Author Topic: Goodbye party vs. celiac disease (updates #16, #20, #44, #51)  (Read 7654 times)

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ClaireC79

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Re: Goodbye party vs. celiac disease
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2014, 09:19:02 AM »
While I know what a pain celiacs is I do feel a little for the organisers - they asked you which restaurant and you picked one where you couldn't eat anything (I know you said you thought it was only going to be cocktails but if you pick a restaurant they are probably going to take that as being it's ok for her to eat here)

Amaya

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Re: Goodbye party vs. celiac disease (small update pg. 2)
« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2014, 10:40:40 AM »
Thanks again, everyone.

I could definitely understand why there'd be confusion if I had only *thought* it was going to be drinks all along, but that's how it was originally presented to me. Once I gave my notice, the party planners immediately sprang into action with "We've got to take you out for a drink before you leave!" Then they gave me a choice between two pubs within walking distance of the office. I ignored the menus at both places entirely when making my choice because a) it had been presented to me as "take you out for a drink," with absolutely no mention of a sit-down meal and b) I knew the chances I'd be able to eat anything from a pub/"bar food" type kitchen were slim to none.

Unfortunately, the party morphed from just drinks to a full sit-down meal literally overnight. Last I'd heard it was just drinks, then yesterday I got an email out of the blue saying "cocktail hour from 4-5, then we'll sit down at 5 and get dinner!"

I did just hear back from the woman who's heading up the organizing. It seems like she didn't realize I might not be able to do a sit-down meal with them, and she said something along the lines of "That's too bad, but I hope you'll at least be able to bring something you can eat so you won't be left out," so it does look like they expect me to stay through the meal regardless. I did just try calling the restaurant too, but no one picked up (though it is pretty early in the day).

So at this point it looks like my options are to check whether the restaurant kitchen can accommodate me, bring my own meal if it can't (and if it's allowed), or skip the meal. It's also looking like this party is going to be longer than I'd planned on (last I'd heard, it was *just* cocktails from 4-5).

I really do appreciate all the effort my coworkers are putting into the party, but I've got to admit, one of my pet peeves is when events just suddenly and unexpectedly balloon like this. I'm sure I'm going to have a great time regardless, but still, I find this kind of thing annoying.

(P.S. Toots and Mergatroyd, sorry you're dealing with celiac too! Best of luck to you. And yes, "stick to rum" was my original plan. :))

Another update: I just looked back through the email chain and realized that my choice of two pubs in the area was narrowed down from several suggested options based on the consensus of the other guests. In other words, the organizers floated the idea of several venues to the other guests without my input, they narrowed it down to two, and then I was given the final choice between the two. It's entirely possible that out of the dozen or so people they would have solicited for input, some would have had no idea about my diagnosis.

I should also mention that our office recently moved and we're all new to this area of town. Some people have experience at some of these venues through their own personal after-work cocktail hours with friends, others don't. Personally, I've never been to a single venue in this area since we moved just after I was diagnosed, and I've been religiously cooking all my own food since then.

I'm beginning to think this is less and less a party in my honor than an excuse for a party in general...  ::)
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 11:07:15 AM by Amaya »

YummyMummy66

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Re: Goodbye party vs. celiac disease
« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2014, 10:48:52 AM »
Honestly, it may have started out about a party about you, but it does not seem to be that way now.

I cannot imagine planning an event that the guest of honor would not be comfortable at!  Eating at a restaurant that you cannot enjoy their food, but are expected to bring your own, (and I really don't know that many restaurants that would allow someone to do that to begin with).  I really don't think the organizer is thinking of you, but of herself and what she wants to do.

Is this all being done by email?  What I would do, is have you found any restaurants you can eat at?   I would send an email out to all and say, "Thank you so much everyone for thinking of me, but I am not sure if you are aware that I have food limitations due to a recent diagnosis and the restaurant chosen, does not meet my needs.  I would really appreciate if we could change the venue to "so and so" for my going away dinner. " 

Or I would talk to the organizer directly and let her know that since you are the guest of honor, (supposedly), this restaurant does not work for you, but this venue will.  Could she let everyone know the switch in plans?

lowspark

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Re: Goodbye party vs. celiac disease
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2014, 11:09:14 AM »
Honestly, it may have started out about a party about you, but it does not seem to be that way now.

I cannot imagine planning an event that the guest of honor would not be comfortable at!  Eating at a restaurant that you cannot enjoy their food, but are expected to bring your own, (and I really don't know that many restaurants that would allow someone to do that to begin with).  I really don't think the organizer is thinking of you, but of herself and what she wants to do.

