Author Topic: The Missing Box Lunch  (Read 8557 times)

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oceanus

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The Missing Box Lunch
« on: February 21, 2013, 05:15:30 PM »
A friend was telling me about a situation that happened at her office the other day.  This organization was open on President’s Day, but they conduct a lot of their business with people who are from government agencies, which were closed on last Monday.

The way I understand it, there is a staff of 12 people.  The Director and another staff member were out of town.  The Assistant Director is relatively new, and when she came on board either she was told and/or it became obvious to her that some of the staff don’t like each other much; i.e., they interact only when they have to.  According to what friend told me, AD is somewhat adamant about changing the office atmosphere so that everyone “gets along” better.

Although last Monday was a slower day (no clients coming in) the staff members were all working on monthly reports and other desk projects.  First thing in the morning, AD checked to see if anyone had definite lunch plans (apparently they didn’t), and she announced that she was going to order box lunches and soft drinks to be delivered from a deli so they could all eat together and relax in the conference room.  Everyone paid for their own lunch.

When the lunches were delivered, AD paid and put everything in the conference room.  As friend got hers she received an important call from someone in the regional office and took her lunch to her desk.  The call took about 20 minutes, during which time friend proceeded to eat some of her food. 

After the call, friend went to the conference room and that after counting boxes someone discovered they were one lunch short – only 9 lunch boxes had been delivered.  Two people shared a lunch. Another person said to friend “We only got 9 lunches. You could have waited until after your call to start eating.”  She said "Well, I got hungry" and if they were shorted, it wasn’t her fault, and she didn’t see why anyone should care that she started to eat her food at her desk.

Needless to say, this turned out to be a not-so-warm and fuzzy lunch break.

I think the rude person was the one who made the comment when friend came to the conference room with her half eaten lunch.  As far as the shortage, someone should have counted upon delivery and the deli should have brought another.

What are your opinions?   

Snooks

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Re: The Missing Box Lunch
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2013, 05:23:51 PM »
I think the Assistant Director should have gone without lunch and phoned the deli to have another one delivered for her.

MommyPenguin

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Re: The Missing Box Lunch
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2013, 05:26:52 PM »
If AD paid and put everything in the conference room, it was on her to count lunches and make sure they got all the ones they paid for.  She should have done that before the deli delivery person left, because that's the time to get it fixed.  I don't fault her for taking her lunch to her desk to eat, since she had an important call, but she was the one who had the most responsibility and opportunity to count lunches, notice the discrepancy, and deal with it.

DottyG

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Re: The Missing Box Lunch
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2013, 05:32:03 PM »
Quote
I don't fault her for taking her lunch to her desk to eat, since she had an important call, but she was the one who had the most responsibility and opportunity to count lunches, notice the discrepancy, and deal with it.

I think the AD and the friend are 2 different people.


DottyG

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Re: The Missing Box Lunch
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2013, 05:33:08 PM »
And, as for your question, oceanus, I agree with you:

Quote
I think the rude person was the one who made the comment when friend came to the conference room with her half eaten lunch.  As far as the shortage, someone should have counted upon delivery and the deli should have brought another.


oceanus

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Re: The Missing Box Lunch
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2013, 05:38:03 PM »
If AD paid and put everything in the conference room, it was on her to count lunches and make sure they got all the ones they paid for.  She should have done that before the deli delivery person left, because that's the time to get it fixed.  I don't fault her for taking her lunch to her desk to eat, since she had an important call, but she was the one who had the most responsibility and opportunity to count lunches, notice the discrepancy, and deal with it.

Assistant Direector is not my friend - two different people.

Friend did not order or pay the delivery person.

I also think it could have ben fixed without too much fuss since deli was in the same area.

But I also think there was some resentment or feeling that friend didn't want to eat with the others (a separate issue).  She did have to take a call, and if she hadn't taken her lunch with her she probably would not have had any food when she got to the conference room.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2013, 05:42:22 PM by oceanus »

JenJay

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Re: The Missing Box Lunch
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2013, 05:47:02 PM »
Your friend wasn't rude. She needed to take her lunch to her desk to take the call. How was she supposed to know they'd been shorted? Also, if two people split a lunch, doesn't that mean 7 other people ate a full lunch even though they did know someone would go without? How are they in the clear but your friend isn't?

As for whose mistake it was I'd say the AD. She ordered, paid for and took receipt of the lunches. She should have counted them. I agree with Snooks that she should have given up her lunch and waited for the deli to send the missing order.

