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    Do you have questions about celiac disease or the gluten-free diet?

i canary

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I’m hoping one of you has the wisdom to answer something I’ve not found a good solution. Every year our office of only six women exchanges names for Christmas. We all write the name of a restaurant on a slip of paper and put it in a box. Then we all go to a restaurant that has been pulled. Every year I remind everyone that there are only three places I can eat safely in this town. And every year I’m the only one that puts one of the three places down. I’ve been told they feel too limited by only having three restaurants to choose from. (Yes, THEY feel limited) :( . By the way, when the restaurant is one I can’t eat in – I wait a little while to give them time to eat then show up to exchanges our presents.

I’m not happy with this situation. All we do is exchange gift cards with other. To me this is a waste of my time, not to mention I feel disrespected. None of them are empathic and there is no changing that. (I’ve tried).

So do any of you have a solution of how I can tell these insensitive clods that I don’t want to be a part of their Christmas plans if they won’t even consider choosing a place I can eat safely? Keep in mind this is a small office and I have to work with them year round.

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I'd put your restaurant in, if it's not picked, just don't show up. If they're just exchanging gift cards, whoever was supposed to give you yours can give it to the person you were supposed to give one to. I'd tell them to do that the day of the exchange.

Or else, bring your own food to the restaurant and eat with them.

I would not show up after they've eaten.

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I know our choices are limited, but we have to consider others too. We can't expect everyone to go where we need to go, etc. all the time. We are the ones with the problem, so we just need to do what we can to adjust. That's why I say I either wouldn't go, or I'd bring my own food. I'd probably do the second, but I wouldn't bother if I didn't particularly want to be around the people anyway.

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Yeah. I would bring my own food and sit down at the table with them. They have chosen a place that you are not safe nor comfortable with. Politely eat your own food and engage in conversation. After all, there may be a wee bit of guilt factor here and maybe next year they will be more sympathetic. ...maybe :blink:

Lisa

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Guest marshlakemom

Hi

Or you could continue to show up, and drive them crazy sending the waitress back to the cook to see if this is gluten free, and if that is gluten free.......they might get the message.

I have a girlfriend who orders a salad everywhere restaurant we go in, but spends 5 minutes discussing with the waitress if the salad is made with leaf lettuce or romaine lettuce....it drive me nuts. So we just make a joke out of it now....I tell her to arrive 10 minutes earlier than me so she can determine wether or not if she should order the salad. No, I'm just kidding, but honestly she does do this everytime we order out.

I go to many restaurants with non-celiac people, and just order salad with extra tomatoe as a filler, but I think your co-workers could accomodate you now and then.

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I'd put your restaurant in, if it's not picked, just don't show up. If they're just exchanging gift cards, whoever was supposed to give you yours can give it to the person you were supposed to give one to. I'd tell them to do that the day of the exchange.

Or else, bring your own food to the restaurant and eat with them.

I would not show up after they've eaten.

I tried that the first year - I was not comfortable with the idea. I got hassled by the waitress even though I called ahead and asked the manager if it was okay to bring my own food.

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I feel like I'm the queen of bringing my own food to restaurants. Most of the time people go out to eat to socialize. Going to a restaurant isn't about the food to me anymore, it's about the people and hanging out. Sometimes people try to accomodate my dietary restrictions and I really appreciate it, but some days I'm just not in the mood to deal with eating out and I'd rather they pick some really gluten-y place so I have a good excuse to bring my own food.

Yes, it may be inconsiderate about them but the point of the get-together is to celebrate the holiday so I'd go.

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well, they are never going to get it, so you have to pick where you want to be considering that information. If you do not have the personality & confidence to take your own food, (BTW be sure to leave a tip at your place when you take your own food) and it also depends on the personalities of the women that you work with. (oops, I wonder why I did not think to say ladies :rolleyes: )

I think sometimes we over-estimate, if people really care or notice if we are there or not, most people & most assuredly these women are only involved & think about themselves. I personally have attended too many of those type events & I avoid them at all costs, & not because of the food, but because I think they are boring, I mean why spend another minute with women you work with all day that could care less about you, hello - I have a life & hobbies that my time is better spent on.

I would never mention the restaurant locations again. I would put in some place that I have no intention of going to, but something that I think they would enjoy. At the appropriate time, I would give my regrets and say that you are sure that they will have a great time. read up on the etiquette of giving regrets - no explanation is necessary on your part. If you do not have other plans, I would turn off my cell phone and catch a movie.

And last I would remove all conversation about your eating habits from office conversation. If invited to lunch, just say no thanks. I really prefer to eat my lunch & read the paper or check my emails. I actually prefer my own food. I have slowly put my own advice to work in my office, & do not mention anything about my food or the food the guys that I work with are eating. (Traders office we all eat at our desk) There is a celiac guy on another floor that I am friends with & I take him some of my homemade items like chocolate chip cookies etc. It is a great arrangement for both of us.

