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When Do You Speak Up?


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#16 kareng

 
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Posted 13 April 2011 - 01:12 PM

Yes, we'd all prefer the raise, since we've had frozen salaries since 2009! (And frozen hiring) Basically we're all pretty slammed with work, short-staffed, and the boss wants to do something that doesn't cost much to just try to bring a few smiles. And that's awesome. But I've heard a few others grumble about the free food approach too, since it just doesn't solve the problems. Really, I think if it were possible to just give everyone $5 gift cards they'd like it way better. But maybe there's some reason we can't do that, or give out cash but really, that's what everyone's hurting for. That and basic manpower! Maybe more hours in the day.. OK now I can never say where I work, ha ha.


If they gave you money & maybe gift cards would count this way, too, they would have to take out taxes and that whole nonsense.

Even if the gift card was to somewhere you couldn't use it like McDonalds, you could re- gift it.

My hubs company has silly events a couple times a year. Have a kickball game or softball. Badmiton or croquet. Even the ones who don't want to play can come outside and get a good laugh. Tricycle races are really popular.
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#17 sb2178

 
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Posted 13 April 2011 - 02:57 PM

Or, go work with a bunch of dieticians;-). They pretty much have my food restrictions down, and the rules for what food can be provided for group events is kind of horrifying. But it means there is always fruit.

And, yes, shoot me if someone else suggests I eat iceberg lettuce for lunch.
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2/2010 Malabsorption becomes dramatically noticable
3/2010 Negative IgA EMA; negative IgA TTG
4/2010 Negative biopsy
5/2010 Elimination diet; symptoms begin to resolve on gluten-free diet round two (10 days)
5/2010 Diagnosed gluten sensitive based on weakly positive repeat IgA & IgG TTGs and dietary response; decline capsule endoscopy.

Now, what to do about my cookbook in progress? Make it gluten-free?

#18 aeraen

 
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Posted 13 April 2011 - 03:00 PM

Dissenting opinion here, but then I'm decidedly low-maintenance.

I let people know about my "allergy" (easiest way to explain it), but I encourage them to not give it another thought. There are many people out there who have challenges that are far more difficult to live with, making my gluten-intolerance a walk in the park, comparitively.

Plus, if they accomodate me, what about the diabetic co-worker, should they also buy a sugar-free cake for them? And the person with high cholesterol? Should they get a cheese-less pizza? And you should SEE my mother-in-law's dietary restrictions... it would drive a dietitian nuts to even try to accomodate everyone's special diet.

I find it more difficult when someone tries to accomodate me, and fails. Then they are either hurt or angry, feeling that I simply can not be pleased.


If your office has a freezer available, make up some gluten-free treats for yourself (cake, pizza, whatever it is you feel you are missing) and keep them in individual servings in that freezer. When they have a treat, pull your own out and put it in the microwave.

Let everyone have their treats... and have your own, safe treat as well. Don't make the administration cut out the treats because someone is unhappy. It won't make you the most popular person in the office.
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#19 Jestgar

 
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Posted 13 April 2011 - 05:16 PM

I also don't care what people bring. I'm fine with bringing my own food and I don't need to eat that junk that shows up at group events anyway. :P
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#20 GlutenFreeManna

 
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Posted 13 April 2011 - 05:19 PM

I would not speak up about that at all...I think if I were in your situation I would make up a bunch of gluten-free mini pizzas (or whatever comparable treat you can have) and keep on hand for such occaisions. Because what it really comes down to is you are feeling deprived, jealous and resentful of soemthign that is not your fault and also not your co-workers fault. They probably are not really saying these things to hurt you...They probably don't even realize their comments bother you, BUT even assuming they are vindictive jerks that enjoy rubbing it in your face that doesn't change the fact that you cannot change their minds or thier response to enjoying pizza. They should not have to pretend that their treats suck for your benefit, just like you should not have to sit there eating nothing but lettuce with oil on it and pretend to be happy about it. Why not instead take the proactive path of least resistance to change the situation? Why not make up a list of your favorite gluten-free foods that you can easily have on pizza treat day and just plan to have them there. Ooh and awe as you eat your treat just as they ooh and awe over the pizza. If you do this often enough and your favorite treats are gluten-free packaged items then you may be surprised that the manager will offer to buy those for you on pizza day. But even if that doesn't happen at least you are not relegated to eating only lettuce.
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#21 Juliebove

 
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Posted 13 April 2011 - 05:52 PM

I guess I am lucky. I no longer work and food there isn't an issue.

But when I did work? I was a vegetarian and for many of those years was on a self imposed, strict diet because I was trying to lose weight. The food we were provided was either sandwiches or pizza, donuts, muffins, cinnamon rolls, maybe bagels.

