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Old 03-31-2013, 04:49 PM   #1
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Hungry and demanding co-workers

Here's my situation: I work at a prison, doing 12hr shifts from 6p-6a so on pay day weekends my Captian likes to throw potlucks. After being repeatley asked to cook more elaborate and expensive dishes and being one of the few staff members who actually bought/made something I was getting fed up and blew my lid a few months ago! I told him it was getting too expensive and not fair that not everyone was helping but wanting to eat, doing them too often, and that I was the only one bringing anything healthy (carbwise, he had promised several times to make a portion of entree just for me but didn't) plus calling around and organizing everthing! I told him I wanted no part of them anymore and we haven't had one for like two months. Well since it's Easter we decided to do one, but to do an Italian theme instead. I bought meatballs and sauce, and my Captain's like "were's the pasta at?! I told him and everyone else that I was not making pasta just the meatballs, cause other people were doing pasta, plus I don't eat pasta, yet I had some people tell me that Im being selfish to exclude the pasta and trying to push LC on them! I told them that if they didnt want to eat the meatballs without pasta they didnt have to eat them at all! Be honest, was that harsh, seeing as how I was the one who got up 2hrs early and cooked for their ungreatful selves!:
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Old 03-31-2013, 04:52 PM   #2
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Why stress yourself out? It is easier and cheaper to make a carb dish and it sounds like that is what this group eats. Then just bring your own lc dish to eat for yourself.
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Old 03-31-2013, 04:54 PM   #3
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I like Suzanne's idea. Forget them, feed yourself well, bring them something cheap and carby.
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Old 03-31-2013, 05:05 PM   #4
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Oh believe me I didn't stress myself out however, I feel bad only because I know I hurt my Captains feelings a few months ago when we got into it. I told him that us eating all the time was not doing anything but harming us. However, afew weeks ago, his sister passed away from complications from diabetes, so he is starting to get that we can't having pigouts every other weekend! He doesn't know anything about LC so Im trying to use the meatballs to show him that we dont need pasta to eat Italian! I just didnt care for everyone elses stank attitude toward it but they sure didn't turn their noses at my meatballs either! Plus I spent less than $20 and will probably have leftovers!
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Old 03-31-2013, 05:11 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by zombiegoat2000 View Post
Here's my situation: I work at a prison, doing 12hr shifts from 6p-6a so on pay day weekends my Captian likes to throw potlucks. After being repeatley asked to cook more elaborate and expensive dishes and being one of the few staff members who actually bought/made something I was getting fed up and blew my lid a few months ago! I told him it was getting too expensive and not fair that not everyone was helping but wanting to eat, doing them too often, and that I was the only one bringing anything healthy (carbwise, he had promised several times to make a portion of entree just for me but didn't) plus calling around and organizing everthing! I told him I wanted no part of them anymore and we haven't had one for like two months. Well since it's Easter we decided to do one, but to do an Italian theme instead. I bought meatballs and sauce, and my Captain's like "were's the pasta at?! I told him and everyone else that I was not making pasta just the meatballs, cause other people were doing pasta, plus I don't eat pasta, yet I had some people tell me that Im being selfish to exclude the pasta and trying to push LC on them! I told them that if they didnt want to eat the meatballs without pasta they didnt have to eat them at all! Be honest, was that harsh, seeing as how I was the one who got up 2hrs early and cooked for their ungreatful selves!:
One of my best friends works for a prison in the Dallas/Fortworth area and she is always making banana pudding! (funny that they do this so often.. even when it is not a special holiday) I guess it must be good because they ask her to do it every time they do these potlucks.. She said she is getting tired of making it. lol

I wouldn't worry about what they think of what you brought.. It was an offering in what you wanted to make.. Maybe next time tell them what you are making and that if someone has to have pasta that maybe they could make it because it is not a staple in your home? Or maybe try dreamfields pasta?
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Old 03-31-2013, 05:11 PM   #6
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You are not putting yourself in a good situation. Don't tell other people how to eat, directly or indirectly. It will never go over well.
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Old 03-31-2013, 05:16 PM   #7
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They knew you weren't bringing the pasta so heck no that wasn't harsh. It was practically Clark Kent style.

