Author Topic: If you aren't on the deadline team, don't eat the lunch  (Read 9040 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

TootsNYC

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 30848
If you aren't on the deadline team, don't eat the lunch
« on: July 12, 2013, 09:59:12 AM »
We've been in crunch mode at work this week, and there are a bunch of us who really can't leave our desks for very long. If a folder gets to our desk, we'll need to move it pronto. So the top managers announced that they'd buy lunch every day.

But they didn't buy enough for everyone, and the first day, all the people who physically sit closer to the conference room (who are actually not the people on deadline) got there first, and *because they were busy*, the crunch team didn't get there until the food was almost out--some of us didn't get any food at all.

It brought up a lot of office etiquette issues.

1) if you're going to announce that you're buying food for the whole staff, buy enough food!

2) it is too OK to say, "I'm buying food for people who are on deadline today and can't leave. If you're not on deadline I'm not buying your lunch." This isn't a party, where you would be rude to leave some people out. This is a working lunch; it's a form of compensation, and it's also a form of work supplies.

3) If you're not on the project for which the food was purchased, you really shouldn't be rushing to get there first. To me this is where etiquette is truly coming in. Yeah, sure, the email came to you and it said "lunch is here." So by the letter of the law, it's your lunch too. But I think you should wait, you shouldn't be the first person there trying to get the food.


I couldn't persuade the guy in charge of lunch to order more food, and I couldn't get him to stop sending the "lunch is here" email to the whole group, but I did get him to send that email FIRST to the deadline time, and then 20 minutes later send it to the rest of the staff.

And he was going to have a word with one of the non-deadline department heads to tell her somewhat large team to get their own lunches--or at least to hang back and

Has your office faced a situation where only some people needed lunch? How'd you handle it?

And, do you disagree with any of my assumptions above? Maybe I'm wrong.

stargazer

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5469
Re: If you aren't on the deadline team, don't eat the lunch
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2013, 10:43:51 AM »
I don't actually agree but part of it is because of how my group handles things.  I'm part of a large group A of about 50 people under one head manger and we are divided into smaller sub-groups under our direct managers.  Our smaller sub group is on a completely different deadline schedule than everyone else.  When the rest of the groups are on hard deadlines, we generally are not or it just isn't as urgent for us.  They buy breakfast/lunch then.  I am NOT going to wait for 40+ people to get their lunch before I figure out it's okay to get mine.  Why?  Because when it's OUR crazy busy time, the head manger completely forget about us and doesn't bother to get us food.  So the only time I'm going to get this benefit is when the main group is getting it.

Really, this is just a problem of the manager not getting enough food.  We always have leftovers as it is unless we're ordering specific meals from Chipotle or something.

Phoebelion

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 287
Re: If you aren't on the deadline team, don't eat the lunch
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2013, 10:50:32 AM »
Have the same problem here.

It was solved by not telling the "not in deadline mode"  employees at all.  Period.  Never.  Of course, there's way more involved than the company buying lunch in our case.

They started the non-announcing because people were actually filling up two and three plates.  Ridiculous. 

SamiHami

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3270
  • No! Iz mai catnip! You no can haz! YOU NO CAN HAZ!
Re: If you aren't on the deadline team, don't eat the lunch
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2013, 10:57:20 AM »
Nope, if the food is meant for a certain group then the manager should make it clear that it is for that group only. If he is unwilling to do that, then he needs to order enough for everyone, simple as that. If he refuses to do either, I would complain to him every single time it happens. Squeaky wheel and all that. After all, he's not really buying lunch for the group it's intended for if he knowingly allows this to continue.

When I used to order lunches for certain groups in my old position, we constantly had people from other areas come in and try to grab some for themselves. It got to the point where I would go up to those individuals in line for food and flat out tell them that this is for Group X and not for them, and that they would have to leave. I would also tell them if they wanted to come back later they could see if we had any leftovers. There was some grumbling, but when I reminded them it was coming out of my areas budget and not theirs they shut up pretty quick.

What have you got? Is it food? Is it for me? I want it whatever it is!

MummySweet

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 585
Re: If you aren't on the deadline team, don't eat the lunch
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2013, 11:06:35 AM »

1) if you're going to announce that you're buying food for the whole staff, buy enough food!

...

I couldn't persuade the guy in charge of lunch to order more food, and I couldn't get him to stop sending the "lunch is here" email to the whole group, but I did get him to send that email FIRST to the deadline time, and then 20 minutes later send it to the rest of the staff.

Well, the biggest issue is right here, and the fault lays with the person deciding on the quantities that are ordered.  If 'everyone' is being told they are being provided lunch, there needs to be enough lunch for everyone.  In this case I don't think the recipients should have to police whether one team got lunch or not (and I am assuming that they are following basic buffet rules: i.e., take a reasonable amount, no seconds until all have gone through line, etc.). 

In a similar situation, we ordered box lunches for the people who needed them and delivered them directly to their desks.  The menu selection was a little more limited, but the people who needed lunch were fine with the 4-5 options that they had, since it meant they actually got to eat.

Lorelei_Evil

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2039
Re: If you aren't on the deadline team, don't eat the lunch
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2013, 11:12:48 AM »
Have the same problem here.

It was solved by not telling the "not in deadline mode"  employees at all.  Period.  Never.  Of course, there's way more involved than the company buying lunch in our case.

They started the non-announcing because people were actually filling up two and three plates.  Ridiculous.

He works THERE now?!  Yeah, have had those here, too.


Twik

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 28648
Re: If you aren't on the deadline team, don't eat the lunch
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2013, 11:15:52 AM »
I agree with MummySweet. It's just wrongheaded to say, "I'll only buy lunch for the people who need it, but I'll tell everyone that they can join in. Then, I'll be astonished that some of the people who need it didn't get their lunch! However could *that* happen?"