None of those foods interested me at all so it wasn't a problem for me. I guess if you actually like those foods and might want to eat them, it could be a problem for you.

I actually like salad and if I were to bring my lunch, that is usually what I would bring. I would make one the way I wanted. But also on days where there was going to be an all day meeting and I knew it would be catered, I would usually tuck some food into my purse in case I couldn't get away. I made my own trail mix with nuts, seeds, coconut maybe a little dried fruit and carob or chocolate chips. But again, I liked to eat this stuff.

I actually don't even have a problem going to buffets now. My eyes just naturally zone in on any foods that I think might be safe for me to eat.

Of course there was a time when this wasn't so. You see, I was diagnosed as a diabetic close to 11 years ago. Gestational diabetes 2 years prior to that.

Back then I began to see all foods as poison because I wasn't sure what I could safely eat. It didn't help that the dietician I saw at the time was new and gave me some flat out wrong information. That was when I had the gestational diabetes.

Eventually I learned what I could and couldn't eat and for a good couple of years I refused to be around people who were eating what I could not. I would not go to parties or the movies. I really liked popcorn and couldn't stand to smell it and hear it being cruched around me when I couldn't eat it.

After a long pity party, I had to buck up and start going to those places. I had a child who was invited to parties and wanted to go to the movies. I just started bringing my own food. Like a bag of celery cut in thick slices to the movies.

By the time I was diagnosed with the food allergies it really wasn't hard for me to give up those foods at all! Now I finally knew what had been making me and keeping me so sick. I was eager to feel better.

Give it time. It does get better with time.
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#22 ElseB

 
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Posted 13 April 2011 - 06:26 PM

It doesn't bother me when people bring treats into work, because its usually crappy store bought cake or cookies, and I know I can bake something gluten free that tastes a lot better! But I do get excluded from many work events. I work in the public service and so we have to pay our own way for the annual Christmas party, summer BBQ, etc. They can never guarantee that there will be safe food for me, but won't allow me to go without paying. Why should I have to pay for food I can't eat? I'm perfectly happy to sit there and watch other people eat and be part of the social event. But they said no. So I stopped asking about it. And when those events happen, I just stay in my office and keep working.
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#23 Almendra

 
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Posted 14 April 2011 - 08:34 AM

It is so hard. A friend offered to make something gluten-free for me for a shower she was having.

I just had to confess to her all of the "accomodations" I've had to do in my home kitchen to keep me safe (after trial and sickness, trial and sickness) - and assure her that I CANNOT expect anyone to do that.

Truly, my mother is the only one who takes my needs so seriously that I haven't gotten sick at her home. She bought cookware for my visits and everything. But REALLY, that is the nature of my super-caretaker mother.

I wonder if they would let you research a caterer that provides celiac safe options. I've been there. It is SO depressing when something that is meant as a morale booster leaves you resentful. A few companies I've worked for have definitely used food to boost morale when the owners/management make work life over-stressful and sometimes even ridiculous. Food really can smooth things over.
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#24 lynnelise

 
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Posted 14 April 2011 - 08:44 AM

Work doesn't bother me. Like the above post said it's usually crappy store-bought cakes and $5 carry-out pizzas. I just make sure I bring something I love for lunch that day.

I do get annoyed at family events. I've been gluten-free for a year and half and we've gone over and over what I can and cannot eat, cross contamination, ect to NO avail. This weekend we were invited to my s-i-l for dinner and I brought green beans and gluten-free brownies. Well the turkey and my green beans were all I could eat at dinner. Every single other item was a casserole with flour or Ritz crackers. Some other guests asked why that was all I was eating so I said it's the only things I can eat and my s-i-l did a "oh no, I forgot you can't eat this stuff"...whatever. Then at dessert I got some ice cream with my brownie and then noticed a weird peachy color swirled in...my mother in law got a piece of peach cobbler and scooped ice cream with the same spoon. I didn't notice in time and spent the rest of the afternoon running back and forth to the bathroom. When we got home I just told my husband straight up that Easter dinner I was bringing all my own food in Tupperware because his family absolutely cannot be made to understand CC. I don't care who gets hurt feelings!
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#25 Almendra

 
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Posted 14 April 2011 - 08:53 AM

I do get annoyed at family events. I've been gluten-free for a year and half and we've gone over and over what I can and cannot eat, cross contamination, ect to NO avail. This weekend we were invited to my s-i-l for dinner and I brought green beans and gluten-free brownies. Well the turkey and my green beans were all I could eat at dinner. Every single other item was a casserole with flour or Ritz crackers. Some other guests asked why that was all I was eating so I said it's the only things I can eat and my s-i-l did a "oh no, I forgot you can't eat this stuff"...whatever. Then at dessert I got some ice cream with my brownie and then noticed a weird peachy color swirled in...my mother in law got a piece of peach cobbler and scooped ice cream with the same spoon. I didn't notice in time and spent the rest of the afternoon running back and forth to the bathroom. When we got home I just told my husband straight up that Easter dinner I was bringing all my own food in Tupperware because his family absolutely cannot be made to understand CC. I don't care who gets hurt feelings!


