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jasonD2

A Bit Stressed Today

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Waiting on some test results from my endoscopy as well as my bloodwork and also thinking about taking another job. As some of you might recall I work in sales and managing the diet with travel and colleagues has been very stressful for the past 2 years. My current job isnt going so well and i might have a great opportunity w/ another company...thing is Im dreading having to explain my "situation" to a bunch of new people and am concerned that it will be a red flag when I go on my interview..obviously lunch will be part of the itinerary. Maybe complete 100% honesty is the only option this time. with my current job i've been very evasive and even allowed myself to get glutened in the beginning just so I wouldnt have to have awkwardness during meals and social functions. Any suggestions on how I can handle a new potential job, meeting new people, etc? someone on here once said they key is to have a spine of steel and not reveal any of my insecurities, but its so difficult.

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Jason,

First, take a deep breath! :P I thik getting a new job that does not require as much travel would be really good for you! As long as you have confidence in yourself and sell your skills, you will be fantastic! I think just saying you have some food "allergies" would be more than enough explanation as to why you cannot partake in whatever is being served. Or, if they're ordering in lunch, take a few snacks in your briefcase. If you are going to a restaurant, see if you can call ahead to see what is available. If you don't make it a big deal, no one else will either. (Just be prepared with some snacks so you dont starve!)

This is a very positive step in the right direction, IMHO :rolleyes:

Show them how great you are, and no one will mind that you're having a plain baked potato:)

Good luck and keep us posted!

Janie

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I don't really feel that it needs to be a topic of discussion in your interview, Jason. It is not a mandatory initial disclosure unless it is going to interfere with your ability to do your job.

If lunch is involved in your interview, can you not order a pan seared steak, baked potato and salad with olive oil and vinegar dressing on the side? No need to make a big deal about that and no red flags will be raised.

But at the first opportunity after you are hired (like the first time you are at lunch with work colleagues) it would be good to get it out in the open right away.

See what others think.

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you're right! But obviosuly if i get that seared steak id still have to inform the waiter of my allergy :)

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you're right! But obviosuly if i get that seared steak id still have to inform the waiter of my allergy :)

Not necessarily - if you know the restaurant ahead of time, you can call ahead. OR you can ask for no seasoning.

You are in a tough job market - you do not want to risk anyone seeing you as high-maintenance or a problem when you are going for a job interview. They can figure that out later! ;) But keep your medical stuff to yourself, and be creative. You can do this - you just have to plan ahead.

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Your insecurities point is a good one, and one that had a big impact on me for quite a while. I think some of your concerns may relate to how you see your gluten free status. When I tell people that I can't eat gluten their first reaction is usually 'you poor thing!' etc. It's easy to hear that and follow that thought pattern, to start thinking about all the things you can't have, or your illness. But if you respond by saying that it's not a big deal and that you are happy to know how to stay well, it becomes a bit of a non-issue (emotionally at least). It may not feel quite true the first time you say it, but believe me it feels true for me now.

People are often interested or know people in the same boat, and it often goes on to a conversation about how I got diagnosed, what their friends do etc. I can't think of a time where people have thought less of me when they know about it. In fact, I think a lot of people respect the self control that it takes to follow the diet.

Overall I think that how you frame your dietary needs can have an impact on how others see it too. If you feel insecure about what you need, it's harder for others to understand. If you can communicate simply that you need to stay gluten free to stay well, you don't have to go further into the emotional issues around that. If you can see for yourself that asserting what you need is not being difficult, it is perfectly reasonable, then it may not be as daunting. People wouldn't demand that a diabetic eats a pile of sugar to fit in with them, you shouldn't feel the need to eat gluten to fit in.

I have heard stories about people not being supportive or even trying to sabotage people, and I'm lucky not to have come across that. However I do have 1 person at home who resents the (fairly minimal) effort they are asked to make to keep gluten from contaminating my food, so I have some idea of conflict around my health needs. I hope you don't come across anyone like that, but I would tackle it head on if you do. All you can offer to do is explain the basics around your medical condition, but you can't make them care.

Good luck with the interview - not travelling would be great as it gives you a chance to find some good places to eat in the area, you can then develop a relationship with a few places so that it becomes even less of a big deal.

Sophie

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you're right! But obviosuly if i get that seared steak id still have to inform the waiter of my allergy :)

Excuse yourself before orders are taken and talk to the manager about your options. Return to the table and order accordingly.

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or....they might see how well you handle/assert yourself and how much self-control you have...could be a postive employee attribute

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Jason, I can tell you that you are getting better just by the tone of your posts! You are concerned and nervous instead of panicked and angry. I'm really happy for you!

Good luck with the job interview. I think printing out one of those cards to just hand to the waitress would be pretty simple. They usually just say something like.......

I have Celiacs

I can not have.....

gluten containing grains

list

other

allergens

I would like to order.......

plain meat cooked in a fresh pan with only salt and pepper to season

plain baked potato

plain salad - greens, tomato

Please do not put anything on my food that we have not discussed as it may make me very ill.

Thank you for your efforts in protecting my health.

*I know celiacs isn't correct usage by I refuse to call it a disease.

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Jason, I can tell you that you are getting better just by the tone of your posts! You are concerned and nervous instead of panicked and angry. I'm really happy for you!

Good luck with the job interview. I think printing out one of those cards to just hand to the waitress would be pretty simple. They usually just say something like.......

This is great! Thanks for the idea, optimisticmom42. I always travel with 3x5 cards and that is a great use, rather than having to explain everything all the time, while you have people around you.

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Jason,

I changed jobs about 2 years ago and I am expected to go to lunches and dinners with clients, co-workers and my bosses. It used to be so nerve wracking for me to eat out with other people - I was intimidated and embarassed. I have since discovered that most people don't think twice about it after the waiter leaves and no body has thought less of me because my body rejects wheat.

I have developed a couple of coping different strategies that have kept me safe so far.

1) almost any high end resturant with a chef will be able to accommodate you. I smile sweetly and explain that I have some food allergies and would like know if they will be able to accommodate me. If they say no or I am not comfortable with the response, I will simply pass on eating and explain I am there for the company, not the food.

2) When you can, give choices of resturants that you know are safe.

3) Travel - learn the chains. I always stay at Hilton's because I have confidence in the breakfast buffet. Almost all of them have omlet chefs, where I can see my food being cooked and lots of fresh fruit.

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Jason, I would focus on what you CAN DO, rather than what you can't.

I have had to learn (the hard way) how to navigate business lunches at my work. For me it boils down to ordering things that are pretty much intrinsically gluten free from the get go. A piece of meat or fish (w/0 breading) Vegetables. Salad (sans croutons). This doesn't eliminate the risk of cross contamination, but, it goes a long ways. If I get the heads up on the restaurant we're going to in advance, that is a big bonus: I research their menu online, pick a couple of options, and call ahead to talk to staff to ensure my entrees of choice are prepared with gluten free ingredients. Whenever possible, I opt for the entrees that are already prepared w/o gluten containing ingredients. Rather than asking for a specially prepared entree. It makes it easier for the staff and ensures a greater probability for my safety, w/o having to draw attention to my "condition" in front of my boss when we get there.

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