Monday, December 04, 2006

Gluten-Filled Holiday Gathering

We just found out where our company holiday gathering will be this year, a local BBQ tavern. I feel selfish for saying this, but doesn't anyone here at work think about me. I mean, we have a very small staff. It's not like I am just a number with my work. A BBQ tavern is not the best of places for a person with a gluten intolerance and celiac disease. It's just not asking the cook/chef not to put a bun on my sandwich. There is another whole issue about cross contamination. I get sick from one measley gluten containing crumb!

I am going to try to ask if I can skip the get together. I have tried this in the past, but it does not work. So, what I am supposed to do? Just sit there and watch everyone eat and drink until their heads and stomachs explode? I think not! I need to come up with a way to get out of this. Calling out sick is not an option as I have a monthly report due that day.

I have tried explaining my condition to my peers. Do you think anyone actually listens? Nope. Time after time, pizza, sandwiches, cookies, gluten containing items are ordered for meetings. I have spoken up before about ordering something that I could eat. The answer is why don't we order a salad for you. If I wanted a frickin salad I would have said so. When I know we are having a meeting in advance, I bring one of microwable gluten free meals. Amy's gf (gluten-free) veg lasanga or Amy's gf mac n cheese are good. Nothing like homemade, but it's gf food. I can't exactly bring my own food to this place.

If anyone has any idea how to get me out of this, please leave a comment.


don said...

We have a guy who is a vegetarian at work. So we always have a meat free something for him. He doesn't get much sympathy however. When it comes to eating, people are like animals. I doubt you can expect much special treatment. But don't let that keep you from going.

It reminds me of the bike tours I go on. The food they serve is often not what cyclists would ever think about eating. But it doesn't keep us from riding in the tour.

Anonymous said...

I feel for you Rural. Last year I followed a gluten-free diet for over three months (long story). I found it extremely limiting as well as incredibly expensive. I did eat at a few restaurants but I happen to LOVE salads so it became my standard order.

Here's what I would do...I'd personally call the tavern and talk to either the manager or the chef. I would explain the situation and ask for their help. If they flatly refused, I would bring my own food (maybe tell them, maybe not). If they were jerks about it, I would probably even go to great lengths to make a scene -- like having a waiter from their more accommodating competitor deliver it to me at my table for a generous tip. But that's just me.

Maybe this will work for you and maybe it won't. Maybe it will help you think of another way to get the same results. If you decide to go this route, you should probably touch base with your boss to avoid post-party-punishment. Who knows, when he/she sees the lengths you have gone to, it might even get you a pass to next year's party or at least more consideration during its planning.

I hope you find some way to go and have fun though! Life is short.

GrewUpRural said...

Thank you both for sharing your opinions. I have decided not to go. I feel I will make better use of my time doing something else.

Anonymous said...

Hey -- I totally know what you're talking about. I work in a very small office (3 of us!) and my boss always wants to go to lunch at the local "pub-like" place. So fried food, and gross salads. He just doesn't get it! I've not so subtly mentioned that I can't eat anything at these places, but he still takes us.

Oh well...some people just don't get it - I keep LaraBars nearby for those days.

The thing I'm dreading is when the baskets full of cookies start showing up....