This. What strikes me is that they changed the party from a one hour event to a several hour event without first checking with the GOH. So in your place, I might have said, Oh darn! I already have plans for later that evening as I was just planning on a one hour event. I'll definitely be there for drinks as originally planned but I'll have to leave after that.

Certainly they are welcome to have dinner after your going-away event if they want, but since it wasn't part of the original plan I think there's nothing wrong with you politely excusing yourself after the cocktails.

TootsNYC

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Re: Goodbye party vs. celiac disease
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2014, 11:36:37 AM »
Celiac weighing in. If you explain to the server that you have celiacs, they can make you a salad on a fresh cutting board etc. you'd be better off to bring your own dressing though. Baked potatoes can be risky because some chefs roll them in flour first so they bake up with crispier skins, however you could always ask. You might as well get in the habit of it. Although many places have GF menus now, there are many more that still don't.

Also, you'll be wanting to watch those cocktails as well. Best google them, many mixed liqueurs are not gluten free,  and you'll have to make your own choice about whether to risk things like whisky- which are not gluten free, but apparently have all the gluten cooked out of them during the distilling process. Myself, I stick with rum.

Ye gods!

I try not to think about this stuff too frequently; it makes me absolutely crazy!

Amaya

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Re: Goodbye party vs. celiac disease (updates #16 and #20)
« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2014, 05:54:07 PM »
Well, I just called the restaurant and they can't accommodate me food-wise at all. They won't allow me to bring my own food in and they seemed incredibly uninformed about celiac disease, telling me things like "Oh, we have a stir-fry" (with soy sauce, which contains gluten) and "Well, we could just make you a veggie burger and take the bun off!" (sorry, but if the bun's already touched it, it's a no-go, and your burger mix likely contains breadcrumbs or other filler anyway). I got the distinct impression that even if they could make me, for example, a plain salad by request, they'd be clueless about cross-contamination, so I wouldn't feel comfortable eating there anyway.

So I'm basically left with two options: leave after drinks, or watch everyone else eat a sit-down meal. And with the party happening tomorrow afternoon, I'm not sure that's enough notice to move the venue.

I mentioned the whole situation to my mom earlier today, and she swore up and down that I'd be incredibly, unforgivably rude if I left before dinner, because I'm the guest of honor (even though I told her the nature of the plans changed). So there's that. :-\

Sadly, tomorrow's event is becoming less of a fun party and more of a formality. I wish I wasn't as annoyed by it as I am right now.

But what do you guys think? Is my mom right, or do I have some wiggle room here?
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 05:56:59 PM by Amaya »

TootsNYC

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Re: Goodbye party vs. celiac disease (updates #16 and #20)
« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2014, 06:08:03 PM »
Why have you not brought this problem up to the  event organizers by now?

I would venture to say that it's really not fair of you to not bring them into the effort to solve this problem.

They are trying to do something nice for you, and you are thwarting them.

Amaya

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Re: Goodbye party vs. celiac disease (updates #16 and #20)
« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2014, 06:15:48 PM »
I notified the chief organizer earlier--see post #16, which includes her response.

I find it difficult to see how exactly I'd be "thwarting" them.


Psychopoesie

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Re: Goodbye party vs. celiac disease (updates #16 and #20)
« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2014, 06:16:11 PM »
I vote go to the drinks. That's the invitation you initially accepted. Then leave, saying you have other plans.

The rest of the evening does not sound like it is actually in your honour at all. If it were, you would have been consulted about the change from cocktails to dinner and having a place that works for you would be a priority.

Ps. Saw tootsNYC comment about bringing it up with the organisers. My understanding is that OP did and was told something along the lines of too bad so sad - maybe OP can BYO food. If that's being nice to OP, they need to try harder.

GrammarNerd

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Re: Goodbye party vs. celiac disease (updates #16 and #20)
« Reply #24 on: January 28, 2014, 06:18:17 PM »
I think you need to tell the organizers right away that the restaurant can't/won't accommodate you, nor will they let you bring in your own food.  So you'll just be staying for drinks.  Don't ask for permission.  Inform.

I think your mom is probably the 'people pleaser' variety that thinks that people should just suck it up, lest it reflect badly on them.  However, it really is in bad taste (no pun intended) that they KNOW about your limitations and are ignoring them.  AND YOU'RE THE GOH!  That's just tacky on their parts.  So don't worry about what your mom said.  You have to look after your health first.

And if anyone still pressures you that you still go to the dinner, say "So you know I can't eat anything without it making me sick, yet you still want me to sit there, hungry, and watch you all eating and enjoying yourselves?  Uh....no thank you."  Maybe that's a bit harsh, but I think if they don't accept your answer happily (and even give you an apology for changing the plans and planning the dinner there in the first place), then they might deserve a stronger reply.

