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Dec 23, 2008 01:40 PM

Getting food for others at work

I work in a large retail store, and whenever I go to lunch someone always asks where you're going and bring them something. Ok, I pretty much bring my lunch now, but a thread from the Texas baord got me to rant. Anyway, when I went out I liked to eat in my car and listen to the radio, a small oasis from the insanity. If i brought others food I felt compelled to rush as I didn't want to bring cold food. Then there were people who wanted to give you a credit card for a five dollar meal. Even worse was when you got back with food you had bought for someone else and it's always, "Why didn't you tell me you were going out." My standard response was,"When did you EVER tell me you were going out and offer to bring me something, or I have to ask everyone?" It finally got to where I'd just lie and say I was going home,(as I lived nearby,) for leftover pizza or a sandwich. As I said I now bring my own, it's healthier and cheaper.

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  1. Unless I'm in the mood to bring something back for others, I don't generally say specifically where I'm going, so if they asked, I'll say, "I don't know where I'm going yet or whether I'm actually eating." If they say, "can you bring me something back from ___?" I would say something like, "I'm probably not going that direction." Most of the time this isn't an issue; at my last job, my boss even included it in my review as a "team player" thing because he knew I would ask people if they wanted me to bring something back and felt that it started others being for helpful towards each other.

    It is a responsibility though. Did you give them the right change? Did you get the right condiments? Do they want mustard/pickles? What dressing? Was Pepsi okay since they didn't have Coke?

    11 Replies
    1. re: boltnut55

      Oh, we have unwritten rules about that. If you don't specify something ("no tomatoes") you get it bog-standard, and if you don't like it, next time get up and go yourself.

      1. re: boltnut55

        OMG L..O..L

        I just had a meltdown a while ago about this very thing. My solution to this, since I am the only one who will venture out into the world to pick lunch up. I am steadfast on these rules, by the way, and I tell everyone who piggybacks on my order:

        Rule number one:
        I do not feel that I have to pay for your food. If you think that I do, then someone who ordered will simply not get their food. I will guarantee, however, that I will get MY food.

        Rule number two:
        I do not feel that I should pay for the TAX on your food. Mommy and Daddy have probably bought you everything, and you are not aware that goods are taxed. If you forgot to include the tax in your amount paid, see rule number one.

        Rule number three:
        Do not ask me how much you owe. I do not care how much you owe. If you are using a pc with the windows operating system on it, click on your start button, hit the option labeled "run" and type 'calc' into the little box. Figure it out. Get a friend to help you with math if you have yet to graduate from 5th grade.

        Rule number 4:
        Four ppl to an order. I'll go pick up your food, but my order will only have four ppl on it. I will NOT compromise the chances for the restaurant to make mistakes with MY order simply because you are hungry. Call in your own order, give me the money, and I will pick it up for you.

        Rule number five:
        It is not my responsibility to care about it if your order is incorrect. Please remember, I do not care one bit about your order. If something is messed up, please contact the restaurant. I do not care.

        Rule 6.
        I do not care one bit about getting you correct change. You will get change the same way that I get it. I do not work for the restaurant, and I am not a delivery person. Expecting me to care about your change is almost comical to me. I am not a cash register, and I have other things to do.

        Rule 7:
        I WILL NOT be delivering your order to your office with exact change for you. You will get an email or an instant message telling you where the bag of food is.

        If you actually care about any of the above issues, then you should do these types of things for yourself. I am NOT your servant, or parent.

        I had a total meltdown when some chick asked me to pick up a burrito for her, and handed me a 100 dollar bill. I pretty much cracked the entire office up when I yelled "does it look like I have "NEC" stamped on my forehead?

        1. re: gordeaux

          Rule number two, the tax. I was stopped walking out the door for lunch one day, when I asked where I was going I told him a rather expensive seafood place. Response, great let's go. (I really didn't want to go with this person and I thought my choice would scare him off.) We get the check I he gives me a twenty for his 19.95 seafood platter. Hey, hey, wait a minute. There's tax, tip, plus you had iced tea. I think I got a five out of him but had to "eat" his tip. This is just another reason i quit going out to lunch, the thought of tax and tips on a shared check boggles their little minds.

          1. re: gordeaux

            RULE TWO STORY!