I doubt I'd participate in a pot luck if there was nothing for me to eat and everyone expected to eat the only thing I brought that I could eat. I'd just bring my own meal and eat it while they ate their carby pot luck stuff.
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Old 03-31-2013, 05:29 PM   #8
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Dottie: We as corretional officers have a bond unlike most other professions outside of law enforcement/fire rescue. We spend more time with each other than with our families, and depend on each other to keep ourselves alive everyday we come to work. I myself try to get us to do things together outside of work instead of eating at work, but old habits die hard!

suzanneyea: Im not telling others how to eat, im telling them what there not going to eat (spaghetti & meatballs) because I didn't cook it and I won't go back to the way I was cooking previously. I don't push LC on anyone but I have to listen to them tell me that AS will give me cancer everytime I drink a diet Mountain Dew so its my fun little payback as well
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Old 03-31-2013, 05:31 PM   #9
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Lettuce and cheese salad is also offered to me, which is just how I like my salad anyway so im all good!
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Old 03-31-2013, 08:09 PM   #10
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No, it wasn't harsh and yes, it was very rude of them to complain about what you brought or didnt bring. However, it sounds like they did enjoy the meatballs!
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Old 03-31-2013, 08:18 PM   #11
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They did like them I barely got some!
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Old 04-01-2013, 04:45 AM   #12
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That sounds frusterating. I went to a potluck last weekend and brought a chicken dish that is supposed to be served over rice. I put the rice in a separate bowl and brought plain cauliflower for myself. It worked out great, except that people also took some of the boring steamed cauliflower, which surprized me. Next time I will just boil a whole head of cauliflower and take home the extras. Part of me wonders if there are other people out there who are also LCers but don't realize they are! Doesn't rice taste better than boring old steamed cauliflower?
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Old 04-01-2013, 06:47 AM   #13
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When I first succeeded at Atkins I was part of a large close-knit group at church, and we had frequent potlucks. When I switched to low-carb, my potluck-goal became, to bring food I could eat, and enough that I fill up and Not be tempted by all the other goodies. I wound up with a few favorites: (1) Chicken salad. (Made with mayo, usually other people bring green salads & rolls.) (2) Rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. (My local store sells them at a pretty low price.) (3) Big lettuce salad with protein (such as bacon, boiled eggs, cheese, chicken, etc). Choices 1-3 are all the very Easy choices, then there was my favorite (4) 1 bag frozen broccoli, cooked, mixed with diced ham (& also diced chicken optional) and lots of shredded cheese (swiss is best, otherwise a mozz blend), cooked in a 9 x 12 pan in the oven until the cheese is bubbly... mmmm yumm, I haven't made that in a while, I should make it again soon...


...Anyway, not to say you should bring these particular things, but rather, that there are some relatively inexpensive choices of which you can bring enough to fill up you and everyone else, that will remain low carb and not get their complaints. Oh, another example: deviled eggs! I never brought them to those potlucks because someone else usually did (and they are some work but certainly Not expensive), but, no one ever complains about deviled eggs being low carb.

Oh, and of course, you could always bring bags of pork rinds. (With sour cream sprinkled with chives for the dip...) Heheh. You might get some health comments but probably not carb-complaints!!
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Old 04-01-2013, 06:52 AM   #14
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That sounds frusterating. I went to a potluck last weekend and brought a chicken dish that is supposed to be served over rice. I put the rice in a separate bowl and brought plain cauliflower for myself. It worked out great, except that people also took some of the boring steamed cauliflower, which surprized me. Next time I will just boil a whole head of cauliflower and take home the extras. Part of me wonders if there are other people out there who are also LCers but don't realize they are! Doesn't rice taste better than boring old steamed cauliflower?
No, of course it doesn't. Yuck. Rice doesn't taste better than anything!

