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Thread: Rude to ask for a coworker's food?/Rude to refuse?

  1. #1
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    Rude to ask for a coworker's food?/Rude to refuse?

    Do you think it is rude for a co-worker to ask to have some of your: snacks, candy, lunch, drink?

    Often times I have snacks, gum, food, and drinks at my desk. I also tend to eat lunch at my desk, and there is a little kitchenette near my office where I go to heat things up or prepare my food.

    It's really common for certain people to ask to have some of what I'm eating. "Oooh, can I have some of your orange?" "Can I have a piece of that?" "That looks good, did you make it? Can I have a taste?" Sometimes people will see a closed package of something on a shelf in my office or just sitting near me, and ask to have some.

    I always give it, because I can't think of a polite way to decline, but I personally think it's a bit rude. These people aren't my friends, we only ever talk about work or just the most generic of pleasantries like the weather and "do anything fun over the weekend?"-kinds of chit-chat.

    Once or twice, someone has come to ask me if I have any candy or something like that, and I have lied and said "no" because it was hidden in my desk and I didn't want to share it. And I felt super miserly about that but then also annoyed that I had to hide it and lie. I have shared in such an instance before, but it was with someone I liked a little more, and who was more social with me, not just when he wanted something.

    Most of the people I work with, they make more money than I do and they're superior in the hierarchy to my role. That shouldn't matter, I think it would still be rude even if it was the unpaid intern, but for some reason that does make it worse, because I think "Can't you buy your own snacks?"

    I made this thread because just now I had a pack of fig newtons on my desk with two cookies in it. I forgot lunch today and had these in my desk so it was just a snack. I'd taken a bite of one when someone I work for came to my desk to ask about a certain policy. Mid-answer, she interrupted me and muttered, "Can I have one of those?" It took my a second to realize what she was asking for. I took the uneaten cookie out and handed it to her, trying not to look shocked.

    What would you do, especially with repeat "beggars/moochers" (for lack of a better term)?

  2. #2
    Platinum Member ThatwasThen's Avatar
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    Her: Can I have one of those?
    You: Well, no, sorry. I forgot my lunch today and its all I have...Now, if you want to buy me lunch, my last cookie is all yours.

    Either start eating in the kitchenette and hide all your snacks in your desk drawers or expect to share without resentment is my advice.

    I used to keep a jar of individually wrapped mints on my desk for anyone to help themselves to. It tended to keep them away from the other things I may be eating in.front.of.them. Do you not think it's kind of rude to be eating in front of people without offering the people at least on both sides of you a little something?

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    OMG, that would drive me crazy.

    It's not necessarily "rude", but it's a bit....boundary crossing?

    To reach for your last Fig Newton? Sheesh.

    You have to just start saying no. Otherwise, you are seen as "Girl with Food to Share".

    Just say "Oh, this is actually all I have for lunch today". You could say that you're tracking micros on MyFitnessPal, and you've entered your food precisely, or something like that. Of course, then you'd open yourself up to all sorts of other questions.

    I'd just start saying "I'm so sorry, but it's all I have for today", and hide the rest. Rats stop coming around when the cheese is locked up.

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    Originally Posted by ThatwasThen
    Do you not think it's kind of rude to be eating in front of people without offering the people at least on both sides of you a little something?
    At a meeting: yes.
    At lunchtime, on my breaks, or when I'm quietly working away in my own office not expecting someone to drop by: No.

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  6. #5
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    Originally Posted by ThatwasThen
    Her: Can I have one of those?
    You: Well, no, sorry. I forgot my lunch today and its all I have...Now, if you want to buy me lunch, my last cookie is all yours.
    LOLz! I love offering to let them buy me lunch!

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    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    Never happens here.
    Someone might offer, but we never ask.
    I'm with you. Uncomfortable.

  8. #7
    Platinum Member ThatwasThen's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Rihannon
    LOLz! I love offering to let them buy me lunch!
    Awesome... Just learn to be a bit more assertive while being playful at the same time and hopefully they will get the hint without you having to get firm about it.

    Bon Appetit :o)

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    Platinum Member JaggerJim's Avatar
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    Make a joke of it. So from today, every person who asks you for your food - hand them a piece and tell them it's the last time. Say it with purpose and a slight joke.

    Then when they cruise past again asking, you can say "NO". They won't ask again.

  10. #9
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    It doesn't happen at my work, I'm sure it must be really annoying. Either hide your snacks or start saying no. If you keep sharing your snacks, your coworkers will keep asking for food.

  11. #10
    Platinum Member JaggerJim's Avatar
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    Just throw lines out there like "Im not here to feed stray cats" "Am I your only food source" just get some digs in.

    You should be able to enjoy your snacks in peace.

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