Halloween Candy at the Office...

Posted on: Wed, 10/15/2003 - 6:07am
princesshinmighty's picture
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Joined: 04/27/2002 - 09:00

I just got into an argument with my boss & co-worker. My manager is going to go purchase our yearly supply of Halloween candy. I begged & pleaded that she NOT get anything "peanut infested". She knows I'm highly allergic. She said "Well, I HAVE to get recees cups, and Paydays..." and started listing all the bars she was going to get! Her idea of making the work place "allergy friendly" was to say "We won't store the peanut-products in here." (referring to the office she & I share). I explained that will not matter much, since it won't keep other people from getting some, coming in, standing over my shoulder & eating them (they do it EVERY YEAR) and I end up having breathing problems. Also, there are other people that use my desk/computer/headset when I am not at my desk, who DO eat peanut-infested products & I have to constantly wipe down when I come in--if I don't, I typically have a mild reaction every day! My question is, how do I politely tell people to bugger off with their peanut-infested selves?! I'm just so sick of this allergy...

Posted on: Wed, 10/15/2003 - 12:14pm
KateB's picture
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Joined: 05/11/2004 - 09:00

Aren't there rules regarding workplace safety? Workman's Compensation or something similar? Human Rights? I don't know, as it is my children who have allergies, so I haven't checked that out yet.

Posted on: Wed, 10/15/2003 - 1:19pm
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

I would start looking for another job immediately. NO job is worth risking your lifem for! I see from your profile that you are a receptionist. There are many companies that need good ones...If you don't find something you could try the temp circuit. It's not that bad and then you can check out the office and people before you take a permanent job.
Jane

Posted on: Wed, 10/15/2003 - 3:10pm
princesshinmighty's picture
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Joined: 04/27/2002 - 09:00

I'd quit, but I usually like my job. I've been here for 2.5 years, so I have the longevity thing going on--plus it's getting me through school.
I just decided I'm going to be a pain. Since they won't listen to me, I'm going to call 911 and get taken to the ER at the first sign of any reaction...whether it be a tingle or an itch. Then file workman's comp. I don't know what else I could do.

Posted on: Wed, 10/15/2003 - 5:27pm
toomanynuts's picture
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Joined: 08/23/2003 - 09:00

Why not order safe candy for them from our Canadian friends, Panhandlers, or Vermont Nut Free. That way they get the candy they want and you avoid all the allergic reactions. If they don't go for that I would see if someone at Workman's Comp could offer you any advise. Stay safe!

Posted on: Wed, 10/15/2003 - 11:02pm
MichelleR's picture
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Joined: 05/14/2001 - 09:00

How many days will this candy eating go on for? I both can and can't believe that they are behaving like this (if you know what I mean).
If you call in sick to work, do you still get paid? If so, then maybe you could just call in sick and say you can't come in because the place is infested with life threatening substances? Or will you get in trouble for this?
Grrr this kind of thing makes me so angry. There is plenty of nice food that doesn't have peanuts in it, why can't they just get something else?????

Posted on: Wed, 10/15/2003 - 11:24pm
California Mom's picture
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Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

I am so sorry you are going through this. I do not think you should have to quit your job. IMHO, that's like people saying that pa kids should just not be in school. You do have the right to a safe workplace environment. I am sure you are covered under ADA. I hope that some of our resident "experts" will jump in giving you specific information. Your boss sounds like a royal idiot, at best.
Please keep us posted!
Miriam

