat.
Mrs. A asked me first. “RG, you’re taking the chicken home with you.”
Me: “Thank you for offering, Mrs. A, but I don’t eat meat.”
Mrs. A: [Gives me a look like I’ve just told her that I’m an alien writing my doctoral thesis on geriatric female humans]
My relief: “Well, some people don’t like meat . . .”
Mrs. A: [Still looking completely dumbfounded. ]
Mrs. A has turkey bacon every morning for breakfast (she prefers the real stuff but is under doctor’s orders to limit salt) and has a salad with lunch meat every day for either lunch or dinner. I knew explaining that I’m vegetarian was going to be an exhausting conversation.