I think the boss needs to be stepped through this, so they can find the flaw in their logic.

"OK, you want the crunch team to be fed, so they don't lose time, right?"
"Yes, that's important to the business."
"And you only buy enough food for them, right?"
"Yes, we can't afford to feed everyone."
"And then you tell everyone that lunch is available?"
"Yeah, it would be rude to not invite them."
"So, you buy X lunches for your crash team, and you invite 2X people to partake. How many people do you think will end up without lunches? I have a calculator here, if that helps...."
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

Phoebelion

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 287
Re: If you aren't on the deadline team, don't eat the lunch
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2013, 12:27:38 PM »
We also have to remember that boss/managers (for the most part) are NOT logical.  A whole other side to the issue.

Curious Cat

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 253
Re: If you aren't on the deadline team, don't eat the lunch
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2013, 01:37:28 PM »
We also have to remember that boss/managers (for the most part) are NOT logical.  A whole other side to the issue.

I find this an interesting and rude assumption.  It has certainly not been my experience.

I do think this manager is at fault though - if you send out a company wide email saying "food is here" with no other qualifiers there is no way for those non deadline crunch people to know that they are not included in that.  I think its unfair to blame them for eating food they would have no way of knowing wasn't for them.

cwm

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2427
Re: If you aren't on the deadline team, don't eat the lunch
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2013, 01:39:53 PM »
In my company, we're divided up into lots of little teams. I'm the one quirk who doesn't fall into a single team, due to how my boss was promoted and I was never moved laterally to be under a new manager. So now I'm at a similar problem. All the various teams get food from their manager, including the one other girl at my level (she IS on a team), but I get nothing. I sit with another department in our floorplan, also with lots of various teams, and THEIR teams all get food, but I still get left out.

It was made perfectly clear in my company that when the teams get food, it is for THAT TEAM and THAT TEAM ONLY, nobody else can have some because everyone has their own team, and its their manager's discretion when he orders that team food. Meaning I'm left out of literally everything and never get food.

I've been invited a few times by a former team manager to join his team for food, and I was always welcome to join their food days, but that manager's team has been mostly re-formed under a new manager, but also somewhat split, but the new manager was from another team and didn't realize that I was joining them.

Luckily I work in an office with my mom and she'll usually spring for lunch if I go pick it up, which I have no problem doing. She can't get away, I can't afford to buy all the time, so it ends up working for both of us.

WillyNilly

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7490
  • Mmmmm, food
    • The World as I Taste It
Re: If you aren't on the deadline team, don't eat the lunch
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2013, 01:54:44 PM »
Once people get the "lunch is here" email they are officially being told to help themselves. Its not up to them to determine if everyone else got any, was invited, is busier, etc. And its not rude for any employee who was offered lunch - by a manager, in writing - to take some. So the fault to me, lies with whoever invited the non-crunch people to partake in the lunch.

I absolutely think its fine to only buy lunch for certain groups/teams. Different jobs have different responsibilities and different perks. Sometime differences suck, sometimes they are perks, it is what it is.

pierrotlunaire0

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4253
  • I'm the cat's aunt!
Re: If you aren't on the deadline team, don't eat the lunch
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2013, 03:55:35 PM »
Your boss can't have it both ways.  He wants to buy lunch for just his team.  He doesn't want to exclude non team members.  He feels compelled to make an announcement to everyone.

Obviously, it is either up to non-team members to realize that although they were invited to partake, they are to decline.  Or, team members are to police their fellow employees and tell them, "Yes, I know Boss invited you, but this is really ours."  Classy.

If I were in that situation, I would bring in my own food, preferably something that was a little fragrant so that everyone knew I brought my own.  And I would make a point of explaining that I need to eat and the current set up just.doesn't.work.

It would be nice if every team member did that so that the boss would realize that he is feeding everyone But those he planned to feed.
I have enough lithium in my medicine cabinet to power three cars across a sizeable desert.  Which makes me officially...Three Cars Crazy

TootsNYC

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 30848
Re: If you aren't on the deadline team, don't eat the lunch
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2013, 03:57:13 PM »
Actually, I just ordered lunch for my subteam so we would be sure we got some. (Also because we have a couple of diet situations that aren't accommodated by the group order. A vegan and a celiac can't really eat a plain cheese pizza.)

Free Range Hippy Chick

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 766
Re: If you aren't on the deadline team, don't eat the lunch
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2013, 04:55:34 PM »
I would throw it back up the chain. 'Hey boss? You said you were buying lunch for the team today. There's nothing for us to eat. Can somebody get on that please? There's four of us over here ready to take our break now. Thanks so much.' Bonus points if you take it in turns to call every ten minutes. 'Boss? When's lunch coming? I've got a gap now but I'm going to be running in fifteen minutes.'

MariaE

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4681
  • So many books, so little time
Re: If you aren't on the deadline team, don't eat the lunch
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2013, 02:58:01 AM »
Once people get the "lunch is here" email they are officially being told to help themselves. Its not up to them to determine if everyone else got any, was invited, is busier, etc. And its not rude for any employee who was offered lunch - by a manager, in writing - to take some. So the fault to me, lies with whoever invited the non-crunch people to partake in the lunch.

I absolutely think its fine to only buy lunch for certain groups/teams. Different jobs have different responsibilities and different perks. Sometime differences suck, sometimes they are perks, it is what it is.

I completely agree with this. If you tell everybody, buy luch for everybody, otherwise only tell those you buy lunch for. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that. And likewise if random employee is told "lunch is here" with no qualifier there is nothing wrong with her assuming she can take some too.
 
Dane by birth, Kiwi by choice