LazyDaisy

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Re: The Missing Box Lunch
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2013, 06:14:30 PM »
The coworker was rude in both making a comment and how they went about it but I think there are two issues. Completely separate from the missing lunch issue, I can see taking the call and eating at her desk to be slightly rude since the whole point of the lunch was for everyone to eat together. If the call wasn't an emergency, would there have been harm in letting it go to voicemail as though friend was out for lunch? I disagree with this "and she didn't see why anyone should care that she started to eat her food at her desk." Under normal lunch rules this would apply, but this was a special occasion that she agreed to (presumably since a lunch was ordered for her). Eating food wasn't the purpose, eating together was. But it would be up to the AD to speak to friend about that.
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Hmmmmm

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Re: The Missing Box Lunch
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2013, 06:21:59 PM »
I don't think the friend was rude to start eating her lunch while at her desk.  However I'm curious about what prompted her to take her lunch with her instead of leaving it the break room since she was aware the idea was for everyone to eat their lunch together.

oceanus

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Re: The Missing Box Lunch
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2013, 06:32:34 PM »
I don't think the friend was rude to start eating her lunch while at her desk.  However I'm curious about what prompted her to take her lunch with her instead of leaving it the break room since she was aware the idea was for everyone to eat their lunch together.

I also was curious about this.  The way she told it, she could see/hear when the lunches were being put in the conference room and people started to gather there.   She was waiting on a call, but assumed it would come later in the afternoon.  But as she walked towards the conference room, the front desk secretary said “It’s X on the phone for you”.  She hurried to get her box lunch, and took it to her desk.  The call turned out to take longer than anticipated.

I asked “But if you hadn’t gotten the call, would you have still taken the lunch to your desk?”

She said “No.  Although I wasn’t crazy about the “let’s all eat together” thing, I would have eaten with everyone else.”

If she had stayed at her desk I think that would have been rude (or at least awkward), but she did return to the conference room.


« Last Edit: February 21, 2013, 06:37:47 PM by oceanus »

Yvaine

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Re: The Missing Box Lunch
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2013, 06:46:06 PM »
I don't think the friend was rude to start eating her lunch while at her desk.  However I'm curious about what prompted her to take her lunch with her instead of leaving it the break room since she was aware the idea was for everyone to eat their lunch together.

I also was curious about this.  The way she told it, she could see/hear when the lunches were being put in the conference room and people started to gather there.   She was waiting on a call, but assumed it would come later in the afternoon.  But as she walked towards the conference room, the front desk secretary said “It’s X on the phone for you”.  She hurried to get her box lunch, and took it to her desk.  The call turned out to take longer than anticipated.

I asked “But if you hadn’t gotten the call, would you have still taken the lunch to your desk?”

She said “No.  Although I wasn’t crazy about the “let’s all eat together” thing, I would have eaten with everyone else.”

If she had stayed at her desk I think that would have been rude (or at least awkward), but she did return to the conference room.

Here's what's really going on, I suspect: the complainers are upset that they had to go to the forced team lunch while your friend (for legitimate business reasons) wasn't stuck there. And because it was a legitimate business reason, they can't really complain about that, hence the annoyance is bleeding over to something else.

oceanus

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Re: The Missing Box Lunch
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2013, 07:15:39 PM »
Yvaine, good point.

From what I hear (and I've heard a LOT) this office has beeb brimming over with cloak & dagger drama, jealousies, etc. for years.  Exec Dir doesn't want to deal with it (or isn't capable of dealing with it effectively).

Then comes new Asst Dir with her fresh MBA.  (Similar to my mother) she thought if everyone just sits down and eats a meal together, everything will be okay.  NOT.

DottyG

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Re: The Missing Box Lunch
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2013, 07:17:37 PM »
Quote
Here's what's really going on, I suspect: the complainers are upset that they had to go to the forced team lunch while your friend (for legitimate business reasons) wasn't stuck there. And because it was a legitimate business reason, they can't really complain about that, hence the annoyance is bleeding over to something else.

I think Yvaine hit it right on the head here.


mmswm

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Re: The Missing Box Lunch
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2013, 07:40:14 PM »
Quote
Here's what's really going on, I suspect: the complainers are upset that they had to go to the forced team lunch while your friend (for legitimate business reasons) wasn't stuck there. And because it was a legitimate business reason, they can't really complain about that, hence the annoyance is bleeding over to something else.

I think Yvaine hit it right on the head here.

I agree.  I've been in a similar situation and my office got along with each other..  I skipped a group lunch because we'd misplaced a rather large sum of money (well into the 6 digits, without the decimals), and I thought it was rather important to find it and get it back where it belonged.  I still caught slack for missing the lunch.
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oceanus

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Re: The Missing Box Lunch
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2013, 07:45:04 PM »
Quote
I still caught slack for missing the lunch.

Wow. (As if you didn't have something much more important to do.)  Doesn't surprise me, though.  People in the workplace are really touchy when it comes to team/group lunches and parties.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2013, 07:51:46 PM by oceanus »