So true. Pot lucks are danger zones because other attendees are not plugged in to CC.
My sister-in-law has a child with a severe milk allergy - so she understands. She tries out gluten-free recipes, but acknowledges that her kitchen is not a safe one for me to eat from. She just tells me if it tasted good or not. :rolleyes:
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#26 kwylee

 
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Posted 14 April 2011 - 09:06 AM

I work in the public service and so we have to pay our own way for the annual Christmas party, summer BBQ, etc. They can never guarantee that there will be safe food for me, but won't allow me to go without paying. Why should I have to pay for food I can't eat? I'm perfectly happy to sit there and watch other people eat and be part of the social event. But they said no.

Public service position or not, that's just ridiculous that you are excluded, and you're not even asking for any special food accomodation!!!

One of the problems is that gluten sensitivity is so seemingly silent to others around the sufferer, with symptoms for many being episodes you'd rather undergo in private. So, if you're not immediately projectile vomiting or going into anaphylactic shock in front of the crowd after ingesting gluten, people's misconception is that you mustn't be experiencing anything of consquence. We all know how false.

Whenever I am around others who are eating what I cannot, I find myself thinking how lucky I found out why I was unwell. And I watch those others who are eating the hot dogs on the healthy whole wheat bun with a side of pasta salad, (the ones who have a good chance of themselves being gluten sensitive but just don't know, or even deny it exists), those people will go home and feel crappy, and never take control of what's slowly killing them.

I'm not mean spirited, but I have to admit that it kinda takes the edge off.
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#27 T.H.

 
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Posted 14 April 2011 - 09:22 AM

Actually, you have a good opportunity to bring it up soon, too.

May, at least in the USA, is Celiac Disease Awareness Month. Maybe you could talk to the person who is in charge of the meals and ask to have a food event to help build awareness for what it's like to live with this disease, or with any food allergy or limitation?

...it could be something simple, like having all gluten free food for everyone so they can be aware of what you can eat. Or it could be even more instructive, where they make some lovely gluten free cakes and pasta and such for you, maybe some allergen free (but awesome) foods for anyone in the office with that type of diet, and everyone else gets crackers. :P And while that's unlikely, truly, if you could set it up as something to bring about an understanding of this, it would really bring home what it feels like to be in your shoes, you know?
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#28 Angelica

 
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Posted 14 April 2011 - 02:00 PM

Wow- I read all this and I feel pretty lucky.

I am a college professor, so I don't have the office environment to deal with all that much. My department is pretty cool and autonomous. When I went gluten free (about two weeks ago)- I told a few select people. They encouraged me and reacted positively. One of the older members of the department sent me a listing of local restaurants that had gluten-free menus. Plus I live in the Southwest so as long as I can get authentic Mexican food I tend to be okay.

I have a lunch group- made up actually of European professors (kinda ended up that way.) They are French and Swiss and they were horrified at the prospect of me never being able to eat bread again... but on Tuesday (our first group lunch together since the diagnosis) they gamely went with me to the only gluten-free restaurant in town and munched on gluten-free bread, rolls, and cake. I really appreciated the effort that they made.

I live far from my family and have no family of my own so I don't have those dynamics to deal with. But my mom has been super supportive over the phone. She's been educating herself and reading up on the problem, and is scheming up gluten-free menus for the holidays. But I understand. When I was in grad school I tended to work in offices and everything is pizza, doughnuts, sweets, etc. And you felt like you had to eat the crap even if you didn't want to. Pizza for me was the killer. I am lactose intolerant, and I could never have it and it was at EVERY EVENT from middle school through grad school. The only difference is once I was in grad school my colleagues felt sorry for me and always got me pasta (glutening myself, but i didn't realize it them) There is a whole culture of food in this country that is really hard to get out from under.
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#29 Cattknap

 
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Posted 14 April 2011 - 05:24 PM

Honestly? I appreciate it when others think of me and my food restrictions but it is completely unexpected. I'm perfectly capable of finding my own food - in fact I prefer it.
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#30 Jestgar

 
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Posted 14 April 2011 - 05:35 PM

At our potluck today I had salad, quinoa salad, fruit, and the chocolate cake I made. I missed out on: store bought bread and butter, store bought muffins, store bought donut thingies, and some goat cheese/rhubarb concoction on slices of bread. I don't feel at all deprived. :)
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