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Dealing With People At Work

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I try to not bring up that I am gluten intolerant if avoidable because I find it boring and obnoxious to drone on about, but for whatever reason my coworkers insist on bringing it up for me all of the time

 

coworker: "what'd you have for dinner last night?" 

Me: "I had this realllly awesome pasta dish oh my go--" 
coworker: "but you can't eat pasta! do you mean you had an awesome gluten free pasta dish?"

 

obviously lol.  

 

Has anyone else dealt with stuff like this? How would you respond? I just started this job and I wouldn't have brought it up at all if avoidable but its a small company and people really like bringing in food to share and going out to eat together. 

 

My people in my department go out to eat every Friday and I while I like all of them I reallly don't want to join them. I've gone out with them two fridays now. Most of the places they like going have food I can eat but nothing I would enjoy eating (aka I can get the most boring salad ever and thats it), any ideas about how to tastefully sidestep this? Or other advice? I don't want to limit where they can eat but I obviously am. 

 

I am 23 and have been gluten intolerant (possible celiacs) for about 2 years now but this is my first real adult corporate type job. I've never worked anywhere where I would have eaten with my coworkers or where going out for food was ever an option so I don't really know how to handle any of this. 

 

I like my coworkers but whenever I explain that I am gluten intolerant to people I feel like they're just eye rolling at me and thinking, "ooo sure I bet you are, you very thin, small, white girl, def not just a fad diet that you are saying is gluten intolerance because you're worried about being fat" My boss at my old job essentially said this to me and I can't help feeling everyone secretly believes that. 

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Yeah... many will believe that.  It's just ignorance.  You'll get eye rolling but there is nothing really to do about it but stick to your guns, and maybe order the boring salad... maybe bring some interesting toppers to add to it?

 

I generally just order coffee or a drink when going out with others. Sometimes that is the simplest route.

 

If people are giving the eye roll, you may have to educate them. Whip out the term possible celiac or non-celiac gluten intolerance and how this is a medical necessity (like someone with a peanut allergy avoiding peanuts) and then agree with them how the fad gluten-free dieters really are soooo annoying.

 

Good luck.  :)

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Try not to take everything as a negative. It's easy to fall into that pit & even though there are a lot of people out there who will react negatively -- eye rollers & such --- realize that there are good people out there too. I think when they make comments or ask what you had for dinner last night it could very well be them trying to make you feel comfortable or just plain curiosity as to what one eats when they are in your situation. I have a boatload of curiosity about things I don't know about & will ask questions so I can learn and gain an understanding of what it's like to be them. Also they could just be trying to make conversation. Before gluten we thought nothing of asking someone what they had for dinner last night so why should it be any different now?

I'm just saying.....

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The social aspect is the worst for me. A good friend told me to stop calling myself a Celiac. She suggested thinking about myself as, “A human being who has Ceilac disease.” I tried for a while. But every social situation includes food. I don’t eat OR I bring my own. That always leads to questions. And I end up talking about nothing but Celiac to whomever has a morbid curiosity about it, those who just love talking about ALL diseases, and everyone who knows someone who has to avoid eating, drinking, or breathing something. The other “half” want to explain how “in their opinion” the dish they brought really is safe for me to eat while they explain every ingredient they remember putting in to the dish.

 

One person accosted me verbally for not eating his eggs. He believes that the eggs were “far enough away from the Busquick (regular flour) to still be safe”. It did not matter that I detest eggs in any form other than poached. He put forth “enough” effort. So I am expected to eat. Plus, this guy is a real jerk and I would never trust him with my life.

 

Then there are the well meaning people who honestly believe they can “cook for me”. Their kitchens are totally contaminated by gluten. And they make things that I had to eat or just choose to never eat. It’s like having this disease makes it open season for anyone to expect me to eat things to make them happy.

 

I explain that Celiac can and does kill people from malnutrition. I also carry all my own water bottle. If they persist, I ask them to take just a sip of water from my bottle and NOT TO WORRY I am pretty sure that my current sore throat is really just from screaming at the game last night. Mention one that is NOT in season or a local team that was out of town last night. When they don’t want to – point out that gluten makes you more ill for a longer period than a simple cold or flu, is more dangerous, and can cause cancers and liver, thyroid, bone, brain, and all over system damage.

