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Author Topic: Boss tasting my food  (Read 12688 times)

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AylaM

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Boss tasting my food
« on: July 08, 2014, 09:42:08 PM »
The team (some bosses, some teammates, and I) went out for lunch today.  It wasn't really a formal thing, but along with my boss/supervisor came 2-3 more levels of bosses.   

It broke down as:
  • some low-level teammates and me
  • my immediate supervisor
  • my supervisor's boss(also technically my boss), George
  • the big boss
  • the big boss's high-level underlings
  • the big boss's guests that may or may not have been the big boss's bosses.

When the food started coming out my boss, George, saw my food.  He said he had to try it, and then did.  He didn't take much, just enough  to taste.  But he also didn't ask.  I'm not really against sharing, but you have to ask.  Even if you KNOW the answer is yes, you have to ask.

Now he's really friendly and jovial, and I like him quite a bit.  So I'm not extraordinarily upset, but at the time it did make me uncomfortable.  I don't want that to be a regular thing.

If this were family or a close friend I'd have easily said something, but it'd come out rather cold/harsh ("What do you think you're doing?" or "If you want some, you should probably ask me first").  At lunch, I didn't want to call attention to myself in that way (I don't want the high-level bosses' only memory of me being about a squabble over food), so I didn't say anything.

I don't feel comfortable talking to George the same way I'd talk to my friends/family.  I don't even know if how I react with friends and family is even polite.  But I also don't want him to get into this habit (I've seen him trade food with others who he has known longer, so it is not entirely out of the realm of possibility).

What would you do?

greencat

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Re: Boss tasting my food
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2014, 10:29:19 PM »
The team (some bosses, some teammates, and I) went out for lunch today.  It wasn't really a formal thing, but along with my boss/supervisor came 2-3 more levels of bosses.   

It broke down as:
  • some low-level teammates and me
  • my immediate supervisor
  • my supervisor's boss(also technically my boss), George
  • the big boss
  • the big boss's high-level underlings
  • the big boss's guests that may or may not have been the big boss's bosses.

When the food started coming out my boss, George, saw my food.  He said he had to try it, and then did.  He didn't take much, just enough  to taste.  But he also didn't ask.  I'm not really against sharing, but you have to ask.  Even if you KNOW the answer is yes, you have to ask.

Now he's really friendly and jovial, and I like him quite a bit.  So I'm not extraordinarily upset, but at the time it did make me uncomfortable.  I don't want that to be a regular thing.

If this were family or a close friend I'd have easily said something, but it'd come out rather cold/harsh ("What do you think you're doing?" or "If you want some, you should probably ask me first").  At lunch, I didn't want to call attention to myself in that way (I don't want the high-level bosses' only memory of me being about a squabble over food), so I didn't say anything.

I don't feel comfortable talking to George the same way I'd talk to my friends/family.  I don't even know if how I react with friends and family is even polite.  But I also don't want him to get into this habit (I've seen him trade food with others who he has known longer, so it is not entirely out of the realm of possibility).

What would you do?

Never sit close enough to him at a mealtime again for a repeat offense.

If you can't avoid sitting close, physically block his attempts to take food from your plate, smile sweetly, and say, nicely, politely,  "I didn't say this was for sharing.  This is my food!"

Should George force the issue and take your food even over your verbal and physical objection, since he is two levels above you, take it to HR (I'm guessing with that many levels of management there is probably an HR department.)  This is inappropriate behavior from someone in a supervisory capacity.

TinyVulgarUnicorn

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Re: Boss tasting my food
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2014, 01:57:22 AM »
This really sucks because I've been in your situation where your boss takes your food without asking - the CEO of my company was stealing my frozen dinners.

I ended up doing nothing because I didn't want to create a bad rapport with my boss and I'm not sure what you can do or say in the moment that couldn't potentially create a bad scene in front of all of your coworkers and managers.  Like another poster said, I think your best bet is to sit far away from him at the next meal. 



cicero

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Re: Boss tasting my food
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2014, 02:50:39 AM »
you could always try this:


no?

I would try a preemtive strike and say something to him before he sticks his fork in your plate: "I really don't like sharing my food". or if you don't mind letting him taste then "here, let me put some on your plate for you".

I find his behavior quite inappropriate. I probably wouldn't do anything because i might be afraid of 'rocking the boat' but you do have my sympathies.