Posted on: Thu, 10/16/2003 - 12:02am
Prajna's picture
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Joined: 10/09/2001 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by princesshinmighty:
[b]I just got into an argument with my boss & co-worker. My manager is going to go purchase our yearly supply of Halloween candy. I begged & pleaded that she NOT get anything "peanut infested". She knows I'm highly allergic. She said "Well, I HAVE to get recees cups, and Paydays..." and started listing all the bars she was going to get! Her idea of making the work place "allergy friendly" was to say "We won't store the peanut-products in here." (referring to the office she & I share). I explained that will not matter much, since it won't keep other people from getting some, coming in, standing over my shoulder & eating them (they do it EVERY YEAR) and I end up having breathing problems. Also, there are other people that use my desk/computer/headset when I am not at my desk, who DO eat peanut-infested products & I have to constantly wipe down when I come in--if I don't, I typically have a mild reaction every day! My question is, how do I politely tell people to bugger off with their peanut-infested selves?! I'm just so sick of this allergy...[/b]
OK I don't stick my nose into things very often BUT ok here I go....
You have already established that Peanut Allergy is a disability covered under the ADA. That having been said I would push the issue. Now you may not be able to totally prevent the office from buying peanuts but you can make them choose....
The issue that I see is them using your desk and your equipment.... that is inappropriate....
So I would talk to your ADA compliance officer or Human Resources office. I would discuss the issue and put in your request which would be that either they not have peanuts in your office OR your desk, headset and general area is off limits for other people to use. This is not an unreasonable request.... and one that would be simple for them to undertake... of course this doesn't change attitudes and that seems to be the real root of the problem. However, being passive aggressive doesnt help either and calling the ER just to make a point is not really appropriate either in my opinion. However you can take the stance of this being an accommodation issue and approach it in that matter.
P

Posted on: Thu, 10/16/2003 - 4:53am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

What about going over the manager's head? Does her boss know about the allergy?
Put a "NO PEANUTS ALLOWED" sign on your door. And a "WASH HANDS BEFORE USING" sign on your computer/desk.

Posted on: Thu, 10/16/2003 - 8:23pm
Gwen Thornberry's picture
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Joined: 10/14/1999 - 09:00

Why does she HAVE to have reeces? Cripes, if adults like that can't go through a work day without eating pn, it kinda makes you understand why some parents assume their kids can't either.
Last year my colleague brought in monkey nuts, but as soon as I saw the bag and mentioned it to him, it was immediately taken away.
IMO, this is a form of bullying. How about saying something like "Some people would consider this a form of harrassment", you can say it as sweetly as you like. You're not saying YOU think it is, but just the mention of "bullying" or "harrassment" can really make people think. I was bullied in my previous job, though at the time, I didn't take things far enough. I complained, and was told nothing could be done about it. If it were to happen again, I would have no problem using those loaded words - what company wants their name in the papers associated with something like this?
I hope things work out for you.
Gwen

Posted on: Fri, 10/17/2003 - 2:02am
princesshinmighty's picture
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Joined: 04/27/2002 - 09:00

Sorry to keep ranting.
To answer some questions:
1) No I don't have paid sick leave--I'm not "full time" (another thing she pissed me off about the other day with a snide comment about)
2) It's a small company--we don't have an HR department or etc. People use my desk because there are only 3 desks for 6 people to use. I'd talk to the manager's boss, but well, basically he's married to her sister, if you get the drift. I don't want to cause a huge rift.
It was so much worse when she got back from the store with the candy. ALL nutty candy or "may contains". She was like "Come here to the kitchen...Let me show you what I got." And proceeded to say "Well, see you can eat this..." I kinda laid into her about it not being about what I can & can't eat, it's about what I can & can't be around. When I said, I just KNOW that one of the agents is going to come in here after picking something up from the bucket & they'll be eating it over my shoulder while telling me what to do, etc. She said "No they won't." WHATEVER Cuz she controls sooo much of what goes on.
I talked to one of my co-workers that was there the other afternoon. I told her that if she sits at my desk to really be careful which candies she eats & to make sure & wash her hands, etc.
I'm not at work today. Not because of the nuts (Although that is a factor that is keeping me from making phone calls) but because I can't get there. B/F took off with the car this morning because we had a fight. I called & left her a message telling her that I wouldn't be in & she called back asking what we fought about. When I said I didn't want to get into it, she said "oh right, it's not my business. Just try to get here. so & so is only going to be here till 2:30 and I don't want to close up alone" (Ohhh sooo I can? blah)
Sorry, I'm bitchy today! :S

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