So, here are some tips to make it almost painless for you and others in the workplace:
1. Let it be Known
Before, I moved to this internship asked for advice on how to handle my allergy so it wasn’t awkward and some people told me to not say anything because they might treat me differently or less than. But, I will not give you that advice. I feel like if you are honest then people will understand why you never eat when you are in meetings or birthday celebrations. It is kind of rude to just not eat at all. Even people without allergies state why they do not eat. So state your case and that is all there is to it.
2. Don’t Cheat
After you state your case, I strongly suggest do not eat what you said you couldn’t eat. This is the rudest thing you can ever do. Even though you are prepared to suffer the consequences, your body will throw at you. Others won’t be able to handle it. This makes people extremely uncomfortable and on alert on when they need to call the ambulance. Which is a bit extreme but they do think it. If you need to leave the room, do so and hopefully they will understand.
3. Divert the Conversation
If you missed someone in the office and they tell you to eat something you cannot eat. Simply tell them you have an allergy and you cannot eat anything there. Some will ask what allergy and try to accommodate you but in my case I am allergic to nickel and there will be no type of accommodation being made whatsoever, except for some ice creams. Just say, “Nickel” and brief them. If it starts being a topic of discussion just say, “I will email them a link to tell them what it is about.”
4. Have a Sense of Humor
In the midst of the conversation about your allergy. It can get kind of rude or depressing with comments like, “Wow! That sucks.” Or “How do you deal with it?” and lastly my favorite, “I thought my life was hard.” Do not let these statements, upset you just be light and say “Well next time I will bring my food for you guys to enjoy.”
5. Don’t Make it Awkward
By all means, please don’t make it awkward. I think I failed at this last week when I was PMSing and really wanted that ice cream and crackers. But for all the other days I think I did alright. Be engaging with other people’s conversations and/or bring your own food so people know you are not hungry. This is more for their comfort, not yours.
If all of these fails, I have no idea what else you can do. At the end of the day, if you do not have supportive co-workers and job. I would suggest just don’t be involved in anything food related. Or you can send them a link to this post so they can see that it is harder for you than them.
That I am starting to open the Nickely Challenged Stories to anyone, who has a story that makes them Challenged. It doesn’t have to be nickel, any allergy can do. I will be featuring the winner with the most extravagant stories on my Nickely Challenged Stories Posts once a month. You have till September 29th, 2014 to be featured on October 13, 2014. Go to Contacts or shoot me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Till Next Monday,
Conduct Yourself Properly in the Work Place