            I just turned twenty-five. My twenty-fifth birthday was the last day of school before Christmas break (I'm a teacher) and I was flying back to my hometown that night. Unfortunately, this was in the early days of the bad winter storms we just had and my flight was seriously delayed. I was waiting at the airport, drowning my sorrows in $8 sugary cocktails, when I ran into a co-worker with whom I'm friendly, and a guy she knew from her sports team. He was about thirty, I would say. They joined me in the bar for a drink. We chatted, it was generally quite pleasant, and RIGHT at the end of the conversation my colleague mentioned to her friend that it was my twenty-fifth birthday. The exact words that came from his mouth were, "Happy Birthday. Here, Jetgirly's Colleage, let me pay for YOUR drink. Jetgirly, how much are these?" I thought that was kind of rude, but not shockingly rude as I hadn't met him before. I said, "The menu price is $7.50, and then there's tax and tip..." My co-worker and I stood up and hugged to say bye because her flight was departing, while her lovely friend looked through his wallet for the money. As he stood up to leave as well, and I sat down, I realized he had left EXACTLY fifteen dollars. And then he left. It was my birthday! He didn't offer to pay for my drink! And then he shafted me with the tax and tip for both their drinks! I would like to have words with that boy's mother!

            1. re: Jetgirly

              Sorry, don't understand why a guy who you don't know is obligated to buy you a drink. Yes it's your birthday, but so? But I do think it was shitty for him not have covered his tax and tip.

              1. re: viperlush

                I think it's rude for a man to loudly offer to buy one woman a drink, but not the other. The fact that it was a twenty-fifth birthday made it extra-rude, in my opinion. I also think it's especially rude when he could have done it in a much more subtle way. If my friend had pulled out her wallet to pay and he had said, "Don't worry, I'll get it." it would have been much less offensive than saying, "I'll buy YOU a drink." To top that off with not covering tax and tip indicates to me that this guy was just really poorly mannered.

                1. re: Jetgirly

                  Just what is so special about a 25th birthday that random men NEED to buy you drinks? Sure it was crappy for him not to pay tax and tip, but, I actually think you got what you deserved!

                  1. re: Jetgirly

                    Your flight was "seriously delayed" and you were "drowning your sorrows" on your birthday at the airport. I know when I am in a similar mood or situation I take everything personally and overreact. Give the guy a break, he was probably feeling the stress of his own travels.

                2. re: Jetgirly

                  I sympathize, I would have felt a little slighted myself in that situation! However...

                  While he would have been a swoon-worthy well-mannered fellow if he bought you that drink- not buying you that drink doesn't make him rude.

                  But if he shortchanged me on the tab as well, I might have taken liberties to infer that he wasn't as proper as he could be....which is what I assume you did too.

                  1. re: dream75517

                    Sounds to me he hopped on his flight and was gone. I color him a weasel for stiffing the tax and tip. I'd like to hear from some airport workers. I bet they get low-balled all the time, with their customers thinking they'll never see them again.

                    1. re: James Cristinian

                      At the same time I have wandered around airports in a daze just throwing money around because of lack of sleep and hunger. I bet they also get over tippers as well.

            2. To be honest I would have never put myself into that position. I would have politely declined lunch runs as being my brief time away from work, that is to be cherished.

              Also- I did work at this one place that considered lunch runs (or money exchanges between employees), a violation of their employment policies, subject to dismissal.

              1. That was always easy for me - I'd just offer to share the larb or the tongue or even the really garlicky pho from the laotian and vietnamese places down the street a few times, (with these big mac eaters), and they'd leave me alone. Once the Sichuan place opened up. I could bring back all kinds of super spicy dishes - people would never bother me then. If I got the Lao home made sausages, I'd have to make sure to eat them in the car on the way back - much too edible for American tastes, and way too good to share!

                1. Without getting into the hazards and pluses of doing this, if you do not want to and would like your normal music in the car lunch, just tell them that you have to perform some errands after lunch and it is not a good idea.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: jfood

                    I just say I'm picking up lunch first then going to do some errands.. and I know you wouldn't want your food to get cold.

                    But I do ask one person if she wants lunch b/c I would be happy to bring it back for her. Knows exactly what she wants and always gives a backup option.

                  2. Here is another spin on that James. My daughter works with a group of people who regularly go out and bring back food. They will ask every one on the place if they want something, except for her.. Then they leave her there to answer the phone, but she is not the receptionist. She can't get any lunch, until they get back. The real rub, or two, is that she is the minority worker in this place and she is very pregnant. Pisses me off but I don't want to start a riot, so when I have a chance I wisk her away before they have a chance to leave and treat her to lunch.

                    When my DH worked in retail he just left without saying anything, therefore no one had a chance to ask him. Now he is in outside sales, so they don't know when he has lunch, plus he works around the corner and often comes home.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: danhole

                      That's really mean how they treat your daughter. When I was new at my job everyone would do the same to me. Before they left, I would hand someone money and give them my lunch order. After doing that a couple of times, they started asking me what I wanted.