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Mango04

Being Rewarded With Food

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So my team at work won this award for something, and as a result we get taken out to lunch. I do think it's really nice of the company to do this and I would never expect them to accomodate my food issues. The problem is, I get sick almost every single time I eat out. I'm very strictly dairy-free as well as gluten-free. I really just don't want to go. I'm worried that if I order just a plain salad with nothing on it, I will look like a jerk. That's what I would normally do at a restaurant, but in this case it just doesn't seem appropriate.

I suppose I could call the restaurant ahead of time and figure something out. I really just don't want to have to do all that (yes I realize I probably sound snobby saying that. I should just deal with it and do what's neccessary). I'm very shy and I don't like attention being brought to me or my food issues. I will be pretty embarrassed if they bring out my food with some sort of creamy sauce on it or something and I have to send it back. My coworkers and my manager are the last people I want to have to explain my food intolerances to.

This is supposed to be a reward and not a really uncomfortable, embarrassing situation that's probably going to make me sick. Don't get me wrong, I really don't feel entitled to any reward in the first place, I'm just stummped about what I should do. Okay so I guess I have to work on being more assertive at restaurants. I just don't want to have to deal with this situation. Can I get away with just the salad? Should I call in sick that day LOL (but I mean, I'll probably end up getting sick anyway).

I don't mind going to restaurants with friends and just ordering a drink or not eating, but in this situation, I don't know what to do. Any advice?

...and thanks for letting me vent :P

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So my team at work won this award for something, and as a result we get taken out to lunch. I do think it's really nice of the company to do this and I would never expect them to accomodate my food issues. The problem is, I get sick almost every single time I eat out. I'm very strictly dairy-free as well as gluten-free. I really just don't want to go. I'm worried that if I order just a plain salad with nothing on it, I will look like a jerk. That's what I would normally do at a restaurant, but in this case it just doesn't seem appropriate.

I suppose I could call the restaurant ahead of time and figure something out. I really just don't want to have to do all that (yes I realize I probably sound snobby saying that. I should just deal with it and do what's neccessary). I'm very shy and I don't like attention being brought to me or my food issues. I will be pretty embarrassed if they bring out my food with some sort of creamy sauce on it or something and I have to send it back. My coworkers and my manager are the last people I want to have to explain my food intolerances to.

This is supposed to be a reward and not a really uncomfortable, embarrassing situation that's probably going to make me sick. Don't get me wrong, I really don't feel entitled to any reward in the first place, I'm just stummped about what I should do. Okay so I guess I have to work on being more assertive at restaurants. I just don't want to have to deal with this situation. Can I get away with just the salad? Should I call in sick that day LOL (but I mean, I'll probably end up getting sick anyway).

I don't mind going to restaurants with friends and just ordering a drink or not eating, but in this situation, I don't know what to do. Any advice?

...and thanks for letting me vent :P

maybe you should just explain it to them, then it wouldn't seem rude :) unless you just don't want to. you could always keep it simple and just say you have food allergies and you get sick whenever you eat out. i have assertiveness issues too, but i try to be straight up, even if people think i'm weird (and i am, so its cool).

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Funny, I have the same situation coming up in June. I haven't even responded yet whether I"ll go - I just can't decide. I know regardless of what I do to prepare (call ahead of time, get there early to talk to the manager, etc.) there will still be some kind of problem and attention drawn to me. My boss knows my recent diagnosis, but I don't want to have to explain it to everyone! I'd like to know what you end up doing - I was thinking about just calling in sick that day too :)

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Remember that this isn't just for you... They say it is, but rewarding employees at work is about moral for all employess - makes everyone think "oh, this could happen to me too". So it doesn't really matter if you think you deserve it, or if you want to go, in this situation, unless you have a really darn graceful way of getting out of it. :P (I say this having been on both sides of the getting rewards, and figuring out how to reward people. Neither side is all fun and games. :( )

You're best bet, if you really can't fathom talking to the restaurant about your dietary needs in front of coworkers, is to call ahead, or stop by the day before, and talk to the manager, arranging specifically what you will order. In fact, you can even enlist the help of the manager to work up some sort of code - a special way to phrase your order ('no mushrooms, no cheese', or whatever) that the chefs will be on the lookout for. Pre-arranged ahead of time, without anyone else there, but you and the manager.

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Remember that this isn't just for you... They say it is, but rewarding employees at work is about moral for all employess - makes everyone think "oh, this could happen to me too". So it doesn't really matter if you think you deserve it, or if you want to go, in this situation, unless you have a really darn graceful way of getting out of it. :P (I say this having been on both sides of the getting rewards, and figuring out how to reward people. Neither side is all fun and games. :( )

You're best bet, if you really can't fathom talking to the restaurant about your dietary needs in front of coworkers, is to call ahead, or stop by the day before, and talk to the manager, arranging specifically what you will order. In fact, you can even enlist the help of the manager to work up some sort of code - a special way to phrase your order ('no mushrooms, no cheese', or whatever) that the chefs will be on the lookout for. Pre-arranged ahead of time, without anyone else there, but you and the manager.