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JadeAngel

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Re: Boss tasting my food
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2014, 02:54:17 AM »
Nab a few fries off his plate as a fair and equal trade  >:D

#borecore

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Re: Boss tasting my food
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2014, 08:48:57 AM »
I think a gently raised stiff arm or hand block and an "Excuse me?" with a big smile or even a laugh is the right response. Consider following up with, "If you want a bite, all you have to do is ask first!"

Keep it light, but unambiguous -- you're saying, "I'm not mad at you, but you're invading my personal space right now."

And yes, he was inappropriate.

TootsNYC

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Re: Boss tasting my food
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2014, 08:53:07 AM »
When you order, say, "Oh, and let's not take bites of other people's food, OK?"

Or, if he says, "I need o try that," say, "George, please don't." Even if your statement comes after his too-quick-for-you snatch of your food.

Use a friendly voice, but just object. Then he'll know.

magicdomino

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Re: Boss tasting my food
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2014, 10:41:33 AM »
Nab a few fries off his plate as a fair and equal trade  >:D

A lot of food sharers don't mind sharing their own food.  It's one reason why they think other people are willing.

I would have said something at the time; to be honest, probably something not quite polite.  If I like the person, it would be "What the heck was that?" or a half-joking "Mine! Miiine!"  I warn them that I have food-aggression issues and will use my fork to defend my plate.

If it is someone I have to be polite to, it would be a shorter "What was that?"

PastryGoddess

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Re: Boss tasting my food
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2014, 12:05:35 PM »
I have issues around people touching my food.  If I was able to stop them, I say something like "I'm not sharing" or "Please don't touch my food".  If I can block their arm I will. 

If someone touches my food before I can stop them, I will give them the plate and request a new item.  so if someone touches my fries, I will put them on their plate and ask for new ones.  If it's my main entree, I will stop eating and set the plate aside. 

Luci

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Re: Boss tasting my food
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2014, 12:47:10 PM »
I have issues around people touching my food.  If I was able to stop them, I say something like "I'm not sharing" or "Please don't touch my food".  If I can block their arm I will. 

If someone touches my food before I can stop them, I will give them the plate and request a new item.  so if someone touches my fries, I will put them on their plate and ask for new ones.  If it's my main entree, I will stop eating and set the plate aside.

A fellow diner found out very quickly how sharp the plastic forks at Portillo's can be, and also how possessive I am about my chocolate cake.

cass2591

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Re: Boss tasting my food
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2014, 02:23:28 PM »
You actually stabbed someone with a plastic fork or are you embellishing for embellishment's sake?
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Jones

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Re: Boss tasting my food
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2014, 02:52:09 PM »
My husband's aunt is known to stab with a fork or rap knuckles with a spoon, and that's for people reaching for the salt instead of asking her to pass it closer (and similar "offenses").

For some reason I have yet to share a meal with the woman.
“A real desire to believe all the good you can of others and to make others as comfortable as you can will solve most of the problems.” CS Lewis

BeagleMommy

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Re: Boss tasting my food
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2014, 03:15:43 PM »
I have finally gotten DH to stop helping himself to food on my plate.  He is my husband and I can use snarky hyperbole with him like "Touch my food again and you'll be sucking yours through a straw", but that's our sense of humor.

Since this man is your supervisor's boss I would try something like "George, I don't mind sharing, but please ask before taking something off my plate".  I would also try to sit farther away from him so he can't steal my stuff the next time.

Marga

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Re: Boss tasting my food
« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2014, 03:26:19 PM »
OK, totally not the same, but this post reminded me of something.
There's this ex colleague I'm good friends with. When we were working together, and meals were shared, I took her olives and tomatoes. She doesn't like them, I love them, we were in agreement, all was well.

Then one day we had a work meal. Dozens of people eating pizza. Friend moved her olives to the rim of her plate, I was sitting besides her and nabbed them. Another colleague tried to tell me off!
Friend and I laughed, I ate the rest of her olives as well as my own pizza. Other colleague learned that sometimes things are not as they seem.

veronaz

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Re: Boss tasting my food
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2014, 03:41:04 PM »
I agree with TootsNYC and jmarvellous.  Also PastryGoddess.

OP, you are going to have to say something.

“Bob, please don’t do that” or one of the other suggestions.  (I would not say "I don't mind sharing.")

Being the boss does not give him the right to take food off your plate (or reach into your purse and get a tissue/hand lotion).  Him being “nice and jovial” does not excuse such crude and inappropriate behavior. >:(