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!”