You're right, I know I have to go. I feel selfish worrying about it in the first place, becasue i know it's not really about me. Maybe calling ahead is my best bet.

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The best thing would be to talk to your boss and explain your situation to him. Ask which restaurant it will be, and tell him that you will talk to the manager to see what can be done to get a nice meal set up for you, too.

Then, you WILL need to call the manager of the restaurant........and yes, you may have to go and talk to him in person, because that always works much better. You will need to set up a menu for you, that they can safely prepare. You will need to explain about cross-contamination, about hidden ingredients, and what it will do to you if they don't pay attention.

Then, when you actually go out, you will just let them know who you are, have them send out the manager to confirm your order (very important), and after that, things will just seem very normal. You will be able to enjoy your meal and the company, your boss will be happy that you are having a good time, and you won't be sick after (fingers crossed and holding your breath ;) ).

Sometimes it isn't right to just call in sick, or to try to avoid these situations. I feel the same way as you, I am not just shy, but autistic. I try to avoid people, definitely crowds, and drawing attention to myself. But I have survived much worse.

My husband's company sent their most valuable employees with their spouses on a four-day cruise in January! It was all booked by last year in August, flight and all, no way to get out of it without a major loss of money.

Then in October I found out about celiac disease, and late December about my other food intolerances. I was really bummed. I had to arrange everything by e-mail, and then, on the ship, was terribly embarrassed when the assistant maitre'd made a big fuss over me in front of everybody, when everything went wrong the next morning, and people would fuss over me, checking if things were okay, writing down special menus etc., for the whole trip. I still enjoyed the cruise, but was glad when it was over. I couldn't have handled all the fuss another day.

So, all I am saying is, it can be done, gluten and dairy is nothing in comparison to my intolerances. With good planning you should be fine.

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You're right, I know I have to go. I feel selfish worrying about it in the first place, becasue i know it's not really about me. Maybe calling ahead is my best bet.

Eh... Selfish isn't always a bad thing. I think it's totally fair to worry about; it's just one of those things you deal with, 'for the team'. Then have your friends/family/yourself do something special (and DEFINITELY safe), some other day, in celebration of getting through the 'reward thing'. :)

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Yeah Ursula I know you have it tough in terms of lots and lots of intolerances, and you manage your situation well.

Okay well I knew as soon as I vented "outloud" about this situation I would feel dumb about it :P. I really don't believe in shying away from life situations because of my food problems, and there are certain situations that do require us to eat with others and go to restaurants whether we like it or not. So I will suck it up and deal with it. Thank you for being an understanding audience. :lol:

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Yea every Christmas my Boss gives us one of those gluten filled hony baked ham things... I just htank him for it and then give it away to some one at church LOL

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Yeah Ursula I know you have it tough in terms of lots and lots of intolerances, and you manage your situation well.

Okay well I knew as soon as I vented "outloud" about this situation I would feel dumb about it :P. I really don't believe in shying away from life situations because of my food problems, and there are certain situations that do require us to eat with others and go to restaurants whether we like it or not. So I will suck it up and deal with it. Thank you for being an understanding audience. :lol:

Don't feel dumb about it! It is good to be able to vent, and to get some encouragement from others in the same boat. That is what this forum is about, learning how to deal with celiac disease, and encouraging each other.

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I agree, don't feel dumb about it. It is annoying to have to deal with. Heck, I'd call it distinctly pity-party worthy, just because you can't get out of it. It is a major inconvenience, and a risk you're going to end up taking. It's definitely not a reward for you. But hey... maybe you can use that fact as leverage in getting your boss to pick a place that's more likely to be able to work with your dietary needs? :ph34r::o:lol:

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My boss treated us all to pizza for a Holiday Luncheon. And yes, she knows what I can and can not have. She did offer to order salad, but I didn't trust it. Instead I showed up at the lunch (which was in our conference room) with my own food.

Personally, I would talk to the boss if you can. If you're part of the team and you're being rewarded you should still go and enjoy the praise - even if you are just having a soda.

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I'm a teacher, and it's the end of the school year, so our principal (very small school- only 5 teachers) keeps bringing in donuts, banana bread, pastries, etc. about 1-2 times a week. I finally got fed up and made a gluten free chocolate cake to bring to work so I could eat something like that with everyone else. Everyone raved about it and has asked more about what they can bring that I can actually eat.

I say tell your boss and coworkers. You'll probably be really surprised at how they react. I was pleasantly surprised.

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Guest mmc

My work is throwing me a "going away" party on Thursday. The woman who is in charge of organizing it has made it known what "goodies" she will be purchasing. (Mind you that she knows about my situation and what I can and can't have.)

The menu: German chocolate cake, Einstien bagels and cream cheese, cookies, and donuts.

(In my mind) The perfect going away feast: GLUTEN!

What is she thinking??? :blink:

Even one of my best friends at work said..."Why would you serve everything that Melisa can't have at Melisa's going away party?"

Her reply: "I don't believe her. We'll just see how serious she is about her diet." :o

So, Wednesday night, I'm making some gluten-free donut holes for me. I'll make enough for everyone and then I look like I'm just being nice.

