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Toxic, Addictive Sugar In The Office

I recently read about this blog on an NPR article about people stealing food from communal refrigerators at work. It reminded me of a break room story of bad etiquette and hurt feelings.

At my workplace we have a communal break room, not unlike those of thousands of offices worldwide. I am passionate about baking and every week, sometimes more than once a week, I will bring in my baked goods and put them in the break room for everyone and anyone to eat. This practice has gotten me a bit of a reputation around the department as “that girl who always brings in treats.” People often thank me, and are generally very appreciative of my contributions.

MOST people are appreciative anyway. There is one person, I’ll call him PF. He is a technician who works in a different lab and who I had/have never really talked or even know at all. He has been known to write hostile, passive-aggressive notes and leave them in the break room instructing people not to touch his labeled food under any circumstances.

Anyway, one day I put some cupcakes in the break room and later in the day two of my co-workers informed me that PF had left a note next to the cupcakes. They took a picture of the note and showed it to me. It read as such:

“Bodies need vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes, not high-glycemic index flour and toxic addictive sugar. Challenge yourself to prepare nourishing food for the passerby. Be considerate of real needs, not base desire, temptation, and addiction.”

You’d have thought he was accusing me of peddling drugs or downright poisoning my co-workers. I mean, I don’t force people to eat my baked goods.

The whole incident upset me quite a bit at the time, but my friends assured me that the best response would be simply to continue to bring in my baked goods and ignore whatever he said. I still bring in baked goods on a regular basis and I make sure to deliberate avoid eye-contact with him when I see him in the hallways. 0404-14

And here is the actual note PF left!



Personally I wouldn’t let on to PF that his opinions or note had any negative effect on me.   I’d look him in the eye, get a devilish twinkle in my eye and a grin on my face and happily chirp, “There is a fresh batch of addictive sugar bombs in the staff kitchen, PF!   I baked them just for you!”


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • DanaJ April 7, 2014, 8:18 pm

    Ignore the note and continue doing what you do. It’s quite irksome to passive-aggressives when they try to make a point and everyone acts like they’re invisible.

  • Ally April 7, 2014, 8:47 pm

    One time I made my grandma’s special pie recipe and brought it into work (my friend had requested it after hearing me describe it). I remember another co-worker lectured us about how sugar was so bad for you and you’d die young eating it. Considering my grandma lived into her 80s and my grandpa (her husband) almost to 100, I’m pretty sure grandma’s pie recipe was not, in fact, poison.

    Some people just love drama and going on about their new diets. But I’m a fan of “everything in moderation.” And I’d really rather live a life that includes pie.

    • Cherry91 April 9, 2014, 1:20 am

      My motto in life is “Everything in moderation. Including moderation.” XD

  • Allie April 7, 2014, 9:13 pm

    Personally, I’d put a note on my treats that they’re for everyone but PF and if your company has an employee assistance program for people with addiction issues, you might include the number since he has so much trouble with impulse control that he feels tormented by your offerings. Well, the wicked side of me would do that. I do agree with Admin’s idea. And don’t give this entitled a#@ any more of your time.

  • Anonymous April 7, 2014, 10:01 pm

    Honestly, I’d do nothing. PF didn’t sign his name, so he’s obviously not willing to stand behind his words, so I’d just continue on as if he hadn’t said anything. I wouldn’t deliberately start baking more often, in an attempt to get PF riled up, but I wouldn’t stop baking either, if the response from other co-workers was positive.

    • June First April 10, 2014, 2:53 am

      Yes, I believe this is called “the high road”. Take it.

  • NostalgicGal April 8, 2014, 12:04 am

    Ignore the note.

    Bring in what you want.

    If PF persists, I’d fill a cupcake liner with broccoli and cauliflower, top it with a carrot curl, put his name on it and put it right in front of the pile of other goodies. That’s if he persists.

    You’re bringing in what you want; if he feels that the offerings are inadequate then he should bring in what is adequate. If he doesn’t want to then he needs to quit leaving notes.

  • AngePange April 8, 2014, 7:31 am

    I’ve learned from working in an office that, on the whole, people are unkind and petty. I have a group of coworkers who thoroughly enjoy making mean spirited comments to me about my weight. Then, if I refuse treats when same are offered, they become upset. At the end of the day you CHOOSE to put what you want into your mouth. I doubt you have force fed PF a cookie. He is an abusive, small, bullying man who needs to keep his insecurities to himself. He is also a gimme pig – if he wants something else, he should bring them in himself. I’m a little surprised that no one else has thought of him as a foul, self entitled gimme pig. Don’t throw your pearls before swine OP!

  • Cecilia April 8, 2014, 8:44 am

    Every office has a PF. In my office, it’s a lady who will pick up your frozen dinner box/can of soup/loaf bread or anything that has the nutritional info box, cluck and “Tsk” about the calories or sugar or fat grams or whatever.

    Take everyone’s advice and ignore PF. Continue to bring your baked goods/treats. The only thing I would do *IF* he wrote another note, I would either write him a (polite) note back or say face-to-face (politely) that while I appreciate his being concerned about everyone’s health, he does not have to try or consume any of the things I brought and leaving notes is unnecessary.

  • Josie April 8, 2014, 8:59 am

    I would put up a sign on my next batch of goodies “If you don’t like it, don’t take it. If you want something healthier, you bring it.”

  • Anonymous April 8, 2014, 11:30 am

    @AngePange–Really? Are all of your co-workers twelve years old or something? I didn’t know adults teased one another about their weight; at least not to their faces.

  • Mae April 8, 2014, 3:59 pm

    PF needs to get over himself. There is a man in our office who dislikes salt. He drew the “skull & crossbones” sign on it one day. If you sprinkle a little salt on something and he sees it, he mumbles under his breath. We all decided to just ignore him.

  • Rebecca April 8, 2014, 11:51 pm

    Ah, the food police. There is one of those in every crowd. Because the OP is obligated to bring anything at all, of course.

  • littlebosammy April 11, 2014, 8:14 pm

    I’m in agreement with everyone – keep on bringin’ the goodies and keep smilin’!

  • Enna April 12, 2014, 5:29 am

    Keep on bringing in the goodies – it’s not like it’s drugs or alcohol you and your collegaues are guzzlering! If he carries on being a twit then maybe let HR know. I’d be careful about making comments – not saying don’t just be careful in case it backfires or esculates.

  • Snowy April 21, 2014, 5:02 pm

    Continue to bring in your treats. And once in a while, leave him a carrot.

  • sphynx April 29, 2014, 8:45 am

    Bring in carrot cake and zucchini bread. 🙂

  • NicoleK June 15, 2014, 2:41 am

    The note was rude. But personally, I have food issues and HATE it when people bring in sweets to work. I dreaded going into work after Valentine’s day or other holidays when everyone brought in their unwanted extra cakes and cookies in the hopes we did. I know I should learn more self-control, and it is my problem, not theirs, but the fact is having all those sweets around causes a lot of anxiety and usually results in me binge eating and feeling horrible afterwards.

  • Julie August 16, 2014, 3:56 pm

    I’m totally with PF. Nobody needs to be eating baked good several times a week.

    Besides, trying to buy you coworkers’ affections by baking screams “trying too hard.”