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VioletBlue

Just Need To Vent

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I work for a very small company. The owner, his wife and me. We run the business out of a house that used to be their second home. When they moved up here full time they bought a big ranch and turned the second home into their office. So it's got a bathroom and kitchen and appliances.

But the downside is my desk not far from the kitchen which is open to what would be the living room area, but is now the main office space.

My boss is a hypochondriac to say the least. He loves to talk about his procedures, his various and assorted illnesses, the illnesses of all the people he knows etc etc etc. I get so damn tired of hearing it all I just want to scream some days. I don 't want to hear over and over again that someone I don't even know has this cancer or that cancer, or is dying a horrible death or is dead or whatever. Once is enough, but he tells everyone he talks to. I cringe when I hear him giving clients the low down on his last colonoscopy. Who really wants to hear that? What I'd dearly love to tell him is to just stopping eating all the junk and all the gluten and maybe he wouldn't have so many problems? But that would just give him one more thing to obsess about, and he wouldn't get it anyway. He can't for the life of him understand why I don 't shop for food at the Dollar Store like he does. Um, because everything there is cheap and contains loads of gluten?

But what's come to annoy me the most is the food thing. I'm literally surrounded by junk food. Boxes of crackers, cookies, nuts, you name it, all over the kitchen. And he eats constantly. I cringe every time he comes near me with a cracker in his hand. He's in the kitchen a couple times an hour to grab a cracker or some nuts or whatever. And this is a man who supposedly is on the Atkins diet.

I've literally been stopped dead in my tracks, transfixed with horror by the site of a cracker crumb on the counter. My brain can't decide whether to get a paper towel and wipe it away or just leave it. I live in terror of cookie and cracker crumbs. For that reason I don't use the counters to cut anything. If I place anything on the counters, it's on top of a paper towel or a plate or tin foil. He offered my jerky yesterday. He knows better, at least I thought he did, but he offered it to me and when I politely said "No thank you" his reply was "But this is the good stuff, you'll love it, try some." He did that three times, and three times I said "No thank you".

I've tried explaining Celiac to him, but he does not get the extent of it. He asked me the other day if the frozen Stouffer's Lasagna in the freezer was mine or his. I had to just stare at him for a good thirty seconds while I ran through everything I wanted to say in my head and finally edited it down to a simple "No." What I wanted to say was "Why on earth would I buy much less eat something that will kill me? If you want to die, go ahead, but I don't buy crap like that." Just saying No, took some real restraint. I could try one more time to explain things to him, but he won't get it.

I finally had to tell him not to give my dog treats anymore. The dog comes to work with me. He buys the cheap biscuits at Dollar tree and they're full of wheat and corn. My animals don't get any corn or wheat. The dog is particularly sensitive since she has a pancreatic insufficiency and doesn't handle fiber or fat well. After her last pancreatic attack I put my foot down. Still every time his dogs are over and he gives them a biscuit he looks at my dog and says "I'd love to give you one but she won't let me." The dog could care less because she's never liked hard biscuits anyway, but it annoys the crap outta me, particularly since she's my dog and I pay her vet bills. I'm a meanie because I don't want to watch my dog wretch her guts out again. Not to mention the whole cross contamination thing. Dog eats biscuit with wheat; dog licks my face. Ughhhhhh.

I know, it's his life, he can live it any way he wants. But I've never worked for anyone who kept so much crap around and ate constantly. The mere sound of him chewing has begun to annoy me. I'm hoping it gets to the point where it doesn't bother me quite so much, but I don't think so. He's got such an obsessive personality that I can't see him every changing or getting it or understanding, so it's pretty much all on me.

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Guest thatchickali

Is there a way you can quit?

I mean, all that is just going to keep eating at you and it's preventing you from loving what you do.

I believe that everyone should do what they love and love what they do.

You just sound like you deserve a better place than that.

Personally, I would get out ASAP even if it meant more job searching. It just sounds like an awful environment.

Ali

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First I want to congradulate you on your restraint, you should definately get major amounts of gluten-free brownie points for dealing with your boss's ignorance not to mention not saying whats really on your mind.

I do however agreee at least in part with "thatchickali" you need to decide wether this job is worth the aggravation not just with the food issue but it sounds like your boss is a real "winner" (used that word logosely by the way) just with his personality, maybe you can find a better job elsewhere?

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Quitting isn't an option. This is a small town. I've probably got one of the highest paid jobs in the valley. I'd literally be looking at cutting my pay in half IF I could find a job anywhere else here. I can't make the mortgage and car payments on that. Not to mention most other employers don't offer health benefits. I'd have to move out of the valley and off the mountain to find a job that pays this well.

Violet

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Quitting isn't an option. This is a small town. I've probably got one of the highest paid jobs in the valley. I'd literally be looking at cutting my pay in half IF I could find a job anywhere else here. I can't make the mortgage and car payments on that. Not to mention most other employers don't offer health benefits. I'd have to move out of the valley and off the mountain to find a job that pays this well.