If one of the ladies comments on your food, just cut it short, they are really not interested, if you are not overweight & any of them are, they also just might be getting in some digs at you.

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Most of the time people go out to eat to socialize. Going to a restaurant isn't about the food to me anymore, it's about the people and hanging out.

DING!

i canary, they're not going to get it, and it *is* limiting to force our choices on them (regardless of the fact that we are limited as well). you've learned over the years that they're not going to accomodate you, but in the grand scheme of things, you don't want to not go, because you have to work with them. so you know the boundaries - the things you can't change - on your situation, and it's just a matter of working within them.

I would recommend bringing your own food, and just being *CONFIDENT* about eating it. if you're questioned, respond *CONFIDENTLY* that you can't eat their food due to medical restrictions, and that it would be terribly awkward to have to sit there hungry while everyone else ate. you can, alternatively, eat before hand, and simply go to engage in the social/business networking that is at the heart of this event, no matter what it is disguised as.

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icanary, whether you think you need to attend as a networking social is a decision that only you would know. I think there would be a lot of variables, such as how necessary you think it is, if you want to socialize, if you think it would help your job position, or if you just do whatever it is you want to do & move on, whether it is distancing yourself from these rude people and continue working there or moving on & up and finding a better position with nicer people.

If you are getting bonuses, top pay, perks like flowers occasionally, gift cards for your birthday, extra days off, and other nice gestures of appreciation, you might want to make the effort to attend, if that is not the type of people that you work for then I would not bother & would look for something better.

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I’m hoping one of you has the wisdom to answer something I’ve not found a good solution. Every year our office of only six women exchanges names for Christmas. We all write the name of a restaurant on a slip of paper and put it in a box. Then we all go to a restaurant that has been pulled. Every year I remind everyone that there are only three places I can eat safely in this town. And every year I’m the only one that puts one of the three places down. I’ve been told they feel too limited by only having three restaurants to choose from. (Yes, THEY feel limited) :( . By the way, when the restaurant is one I can’t eat in – I wait a little while to give them time to eat then show up to exchanges our presents.

I’m not happy with this situation. All we do is exchange gift cards with other. To me this is a waste of my time, not to mention I feel disrespected. None of them are empathic and there is no changing that. (I’ve tried).

So do any of you have a solution of how I can tell these insensitive clods that I don’t want to be a part of their Christmas plans if they won’t even consider choosing a place I can eat safely? Keep in mind this is a small office and I have to work with them year round.

Do you want to be friends with these people? If you do, I would discuss your options. I cannot imagine friends not wanting to go to a gluten-free place. :)

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Don't let the waitress hassle you about the food. It's not her place. Mention the ADA ... she'll be quiet then. Of course, saying the manager said it was okay should have been enough.

I'd just say, "Well, the manager didn't want to accept the liability of making me sick so he said it was fine that I bring food since my friends were all eating here. He didn't think that not being able to serve me should keep me from enjoying our office Christmas party with my friends. Do you have any idea how difficult this is for me and how uncomfortable you are making me? I definately did not choose to not be able to eat out in a culture where it's the main social activity! Do you think I should have just stayed back at the office by myself and missed the party?"

Yes, I'd give her a heck of a guilt trip ... and she'd deserve it. It would also make her more compassionate to the next person who came in there and brought their own food because of food allergies. I just went to Starbucks yesterday and brought my own food. I asked for a plate for my brownie ... they asked if I wanted a fork, too. I think a lot of it has to do with your level of confidence ... they won't say something to someone who looks confident ... probably for fear of getting a guilt trip like the one above! :lol:

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I think a lot of it has to do with your level of confidence ... they won't say something to someone who looks confident ... probably for fear of getting a guilt trip like the one above! :lol:

This is true of many things in the area of human interaction, thanks to the wonders of our human psyche. Getting to the point of being that confident may not come naturally for all of us; if it doesn't, I encourage practicing with family, friends, strangers, the neighborhood cat, and anyone else who'll sit still for five minutes. (I personally always liked doing my rehearsing/daydreaming in the shower...)

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Confidence isn't my problem - it's a lack of energy. I have the confidence to bring my food in there I just don't have the energy to deal with all questions. I used to be very assertive, but now I have to budget my energy and use what I have to do basic neccessities of life and don't have excess energy to waste on things that aren't that important to me. I was undiagnosed for 40 odd years and have many autoimmune problems. I miss 3-5 days of work each month. Because of my health changing jobs isn't in the equation. At this point I've had to give up on my career plans and just concentrate on getting to work each day. I'm working very hard to get healthier.

daffadilly - I'm with you - I am not all that happy about having to waste time & energy on people who are not interested in me. So I'm just not interested in going to lunch exchanging gift cards. So I'm thinking I'll just talk to my supervisor and test the waters about being left out of the Christmas exchange and lunch all together. I'll rather go have lunch with my mother - now there is someone who cares about me. :)

Thanks to all of you who have replied. I appreciate you taking the time to help me out.

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