 

If they really just don’t get it, turn and walk away. You can’t change the minds of some people who are too self centered to be able to put themselves in the shoes of another.

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I simply tell people that if I don't cook it, I can't eat it. That gets well-meaning friends off the hook. Call me paranoid... I don't care! I have two friends/neighbors who are amazing cooks and absolutely "get" the whole process... I'll happily eat at their homes, but otherwise I bring my own.

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I try to not bring up that I am gluten intolerant if avoidable because I find it boring and obnoxious to drone on about, but for whatever reason my coworkers insist on bringing it up for me all of the time

 

coworker: "what'd you have for dinner last night?" 

Me: "I had this realllly awesome pasta dish oh my go--" 

coworker: "but you can't eat pasta! do you mean you had an awesome gluten free pasta dish?"

 

obviously lol.  

 

Has anyone else dealt with stuff like this? How would you respond? I just started this job and I wouldn't have brought it up at all if avoidable but its a small company and people really like bringing in food to share and going out to eat together. 

 

My people in my department go out to eat every Friday and I while I like all of them I reallly don't want to join them. I've gone out with them two fridays now. Most of the places they like going have food I can eat but nothing I would enjoy eating (aka I can get the most boring salad ever and thats it), any ideas about how to tastefully sidestep this? Or other advice? I don't want to limit where they can eat but I obviously am. 

 

I am 23 and have been gluten intolerant (possible celiacs) for about 2 years now but this is my first real adult corporate type job. I've never worked anywhere where I would have eaten with my coworkers or where going out for food was ever an option so I don't really know how to handle any of this. 

 

I like my coworkers but whenever I explain that I am gluten intolerant to people I feel like they're just eye rolling at me and thinking, "ooo sure I bet you are, you very thin, small, white girl, def not just a fad diet that you are saying is gluten intolerance because you're worried about being fat" My boss at my old job essentially said this to me and I can't help feeling everyone secretly believes that. 

Here's some advice from another thin, small, white girl.......the one thing you need to work on is your attitude armor, as in, learn to not give too much of a crap what other people think.  This comes easier as you age but it is reality because there are a lot of dopes out there who just don't understand food issues. They may be well meaning dopes but they need to be shut down politely.

 

I would just tell them that as someone with serious gluten intolerance, it is not healthy for you to go out to eat that often because you are risking serious internal harm by being so careless. Maybe you could join them once in awhile but definitely not every week.  You don't want to be defensive or militant about it but firm and polite and look them right in the eye so they know you mean business.  I work too and had some people make comments, which I deflected with this way of dealing with it.  To compound my problem, there is another Celiac in my group but she cheats on the diet   :rolleyes: , so people would come up to me and ask why so and so eats an occasional cupcake at the office gatherings and I don't. I look them right in the eye and quietly say it's because so and so is not too bright and I don't cheat because I become violently ill.  Who likes being sick?  However, that morphed into an innaccurate understanding on their part that my "case" of celiac was a lot worse than so and so's. Not really true, as we know, but it seems to have satisfied their brains and no one hassles me about anything food related anymore.  Honestly, why do people even care what others do with regards to food??????  It baffles me.

 

Hang in there and be firm.  I promise you this all gets easier as you gain experience and years doing this!

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My take is a little different - I would go out with them, eat a little something before you go and have a coffee and bring a Kind bar or two to nosh on while you're at the table. It's important not to give up your social life - you become resentful and isolated.  And in corporate jobs, these kind of bonding experiences are important.  It's likely because you're young that they are asking about your diet and trying to get you to eat - if you develop that 'armor' a pp mentioned, eventually, they'll realize you're not to be swayed and not even notice what you eat.  I make it clear that I've learned that meals out are about the company, not the food.  With a smile "thank you anyway, I'm good".

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I guess I was lucky to nearly die from Celiac before being diagnosed 20 plus years ago. (long before they had identified the genes or even thought about a blood test ever showing anything about this disease. 

 

When people persist, I have a description of the real facts of being that sick. They usually understand.

Sadly, many refuse to be "friends" with me also. But that is their foolish mistake because I am one darn funny story teller in person.

 

Maybe these faster easier testing methods are not such a great thing after all. Maybe everyone should nearly die from Celiac before they get diagnosed.

And I am TOTALLY JOKING with that last sentence!!!!

