When it comes to workplace wellness, I think my employer rates on the higher end. We have:
1. An onsite gym – I’ve saved a bundle by not needing a separate membership.
2. Flexible work arrangements – I work from home once or twice a week. Less time in the car means more time for me to make a healthy breakfast and dinner.
3. Support for food sensitivities- I have been able to navigate events (Like World Cultures Day - wp.me/p1N36Q-en
- and meetings - wp.me/p1N36Q-d4
) with relative gluten free ease.
That last bullet isn’t always consistent, however. There have been offsite meetings ( wp.me/p1N36Q-6L
)where I was faced dining challenges. We’ve had celebrations that didn’t offer anything but wall-to-wall bread wp.me/p1N36Q-63
. Last Friday, I received an email announcing a special bagel breakfast happening this week to welcome new staff members in our department. My supervisor, who is a bit of a health nut herself, knows about my issues with wheat, and encouraged me to say something. So I asked one of the party organizers if there was enough in the budget to have fruit available for breakfast, and – if there wasn’t – offered to bring in some to share myself. I mentioned to her that I have a wheat sensitivity, and she assured me it was no problem to pick up some fruit.
And they delivered!
So that was a good thing. But when Tuesday morning rolled around, one of the other party organizers (not the one I spoke with) sent out a follow-up email to let everyone know that “breakfast was served” and that “there is fruit salad for our friend who needs gluten free food.” They didn’t buy enough fruit for everyone, and they wanted to be sure that I didn’t miss out. It was certainly well intended, but I felt weird about it – as if people were going to judge me for getting special treatment. And I didn’t really want everybody in the department knowing my health issues. Sure, the email kept it anonymous, but – as everyone else was eating bagels and I had my melon, berries, and pineapple – I’m pretty sure they figured it out.
Perhaps nobody cared. If they did, they didn’t say anything to me. Still, I might ask to be on the party committee to help influence future food planning decisions.
But then a positive workplace moment later this week renewed my sense of goodwill towards my employer. I needed an afternoon snack and meetings kept me from getting to the cafeteria before it closed. So I did something I never do – checked out the vending machine. A dangerous adventure, I’m aware. But I actually found something I could feel good about eating:
Sure, it’s a corn chip – but non GMO! Gluten Free, 130 calories, and delicious.
Their website tells you which grocery stores carry (I was happy to see that my usual grocer, wp.me/p1N36Q-ad
, carries them), but you can also order on Amazon if they haven’t made their way to you yet. And it just so happens that there is a giveaway on the Mom’s Own Words blog this week!