However, I betcha your potluckers probably assumed cauliflower was the obligatory vegetable offering, and took token amounts to decorate their plates...
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Old 04-09-2013, 04:47 PM   #15
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Uhmmmmm....what am I missing? They can't call it a Pot Luck if they didn't bring a dish to share as well. Sounds like they just want you to provide a complete dinner for them. I would say to them "this is my contribution...what did you bring"?
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Old 04-09-2013, 05:38 PM   #16
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I have to agree... A pot luck everyone brings something to share. If this not happening, then I'd break the cycle. You are not their Mother (are you?) You are not 'cook' for the group. Maybe a sign up sheet with a space for what others are bringing!!
It was wrong to blow up at your Captain. I think you should appologize but explain that you are no longer going to be the sole cook for the crew. I get it about the bond but I also get that people should respect each other & a person can not have self respect if they know in their heart that they are cheating a friend. You do no one any favors by enabling an unhealthy relationship.
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Old 04-09-2013, 06:23 PM   #17
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Old 04-09-2013, 07:45 PM   #18
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Ugh...office potlucks. My NEMISIS.

It sounds so great it theory, right? It never is. I promise every office has at least on vegan, one low carber, one person keeping kosher, one person subsisting on amazonian tree frog sweat, and at least 4 freeloaders.

Do what I do...when the sign up sheet comes around, offer to bring napkins, plates, cups and serving utensils. Someone has to, it's cheap, and nobody can complain about them.
I have spent too much time working hard on an awesome entree only to have it gone before I get my plate out (too many people, not enough food) have it criticized for whatever it contains (meat, etc). I don't know why bosses think these are such a good idea.

If you can't bring cups and plates, bring food you can eat and like and let them lump it if they aren't going to bring anything themselves!
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Old 04-09-2013, 08:06 PM   #19
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Ugh...office potlucks. My NEMISIS.

I promise every office has at least on vegan, one low carber, one person keeping kosher, one person subsisting on amazonian tree frog sweat, and at least 4 freeloaders.


So true, particularly the part about the freeloaders. Can't tell you how many potlucks I've been to where half the folks really put some effort into it and make a good dish, or at least buy something tasty like chicken wings, and then those others that bring doritos and salsa. Thanks a lot, right? But I would never say that to the offenders, not worth it, not civil, not polite, imo. Potluck means you take what comes.

So why should anyone get away with asking for more out of someone who brought meatballs? Same thing, not polite.

Here's what I think makes for a good potluck. You ASSIGN people different categories---appetizers, side dishes, salads, meat, desserts etc. That's how we do it in our neighborhood now, having suffered through a few potlucks where we had a half table of good food, and a half table of doritos and salsa.

But IMO, if you're a low carb eater, like a vegetarian, you just have to accept that others are not going to cook for you, BUT, nor should they expect you to cook for them or question what you choose to bring.
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:18 PM   #20
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You know what is the most popular thing at my potlucks? Frozen lasagna. I buy them from my Safeway for $7 for a big family size & I bake it in an oven we have in the staffroom. I never eat it, but others seem to love it. I enjoy the different salads people make- I like salad, but I am too lazy to make fancy ones myself.

I work at an elementary school full of women though. Workplaces with a lot of men have sucky potlucks. I worked with a guy once whose parents owned a grocery store. He would go by on the morning of a potluck and pick up a can of peanuts. That's right...... a can of peanuts. More than once. Multiple times.
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:27 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by zombiegoat2000 View Post
Here's my situation: I work at a prison, doing 12hr shifts from 6p-6a so on pay day weekends my Captian likes to throw potlucks. After being repeatley asked to cook more elaborate and expensive dishes and being one of the few staff members who actually bought/made something I was getting fed up and blew my lid a few months ago! I told him it was getting too expensive and not fair that not everyone was helping but wanting to eat, doing them too often, and that I was the only one bringing anything healthy (carbwise, he had promised several times to make a portion of entree just for me but didn't) plus calling around and organizing everthing! I told him I wanted no part of them anymore and we haven't had one for like two months. Well since it's Easter we decided to do one, but to do an Italian theme instead. I bought meatballs and sauce, and my Captain's like "were's the pasta at?! I told him and everyone else that I was not making pasta just the meatballs, cause other people were doing pasta, plus I don't eat pasta, yet I had some people tell me that Im being selfish to exclude the pasta and trying to push LC on them! I told them that if they didnt want to eat the meatballs without pasta they didnt have to eat them at all! Be honest, was that harsh, seeing as how I was the one who got up 2hrs early and cooked for their ungreatful selves!:
Not being harsh at all. They need to kick in something too, and maybe some extra sauce! Sheesh. I wouldn't do it anymore at all.
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Old 04-10-2013, 05:57 AM   #22
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What would they eat if you did not participate? Every one should bring as much or more than THEY consume. I thought that was understood. I'm too slow to come up with a quick response... but if someone asks "Where's the rolls?" (to make a sandwinch of it) or "Where's the pasta?" I'd be inclined to say... wait for it... "What a great idea! Why don't you bring it next time?!"
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:34 AM   #23
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Just tell them that due to a restricted diet, you will not participate.