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I really don't put stock in the opinions of people who give me s$#& about it (its a waste of time and energy) but I still find their comments annoying lol. 

 

They actually decided to just pick up food this week and we all ate in the conference room together (I'd brought my lunch) so woo. I have a few close friends who's cooking I will eat because like someone else mentioned, they get it and know exactly what to do and how careful they have to be. I've never gotten sick from anything either of them have prepared (plus they always bring the boxes/bags of ingredients used for me to double check them). My boyfriend is great about reading everything and has never gotten me ill either. I don't trust anyone aside from those three people to cook for me. 

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I agree with the posters before me. I typically join my co-workers for lunch and they eat out several times a week. I also, normally order a Sprite and bring some gluten free snacks in my purse and just joyfully munch along when they eat their meal. :) I am beyond paranoid about eating out. It can be gluten free and sitting next to some croutons or something and my body within 30 minutes to an hour will start reacting with a laundry list of symptoms. So I do not eat out. But I do encourage myself to enjoy the company and remind myself not to isolate myself and this disease will not take anything else from me. For so many months I had anxiety to leave the house because I thought I would be too far from a restroom and not make it in time. Every day is difficult for me to walk out the door but I remindmyself I am Celiac but I still have two legs and two eyes and I should be grateful for what I do have. Also~ everyone at work knows I can't have gluten and every birthday or holiday people STILL come and tell me there's cake or donuts in the breakroom and I just smile and say thank you. People will think what they want and forget even though you tell them frequently. Good luck at work!

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I try to not bring up that I am gluten intolerant if avoidable because I find it boring and obnoxious to drone on about, but for whatever reason my coworkers insist on bringing it up for me all of the time

 

coworker: "what'd you have for dinner last night?" 

Me: "I had this realllly awesome pasta dish oh my go--" coworker: "but you can't eat pasta! do you mean you had an awesome gluten free pasta dish?"

 

obviously lol.  

 

Has anyone else dealt with stuff like this? How would you respond? I just started this job and I wouldn't have brought it up at all if avoidable but its a small company and people really like bringing in food to share and going out to eat together. 

 

My people in my department go out to eat every Friday and I while I like all of them I reallly don't want to join them. I've gone out with them two fridays now. Most of the places they like going have food I can eat but nothing I would enjoy eating (aka I can get the most boring salad ever and thats it), any ideas about how to tastefully sidestep this? Or other advice? I don't want to limit where they can eat but I obviously am. 

 

I am 23 and have been gluten intolerant (possible celiacs) for about 2 years now but this is my first real adult corporate type job. I've never worked anywhere where I would have eaten with my coworkers or where going out for food was ever an option so I don't really know how to handle any of this. 

 

I like my coworkers but whenever I explain that I am gluten intolerant to people I feel like they're just eye rolling at me and thinking, "ooo sure I bet you are, you very thin, small, white girl, def not just a fad diet that you are saying is gluten intolerance because you're worried about being fat" My boss at my old job essentially said this to me and I can't help feeling everyone secretly believes that. 

With gluten the topic rarely comes up but I work the graveyard shift. Now when I was vegan (my gi and gp took me off of it not my choice) did I constantly get poked fun of. Most of my workmates are very understanding and supportive as they seen in the past how much suffering I had to deal with in the aspect of gluten-free eating.

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I had a very similar experience when I got my first real corporate type job. I was also 23 (now 26.) I very gently explained celiac disease to my co-workers. I was not overly verbal about it at first, but now I try to be as open about it as possible. At this point, I talk about it whenever I feel like it (as it's a huge part of my daily life.) If it makes other people uncomfortable (which it does, I've noticed,) I figure it's only because you are making them think about something complicated that they don't usually consider. Of course when you are young and slender (I was only young, not skinny, but vaguely hipster looking at the time -whatever,) people will make assumptions. Just make it your job to negate those assumptions at every interval.

 

My boss asked me weird questions at first, but now he always make sure to find a place with a gluten free menu. After all, if you're going to purchase food for employees, the ADA requires you to accomodate everyone's needs. As far as casual lunch-outings, just make your own lunch or use some other activity as an excuse. For example, I often go home and have lunch with my boyfriend. When I had little kittens (now cats,) I used to go check on them midday. I have other non-celiac co-workers who use activities like these as an excuse to avoid lunch-outings for no other reason than not wanting to go. It feels awkward in the beginning, but everyone will get used to you and your ticks eventually. Feels like a big deal, but it's really nbd at all.

