Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >
Apr 9, 2012 02:34 PM

I'm being gifted expired food.

At the beginning of each month a few food items appear on my desk at work. Soup & bread mixes, bottles of syrup, cookies, etc. I thanked my boss and he said, "no problem, just getting rid of what's tempting me!"

I began noticing a trend after the third month. I happened to glance at the expiration date and noticed it was the previous week. I went home & checked everything he had given me and sure enough, each item was given to me just passed its expiration date.

I'm both amused at the weirdness and annoyed. I would personally eat recently expired items from my home but I would never gift them!

Anyway, just thought I'd share. Has this or anything similar happened to anyone else?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. That is the strangest thing I've ever heard of.

    4 Replies
      1. re: redfish62

        Count me in as gobsmacked and wishing I had an immediate solution other than leaving a dead potted plant on the bosses desk in the hopes that he is quick to catch the hint.

        1. re: HillJ

          Uh, in this economy it's definitely NOT a good idea to piss off the boss, even if it's warranted.

          1. re: Bacardi1

            Funny is what I was trying to be, Bacardi1. Having a good laugh is not a bad idea either. Haven't you ever made the boss laugh at silly behavior? Humor is a good thing in workplace sometimes.

        1. Perhaps thank him, but say that your pantry is currently overflowing & that you really don't need any more gifts.

          It's not creepy, just more than a little high-handed & superior to "the masses". Like giving one's half-eaten hamburger to the homeless person outside.

          7 Replies
          1. re: Bacardi1

            Thanking is a bad idea. You'll wind up with more of the same. There has to be a way to say no thank you respectfully. Sans potted plant! (sic).

            1. re: HillJ

              Yes, but the dumpster, behind the building is large.

              I would say "thanks," and then retreat there.


            2. re: Bacardi1

              I agree with Bacardi's take on it. "Not good enough for me, but guess it won't hurt her."

              Annoying to be thought of that way; even more annoying to have it made tangible and overt. Personally I have a bit of lax attitude toward expiry dates at home too but no need to be a dumpster for this guy.

              "Oh, hey, I saw the stuff you left today, but I'm doing a 'use-up' of stuff at home ( or 'reorganization of pantry'), I don't want this to go to waste so I'll give it back to you."

              "Goodness, that looks good, but I'm considering a few changes in my diet, don't want this to go to waste so blahblahblah ......................."

              1. re: DuchessNukem

                No chance the boss is just clueless? I don't jump to holier than thou quickly. Nothing in the OP made me draw that conclusion (at least not yet) but clueless as to how his re-gifting is received, absolutely.

                  1. re: HillJ

                    I do admit to jumping to conclusion, hillj, lol. The timing (beginning of month) and consistency (all items post-expir), plus not-in-person presentation (gifts 'appear'), all lead me to believe clean-out and dump. OCD? clueless? certainly possible. Still a dump of 'unacceptable-to-moi' items on someone who hasn't been negotiated with (as in, I have friends with expiration-date issues, and have accepted castoffs -- with all info freely disclosed/negotiated).

              2. It's insulting. Why is he giving you what he should be throwing away?

                6 Replies
                1. re: cajundave

                  Probably sexist as well, would he leave expired soup mix on a male employee's desk?

                  1. re: redfish62

                    Have to say redfish that is an excellent question.
                    Listen, if you like the passive approach OP, pitch it when you get home. If you really want the re-gifting to stop find a respectful way to say no thank you. But either way, it's your call to find a way to work it out with your employeer, right?! And, I wish you luck.

                    You do have to wonder what makes folks tick tho. It's pretty odd behavior.

                    1. re: HillJ

                      Maybe point out that you have become a level 5 Vegan, and also a Freshatarian?


                    2. re: redfish62

                      Agreed. I don't know what makes some bosses have a higher than thou attitude, but it's even worse when directed toward women.

                      1. re: cajundave

                        Do we know, that it IS a gender thing?

                        Obviously, it could be, but it could well be a mis-guided soul, who thinks he's doing a good deed, and is just missing, what most of us see.

                        Either way - Do NOT eat it!


                  2. Is you're boss OCD? It's the most charitable explanation I can think of. I can envision a scenario where an OCD person would not want to eat anything past its expiration (while knowing logically that it's not "gone bad") and yet abhorred the waste that would occur if he threw it out.

                    I'd say just tell him your pantry is currently overstocked and politely ask him to direct his largess elsewhere.

                    For the record, there was a time in my life when I would have welcomed such "gifts," as patronizing as they could be perceived.