Baker re­sents be­ing de facto of­fice caterer

South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sunday) - - Society - Ju­dith Martin Send ques­tions to Miss Man­ners at her web­site, miss­man­ners.com or email her at dearmiss­man­[email protected] gmail.com.

Dear Miss Man­ners: I made a birth­day cake for a co-worker who is also a friend out­side of work.

Our of­fice has a friendly at­mos­phere, and this is not un­usual. She, in turn, shared that cake with our other co-work­ers, as she is a giv­ing and out­go­ing in­di­vid­ual.

Shortly af­ter that, an­other co-worker an­nounced that her birth­day was the next day, and that she wanted me to make the same cake for her.

I was taken aback, but, not want­ing to hurt any­one’s feel­ings, I agreed.

Now it seems that I have be­come the of­fice baker.

With­out protest­ing that my bud­get does not sup­port ev­ery­one’s “spe­cial” day, nor do my time lim­its, how do I po­litely re­buff this trend?

The au­dac­ity to make such de­mands on your co-work­ers with­out con­sid­er­a­tion puts me off and I am left stut­ter­ing.

I’d like to add that at the time I pre­sented the sec­ond co-worker with her cake as de­manded, I also at­tached a recipe card. This sub­tle hint ap­par­ently went un­heeded, as I have had sev­eral of these women state quite bla­tantly that they do not bake.

What is a po­lite but firm re­sponse for next time?

Gen­tle Reader: Try shift­ing the blame to a higher au­thor­ity. Tell your boss that the team has ex­pressed a de­sire to cel­e­brate birth­days in the of­fice, but that you sim­ply do not have the time and re­sources to sup­ply all of the cater­ing.

Per­haps there can be a com­pany-funded party com­mit­tee where ev­ery­one takes turns — in­clud­ing your boss, so that she does not miss out on the fun.

She will ei­ther fa­cil­i­tate its form­ing or, more likely, re­ject the idea en­tirely as not the best use of com­pany re­sources.

At which point, Miss Man­ners rec­om­mends that you cel­e­brate with your co-work­ers-who-are­also-friends safely out­side of work.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.