Then STOP.
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:45 AM   #24
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It's called "corn." Don't care what the theme is, bring corn. I can get a humongous bag at Sam's for less than $5 and nuke it in a glass bowl. Drain, add butter, done! Easy on the wallet and easy on your time. You can reheat at work in the microwave.

Then bring your "diet food" and call it what it is. If anyone complains, you can say, "hey, I am not eating any of the potluck AND I brought a dish!"

It does sound as if you are being expected to shoulder too much of the load.
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Old 04-10-2013, 01:45 PM   #25
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What a mess to be in!

I don't usually participate in things like this at work. They are always optional & people sign-up.

I don't want what my co-workers bring so it would not really be a "share" event for me. I won't bring junk for anyone because I don't believe in contributing to their bad habits & I won't spend the money on healthy food for them. It is hard enough to afford just for myself.
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:33 AM   #26
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I don't dis on the chips and salsa people because I am usually one of those. I take the subway, and have a roll-on bag with my computer and materials, so I just can't bring another big heavy casserole dish or something. A bag with chips and salsa, or paper goods, works very well for me. Or I can bring in "Firecrackers" -- dried beef spread with cream cheese and rolled around scallions and thin slices of pickle. But anything bigger, heavier, or messier is right out for Metro riding.

At church, I usually bring one of the plates of deviled eggs. I make mine with curry powder, so they're different from the usual and people like that. Or meatballs or Italian beef in a slow cooker.
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:58 PM   #27
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I always hated those. But I never really cared for eating as a social event. Gee we have an obesity epidemic because we are social. I eat to sustain.
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:23 AM   #28
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Good on ya.

A few weeks ao this same thing happened to me. Brought a big meat/cheese platter in from Costco and everyone was up in arms over the fact that I didn't bring in bread to make sandwiches. I gave 'em the finger and told them not to eat it if they didn't like what I brought, just more for me.

Something I think that's lost on people is the ability to grow a thick skin. You work in a correctional facility so I assume you have rhino tuff skin, but for the rest of us it can go a long ways.

I walked into work last Monday into an assault on my bulletproof coffee. I returned with a couple quips about traditional low cal diets, then transitioned to, I don't give a S what you think, I'm doing this, I'm having success, the lab tests back up my position as well as numerous studies, if you don't like it, shut the F up. End of story.
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Old 04-12-2013, 04:57 PM   #29
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Another great option I've found for potlucks (or snack-days at work!) is cheese & pepperoni. It's usually easy enough to find some cheap crackers to bring along too... but I haven't always bothered with those, and usually every time I've brought cheese-n-pepperoni to any event, it's almost always very popular. This is especially great to bring in on a day when others are bringing cake, ie for a birthday. Then just set some aside for yourself at the beginning, to make sure you get some!
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Old 04-12-2013, 11:35 PM   #30
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When we're invited to a potluck (or if my husband goes away for a guys weekend, such as hunting and I have to provide a dish) I get a frozen turkey breast. I let it thaw in the fridge and then remove the bones until it will fit in the crock pot. I add a liberal amount of fresh black pepper, and maybe some garlic powder or an onion. I cook it the night before then I remove my portion while I remove the bones (and the skin and onion if any) from the remainder and break it into small pieces. Then I add the gravy packet according to directions and that thickens up while it heats at work, the bar or the cabin. I truly cannot believe how well this goes over. People are ALWAYS asking for a recipe, and there is rarely anything left over. One guy from the hunting party will get up in the middle of the night and finish anything still in the pot. And it costs me a whole $12 or so. Very reasonable.

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