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also, if you are a possible celiac case, it's worth the potential fight with your gastro to get a biopsy done. I pretty much had to threaten mine before he agreed to biopsy me (off the chart gliadin levels, anemic, vitamin deficient, hair falling out, full body rash, but I failed the celiac panel. He didn't want to biopsy me because the panel came up negative. After much persuasion to move forward with the procedure, I recieved a positive intestinal biopsy for celiac in the end. It was a big mess, but I was right about having Celiac at the end of it all.) The journey can be long and crappy sometimes.

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I never bring it up but it always comes up. I get the OMG what can you eat?? nothing?? Or the I could never eat like that, I could never give up bread. But I just say well I have no choice. It is not something I chose It chose me. And if I get invited to eat somewhere I bring a dish to pass, then I get my portion 1st, and let everyone eles contaminate it.

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I had a very similar experience when I got my first real corporate type job. I was also 23 (now 26.) I very gently explained celiac disease to my co-workers. I was not overly verbal about it at first, but now I try to be as open about it as possible. At this point, I talk about it whenever I feel like it (as it's a huge part of my daily life.) If it makes other people uncomfortable (which it does, I've noticed,) I figure it's only because you are making them think about something complicated that they don't usually consider. Of course when you are young and slender (I was only young, not skinny, but vaguely hipster looking at the time -whatever,) people will make assumptions. Just make it your job to negate those assumptions at every interval.

 

My boss asked me weird questions at first, but now he always make sure to find a place with a gluten free menu. After all, if you're going to purchase food for employees, the ADA requires you to accomodate everyone's needs. As far as casual lunch-outings, just make your own lunch or use some other activity as an excuse. For example, I often go home and have lunch with my boyfriend. When I had little kittens (now cats,) I used to go check on them midday. I have other non-celiac co-workers who use activities like these as an excuse to avoid lunch-outings for no other reason than not wanting to go. It feels awkward in the beginning, but everyone will get used to you and your ticks eventually. Feels like a big deal, but it's really nbd at all.

The ADA does not cover getting take out for everyone if some have food allergies or intolerances. It's more along the line that they cannot discriminate against anyone for having Celiac, as far as job hirings go.

 

We have a Christmas party every year, as most places do, and they have offered to supply me with gluten free food at the restaurant that is catering their meals. Some restaurants are just not safe and I would not eat food that I did not order myself and oversee the prep on.  So...they could not accommodate me.  Big deal.  I go to say hello and then leave at some point. I do not bring my own lunch to eat with them as these people like to cater Italian and bread is flying everywhere, not to mention all the pasta.  I will not eat any food around flying bread! ^_^  ^_^

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The ADA does not cover getting take out for everyone if some have food allergies or intolerances. It's more along the line that they cannot discriminate against anyone for having Celiac, as far as job hirings go.

 

We have a Christmas party every year, as most places do, and they have offered to supply me with gluten free food at the restaurant that is catering their meals. Some restaurants are just not safe and I would not eat food that I did not order myself and oversee the prep on.  So...they could not accommodate me.  Big deal.  I go to say hello and then leave at some point. I do not bring my own lunch to eat with them as these people like to cater Italian and bread is flying everywhere, not to mention all the pasta.  I will not eat any food around flying bread! ^_^  ^_^

 

I'm not totally sure what the  law is, admittedly, but I'm pretty sure they at least have to offer. I'm fairly certain that an employeer can't feed a whole group of peole and refuse to provide food for one person. At least, that person needs to get a stipend to buy their own meal. Otherwise, you would not see people offering vegetarian options, gluten free, etc. I'm under the impression, for example, if I travel for work, my employer needs to make accomodations for me. I.E  - at least a hotel room with cooking amenities or a meal stipend. Casual unmandated lunches, not included. My boyfriend has worked on multiple jobs (he does lighting) where they tally up food allergies in the beginning of the production. Craft services goes above and beyond to cater to everyone. I expect this is to avoid any discrimination claims and also because it's required by a lot of the unions. Just saying, I think there are definitely some legal ramifications behind the whole thing.

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