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Even one of my best friends at work said..."Why would you serve everything that Melisa can't have at Melisa's going away party?"

Her reply: "I don't believe her. We'll just see how serious she is about her diet." :o

Hmm... What if you take ipac syrup with you, throw up on her, and say "I ate what you brought... since it was for my party, and you know my dietary restrictions, I presumed you wouldn't be so cruel as to try to poison me!"

Ok... maybe that's not taking the high road.... :rolleyes:

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My work is throwing me a "going away" party on Thursday. The woman who is in charge of organizing it has made it known what "goodies" she will be purchasing. (Mind you that she knows about my situation and what I can and can't have.)

The menu: German chocolate cake, Einstien bagels and cream cheese, cookies, and donuts.

(In my mind) The perfect going away feast: GLUTEN!

What is she thinking??? :blink:

Even one of my best friends at work said..."Why would you serve everything that Melisa can't have at Melisa's going away party?"

Her reply: "I don't believe her. We'll just see how serious she is about her diet." :o

So, Wednesday night, I'm making some gluten-free donut holes for me. I'll make enough for everyone and then I look like I'm just being nice.

Wow! That's nasty! I hope by "going away" you mean you're going far enough away from this person so that you won't have to deal with her anymore. Sheesh!

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Hmm... What if you take ipac syrup with you, throw up on her, and say "I ate what you brought... since it was for my party, and you know my dietary restrictions, I presumed you wouldn't be so cruel as to try to poison me!"

Ok... maybe that's not taking the high road.... :rolleyes:

haha. seriously, i don't understand someone who would intentionally feed you something that makes you sick for your going away party. that makes absolutely no sense and seems kinda sick.

you could always bring a box of ex-lax and give it to her, explaining that if you're going to eat the food she brought that she knows will make you sick, she should eat some ex-lax and share in the festivities.

but that might be rude ;]

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haha. seriously, i don't understand someone who would intentionally feed you something that makes you sick for your going away party. that makes absolutely no sense and seems kinda sick.

The dual headed monster of Jealousy and Envy is likly to blame here....

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Yeah Ursula I know you have it tough in terms of lots and lots of intolerances, and you manage your situation well.

Okay well I knew as soon as I vented "outloud" about this situation I would feel dumb about it :P. I really don't believe in shying away from life situations because of my food problems, and there are certain situations that do require us to eat with others and go to restaurants whether we like it or not. So I will suck it up and deal with it. Thank you for being an understanding audience. :lol:

I honestly think if you pre-arrange all this with the manager of the resto it will be a non-issue.

I have prepared a whole 'fact sheet' which isn't exactly appropriate but you can copy and paste. I think the whole thing is kinda hard to explain in one go because the chef needs time to let it sink in and then think something up.

Here is what I use when approaching resto's for my website

http://linuxmigrations.hd.free.fr/glutenfr...id=19&Itemid=41

Feel free to copy and modify etc. and leave it with them for a night.

I find if you just go in and hit-em they tend to panic a bit wheras leaving them with something to read at their leisure gives them more time to think it through and see its not as hard as originally thought so long as they follow the guidlines. Heck, what do chef's learn if not to follow and adapt recipees?

You might consider leaving in the business motivation part ... let them see this as an opportunity as well as a obligation :D

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Wow, there's a co-worker with an agenda. I would be motivated to have something come up at the last minute so I would get called away and have to miss her display of insincerity.

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Guest nini

mmc, what a rotten attitude that woman has! sorry! Glad at least that you will be leaving there, hope you won't have to put up with HER anymore! yikes!

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Guest mmc

I started at this company not too long ago. The woman I am referring to (the office manager) thinks that I want her job.

Yes, I am much (40 years) younger, yes, I am more efficient, yes, I understand the responsibilities of the job better, BUT I am moving 1700 miles away. I already bought my new house. So, although she should know that I am not out to take her job.

Maybe I would be if I wasn't moving, but I wouldn't just take it from her, I'd wait until she retired...

So you're right...she wants to make me sick, she hates me. I can't imagine doing that to someone.

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Wow! That's nasty! I hope by "going away" you mean you're going far enough away from this person so that you won't have to deal with her anymore. Sheesh!

I think some people just have problems beleiving this.... they are not necassarily bad people there just seems to be some people can't get it.

You can compare it to music in someways, some people just will not even try and listen to a classical track and others refuse anytihng not.... my bet is she is restrictive about this in other things in her life too.

On a different perspecive, my gluten-free is bilingual but she answers me in Englsih regardless of whether I ask a question in French or English. Its an association thing.. she associates me with speaking in English and other friends with French. We often sit with a third person discussing in either language and she will answer each person in the language she associates with that person, even when the other perosn is also bilingual...

I have lots of old pre diagnosis friends who find it VERY hard to accept my disease. Its because they knew me for years eating pizza and stuff with them. They still say "want a beer" ... etc. wheras friends I have made since diagnosis don't do this, they don't associate me with having a beer anymore.

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