Dear Coworker: Why do you care what I eat?
June 30, 2014 8:19 AM Subscribe
I'm getting really tired of a particular coworker's constant prying about what I eat. It's starting to feel like bullying, and it happened to me before at my previous job. What do I do?
posted by shiggins to Human Relations (66 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
A woman I work with, who is older than me and in a more senior position, is constantly asking prying questions about what I eat. She's in the office three days a week, and every single time, she manages to make some sort of comment about my food, which usually comes off as underhandedly bitchy. I eat a paleo diet, but I don't like to talk about it or shove it in other peoples' faces.
Here are some examples of things she says:
-She sees I'm eating a salad: "Wow, that's the BIGGEST salad I've ever seen!"
-I eat my own lunch even though catering is offered for a meeting: she announces to everyone (including the client), "Oh, she's doing some weird detox thing, so she can't have a sandwich."
-Three of us (me, her, and another coworker) go to a restaurant after a client meeting. I don't order a drink, and she presses as to why. Then, when she orders a drink, she says, "Well, I better get a skinny margarita so I can keep up with miss healthy."
The comments are incessant. Why does she give a crap about what I eat? I dread eating my lunch every day because I know she'll have something to say about it. I usually eat at my desk, and have tried eating somewhere else, but inevitably, she just asks where I went when I return. In general, she is very nosy.
This exact same situation happened at my previous job, with the same dynamic (senior manager in her 50s-60s making underhanded comments about my food and appearance).
This situation is driving me crazy. Any advice? I'm hesitant to speak up because of the power dynamic (and the fear that she might make things worse for me). I work in a very small company (12 people), and she is really close with our HR lady.
Any recommended books, tips, etc. would be appreciated. Thanks!