Violet

You poor woman! Your clueless boss and working environment sound like something out of a quirky movie or TV show. Maybe change your standard reply of "No thank you," to "No thank you, that would kill me." With a smile on your face ;) Say it every single time! Every time he asks, "Is this yours?" You say, "Gosh no, that would kill me." :) Some people need to have something said to them, oh, a couple hundred times before it sinks in.

-Sarah

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Maybe change your standard reply of "No thank you," to "No thank you, that would kill me." With a smile on your face ;) Say it every single time! Every time he asks, "Is this yours?" You say, "Gosh no, that would kill me." :)

This sounds like it could be a lot of fun with a hypochondriac ;)

Can you wear headphones to cut down on the chewing sound? Sometimes I wear them even if I'm not playing anything in them. It kind of muffles the ambient noise and discourages people from randomly talking to you.

Other ideas:

move your desk?

put a screen between you and the kitchen?

Send him a huge bill for cleaning the computers "that were beginning to malfunction because of all the crumbs in them"?

come up with your own stories about people you know who've died from eating crackers? (Or at least spent days in the hospital, been confined to wheelchairs, had bits of their body removed because of misdiagnosis)

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Quitting isn't an option. This is a small town. I've probably got one of the highest paid jobs in the valley. I'd literally be looking at cutting my pay in half IF I could find a job anywhere else here. I can't make the mortgage and car payments on that. Not to mention most other employers don't offer health benefits. I'd have to move out of the valley and off the mountain to find a job that pays this well.

Violet

He really is insensitive. I work with a woman who says she is an alcoholic, not a recovered alcoholic, and she doesn't drink. If I were to offer her a beer or wine daily, that would be unbelievable. What he's doing is just the same. If you were working for a big corporation, it would be something to take to HR. Any way,

I'm not sure if you want ideas or not, so feel free to ignore this if you don't want my $0.02 worth.

Depending on the office, you could put up a No Gluten sign with the red X like they have for no smoking above your desk. Put it on your computer screen saver. Get a coffee mug with that emblem on it. Put a NO GLUTEN ZONE poster on your in box. Put a No Gluten sign on your dog's neck. Wear a face mask in the kitchen and wear gloves while cleaning.

When he comes at you with a cracker, say "If you come any closer I'm going to have to shoot you." Smile a big smile.

Maybe the best would be to say "My doctor says..." because he is so into doctors. When he offers anything bad, say "Remember my doctor said gluten will killl me..." like a broken record.

Headphones are a great idea as is the computer cleaning. Drive him nuts with getting out the clorox wipes and wiping your desk, the phone, the computer.

Good luck!

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"Gosh no, that would kill me."

I like that. Straigh forward, to the point. I'll have to try that from now on.

I appreciate all ideas. Thanks. It helps just to write it out and know someone else out there understands.

Violet

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Gosh, that would grate on my nerves so much! You're obviously not going to be able to change his attitudes towards food or make him understand celiac, but you did get him to stop feeding your dog which indicates he's trainable :) Now, you just have to figure out how to keep his gluten away from you. Establishing a gluten-free Zone around your desk is a good idea. And if the kitchen is that bad, I see no reason why you shouldn't have your own microwave and mini-fridge in your own area. And I love the headphones idea. I also wear headphones with no music sometimes just to help block everything out. In the end, you've got to find someway to transfer this negative energy towards him into a realization that it's not your problem if he's eating himself to death so you don't give yourself an ulcer over this.

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Turning it something that annoys HIM whenever he asks. Almost poetic.

Great suggestions.

Jess! :lol: at the "computer. ..beginning to malfunction" & "come up with your own stories" :lol:

Heck, we could take turns making them up so there's natural variety!! :D

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Jess! :lol: at the "computer. ..beginning to malfunction" & "come up with your own stories" :lol:

Heck, we could take turns making them up so there's natural variety!! :D

:lol: I like that... a nice little creative writing outlet!

-Sarah

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Sounds like your boss is TOTALLY addicted to gluten (Atkins diet, you said?)and in total denial of what gluten is probably doing to him, hence the pretense that he doesn't know what it does to YOU.

Why don't you bring in a copy of Peter Green's book, or maybe print out a couple of pages from celiac.com showing the link between gluten intolerance/celiac and lymphoma?

Better yet, bring some gluten-free treats in and share them--maybe bake a loaf of gluten-free bread, or some gluten-free brownies (very easy), and keep telling him, "It's not the carbs that are the problem, it's the gluten!!"

You could also print out a page or two from Dogtor J, showing how the pet food companies are using grains, particularly gluten, as a cheap substitute for animal protein and the terrible effects on our pets (diabetes, etc).

Maybe he'll join you on the gluten-free diet if you show him how? I assume he is on the Atkins diet to lose weight? Ask him to join in an experiment: tell him that you'll supply all snacks for 2 weeks, and that they will be carbs, but totally gluten-free, and see if he doesn't lose weight. It could be totally easy--you could bring in Frito's, a bag of chocolate chips, gluten-free rice crackers, etc.

SOunds nuts,I know, but I lost 20 pounds that way!

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