Honestly, like I said before, it seems that this group just wants an excuse to get together.  Unfortunately, you're the excuse for this one.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Goodbye party vs. celiac disease (updates #16 and #20)
« Reply #25 on: January 28, 2014, 06:21:50 PM »
What I would do is go for drinks and when everyone goes in to sit down for dinner, sit with them and chat while they peruse the menu and order.  And when the food starts coming out, make your excuses and head home.

But I would let the organizer know that this is what you are going to do, because of the inability of the restaurant to accommodate you, first thing so that if they have any kind of a presentation, they can do that before you leave.

Edited to correct word order so it makes sense!
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 06:26:52 PM by Outdoor Girl »
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
Ontario

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Re: Goodbye party vs. celiac disease (updates #16 and #20)
« Reply #26 on: January 28, 2014, 06:23:28 PM »
I vote go to the drinks. That's the invitation you initially accepted. Then leave, saying you have other plans.

The rest of the evening does not sound like it is actually in your honour at all. If it were, you would have been consulted about the change from cocktails to dinner and having a place that works for you would be a priority.

Ps. Saw tootsNYC comment about bringing it up with the organisers. My understanding is that OP did and was told something along the lines of too bad so sad - maybe OP can BYO food. If that's being nice to OP, they need to try harder.

I agree with this - based on the organizer's response, you are truly not in their mind as part of the planning equation, it seems.  Honestly, I can't imagine telling the person for whom I am planning the party "Oh boo! Hope you can bring something!" At the very least, I would offer to call the restaurant to see if something could be worked out.  (As a person with a wheat allergy, I would probably not take someone up on this offer as there is too much that is easy to miss, but that's beside the point.)
I would just leave after drinks, citing the inability to eat anything. I would do it pleasantly "Well I will leave you all to your dinner - thanks again for the party!" or something like that, but I would still leave, I think. (Unless I was having a crazy good time or something.)

And, maybe this sounds callous, but so what if people are offended? It's not like you are going to be working with them anymore.  >:D
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss

bloo

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Re: Goodbye party vs. celiac disease (updates #16 and #20)
« Reply #27 on: January 28, 2014, 06:24:32 PM »
I vote go to the drinks. That's the invitation you initially accepted. Then leave, saying you have other plans.

The rest of the evening does not sound like it is actually in your honour at all. If it were, you would have been consulted about the change from cocktails to dinner and having a place that works for you would be a priority.

Ps. Saw tootsNYC comment about bringing it up with the organisers. My understanding is that OP did and was told something along the lines of too bad so sad - maybe OP can BYO food. If that's being nice to OP, they need to try harder.

POD. You're mother is wrong and you have wiggle room. It's unfortunate but you have a diagnosis to deal with and that's a little more important than any offense taken at you leaving this 'do' early. If, by chance, you're really enjoying yourself while you're there, then by all means, stay a little longer. These will be new waters you're navigating and you'll be in similar situations and I'm sure you'll come up with standard ways of controlling your diet in social situations. Feel free to leave whenever you want, just have some nice excuses at the ready!

TootsNYC

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Re: Goodbye party vs. celiac disease (updates #16 and #20)
« Reply #28 on: January 28, 2014, 06:57:37 PM »
I notified the chief organizer earlier--see post #16, which includes her response.

I find it difficult to see how exactly I'd be "thwarting" them.

My apologies--I'd missed that whole post somehow--scrolling problems, I guess.

And now I'm doing a 180.

Bcs I think she's not being very gracious at all. I know that no one I have ever worked with would blow it off like that.

It's also ballooned so much, and replied on the preferences of other people, and I don't think this is about you anymore.

So I'd say you can leave early.

MurPl1

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Re: Goodbye party vs. celiac disease (updates #16 and #20)
« Reply #29 on: January 28, 2014, 07:08:14 PM »
I'm in the have the drinks you planned for, make a gracious goodbye and take your leave.

And honestly, if these people find you so rude, you really aren't going to be dealing with them again anyway.  I know that's harsh but it's more of a "so long, see ya 'round" from the sounds of it.  And if anyone there is someone you want to keep in contact, then surely they would understand the awkward spot you were in.

I had a Gone Away lunch when I left a toxic work place.  Routine was to give a going away party the last week.  But my reason for leaving was my totally useless boss that I'd gotten tired of butting heads with.  So it was up to our toxic Exec Dir to organize it and she was too busy to figure it out.  So I was already gone a week when they put it together.  Bonus was that while it was everyone else's lunch, I was not working and got their early to have myself a nice glass of wine. :D