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detritus

How To Be Annoying Without Feeling Bad....

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I just had my first encounter in Celiacs training. I was at Whole Foods buying chicken breasts. The butcher behind the counter was pouring spices from a large jar into a bowl. When he came over to help me, he started to reach for the chicken. I said, "I'm sorry, I need for you to change your glove first" and he said "but I'm just making chicken.." and I said "I know, but I have a gluten intolerance and I could get very sick". He changed his glove, but looked at me like I was a crazy pain in the a**

I was proud of myself for catching it, but frustrated that this is now my life. I've always been very easy-going and laid back.

Do I now have to be that girl that people roll their eyes about because she's annoying? I know I shouldn't care, and it's about MY health, but I feel like an outsider right now. Any tips? Ways that you've found to communicate without seeming overly paranoid?

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Unfortunately, when you're dealing with people who just don't "get it", they are probably always going to think you are a little crazy, because they haven't taken Celiac 101 and it's just not possible to deliver that class in one simple request. All you can do is be polite and firm in your request, and mention that what he has been handling previously could contaminate your food and make you sick because you have a gluten intolerance (which is pretty much what you did). You will get used to this after a while and it shouldn't make you feel bad. I remember the first time I did it, I was feeling really sick watching this gal at a little lunch counter (I know, risky place, but they normally do right by me) scraping gluten-laden leftover food off plates and placing them in the dishwasher and then coming straight over to serve me. I just said, "I certainly hope you are going to change your gloves before handling my food because I am ordering gluten-free." Not the politest way I could have said it, but I could just see the gluten crawling all over those gloves and I was squirming :lol: I have learned to be a little nicer about it, but you have to do what is necessary to protect yourself, and if someone is offended because they don't understand, well, we just have to keep on telling them what they need to do and not worrying about their feelings particularly. Your physical pain will be a lot worse than their minor offense at receiving instructions from you on how to do their job. And they might even learn something. :rolleyes:

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As many times as I've had to do that same kind of thing.....I found that there is an advantage to talking with the management.

I have had to do this before with the point being I would not come back to their establishment.....and since they don't like complaints.......I usually get a discount or special attention....like the VIP treatment.

I don't have to be harsh about it either - I could be distressed, polite, bummed, or almost in tears when I make my point.

If I do have to talk about an employees less then tolerant behavior, I know that they will get the allergen training 101 for my next visit.

It's almost a guilty feeling to get things my way....lol

Tena

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I will not order anything from the meat counter. I see what they do back there and how the meats that are displayed can become cc. It has to be processed at a meat processing plant for me to buy it.

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Unfortunately, when you're dealing with people who just don't "get it", they are probably always going to think you are a little crazy, because they haven't taken Celiac 101 and it's just not possible to deliver that class in one simple request. All you can do is be polite and firm in your request, and mention that what he has been handling previously could contaminate your food and make you sick because you have a gluten intolerance (which is pretty much what you did). You will get used to this after a while and it shouldn't make you feel bad. I remember the first time I did it, I was feeling really sick watching this gal at a little lunch counter (I know, risky place, but they normally do right by me) scraping gluten-laden leftover food off plates and placing them in the dishwasher and then coming straight over to serve me. I just said, "I certainly hope you are going to change your gloves before handling my food because I am ordering gluten-free." Not the politest way I could have said it, but I could just see the gluten crawling all over those gloves and I was squirming :lol: I have learned to be a little nicer about it, but you have to do what is necessary to protect yourself, and if someone is offended because they don't understand, well, we just have to keep on telling them what they need to do and not worrying about their feelings particularly. Your physical pain will be a lot worse than their minor offense at receiving instructions from you on how to do their job. And they might even learn something. :rolleyes:

Not to mention the germs crawling all over that after she touched leftover food. Ick!

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Good for you for standing up for your health!

I had to explain the same issue at Tevana Tea's after I saw them use the same scoop to scoop out more than one type of tea. One was Earl Grey which could kill me (quite literally.)

And anyone working at WF should be ashamed of themselves for not knowing better :(

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I thought Whole Foods had a pretty good record for gluten free food handling training?

The last 2 times I've been out to a restaurant, I have said to the server "I'm going to be a pain in the butt..." and I smile and laugh. It breaks the ice, and if you say "allergy" instead of celiac disease or gluten intolerance, they're more receptive, because they immediately have visions of searching the entire place for an epi pen and the portable paddles.

They understand allergy, "intolerance" just doesn't sound fatal enough.

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I thought Whole Foods had a pretty good record for gluten free food handling training?

The last 2 times I've been out to a restaurant, I have said to the server "I'm going to be a pain in the butt..." and I smile and laugh. It breaks the ice, and if you say "allergy" instead of celiac disease or gluten intolerance, they're more receptive, because they immediately have visions of searching the entire place for an epi pen and the portable paddles.

They understand allergy, "intolerance" just doesn't sound fatal enough.

Oh, I like that strategy! I can imagine that working in a number of situations. And I was bummed, because I tend to trust Whole Foods more than most places. I wrote to the store afterward, and explained the situation, so hopefully their staff will learn about gluten intolerance. Thanks everybody for your responses, it really helps when I'm down:)

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