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littlesista

Work holiday party

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I've been working at same place for just over 10 years.  We've had holiday party every year but I've never attended and it's never really bothered me.  About 6 years ago I was promoted and it was my job to coordinate the holiday party (get people's menu choices, etc.) even though I don't go.  The main reason I don't go is because I cannot get the owner of the venue to verify that the choices she recommends are gluten free.  Last year she sent a list and it had pasta with the main course.  So I emailed her back and asked if it was gluten-free.  She said she sent the wrong list and it was all the gluten foods and she'd "suggest anything else."  I asked which of the other choices were gluten free and she said "I'd just suggest maybe the fish or the beef; they're probably okay." So she emails me things like that and never "the beef dish is gluten free."  Some years her responses are worse than others.  So "when in doubt, go without" and therefore I don't go.  My problem is that this year, for some reason, it's getting to me.  It costs over $100 per person and so employees get this benefit but I don't.  Before I was promoted all the staff went out to lunch for Admin. Assistants' Day and the company paid, but I stayed behind and had to answer the phones-- since I couldn't go.  

Any thoughts?

Do you think it's worth it to ask for $100 extra in my end of year bonus?  Or just let it go?

Also, I just don't go and don't explain myself.  Today I finally told a co-worker about the issue with the owner and the co-worker said just be more forceful with her.  I've been dealing with this lady for 6 years now and she will not come out and give me choices and say "these are gluten free."  People just don't get it.  

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I wouldn't ask for $100.

You can bring your own pasta dish that looks similar to the others. You can let the venue know you'll be doing it to avoid a hassle.

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Such a shame about this caterer who will not listen. You should not feel left out, but I would not risk eating the food she is representing. You should also not feel that you are bothering anyone.

It is simply a lack of education about celiac disease, which has a terrible media representation. I remember hearing this story of a woman who was treated badly during her outing with colleagues because she refused to share a spoon and I said "well. did she have celiac disease?" and the person telling the story said "yes" and I said "then why on earth are you judging her for not wanting to be severely ill for up to 6 months?" they really just thought it was a fad and that she was being difficult. Now they understand more and have told other colleagues. 

Funny thing is that last week, I went to eat with her and ate nothing and she asked why, I told her and she said "wow I really didn't get it before".

It is exhausting, but try to make people realize that you didn't chose this and it isn't a lifestyle choice. I really think it would be so much easier if there were "celiac friendly" meals and "gluten free" meals for people with that diet choice. it would save so much time and energy.

I would bring your own food and definitely talk to this woman, she needs to learn. 

Have fun!!!!

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I agree that you should go and bring your own food or eat something before you go. As someone who spent years in the food industry (with many as the cook at a place that specialized in dietary restrictions) I can tell you that the caterer has your best interests in mind. The chances of CC are always there when others are preparing food in their kitchens. At least the caterer is being honest with you some would assume that just gluten free ingredients were fine and not take into consideration the precautions we have to take. I hope at the next event you go with the yummyest looking gluten-free dinner and dessert and enjoy the company and the envious glances at your plate. 

 

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Thank you all for the good advice.  I will consider this.

Yes, I agree there is a lack of education.  I liked your "not sharing a spoon" story.  It shows that people don't quite get it yet.

I'll try harder at work to try to get people to understand.

Thanks.

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My husband's company has a Christmas party every year that he is expected to go to.  They have no clue about gluten free or what that means in any way.  I eat dinner before we go and have a cup of coffee there while everyone else eats.  It's not that much fun watching people eat, but at least I'm not hungry and I won't get sick.  My kids love to go because Santa comes and brings a present for each child, so we will keep going.  They always do a really nice looking dessert buffet after dinner, so when I get home I have something sweet that I like.

My point is, you can go and enjoy it without eating...just enjoy the company.  I wouldn't think it would be worth it to ask for the $100.  Just my opinion.  Hope that helps.

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