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Posted by: pro manners | 2005/12/08

Is it compulsive eating or just bad manners?

I have a problem with a collegue of my mine. We have a lot of social functions a year and this time of year it is not so uncommon. She is a spinster of 52 years. She embarrass me a lot because at functions she would put as many food as she can on her plate. She would not even wait for the table prayer. She would go for second helpings before the first rounders even helped themselves. She would even gatecrash functions where she is not invited. The staff has complain to me about this several times because I am her supervisor (and I took it up with her. It reaches a stage where I do not invite her or even took her to functions where she is invited. She even take leftovers that I usually leave to the cleaning ladies.I even see this tendency a bit in my bachelor brother. Is it plain stingy of her?. Should I just ingnore this?. Do single persons as they grow older "lose manners regarding food"?. Am I wrong in not inviting her to functions?

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Our expert says:
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Surely as her supervisor you need to make it vry clear to her that her obvious greed is embarrassing to everyone and is unacceptably bad behavior. It is inconsiderate and unjustifiable. Other single people, of whatever age, do not behave like a pig at the food trough. And she should be told that if she does this at ANY other function she will no longer be invited to any of them, and if she gate-crashes, at any function to which she was not invited, you will call security to have her forcibly removed. And that you are considering making an announcement before the table prayer warning guests that she is present, and usually works her way down the buffet table like a creepy-crawly pool cleaner, and that they should be careful not to get in the way of her mouth. And tell her that she is not allowed to take any food home from functions, as this is the prerogative of the cleaners, and if she does take any it will be considered as stealing and deal with accordingly. she needs to learn to behave and to remember the many genuinely hungry people in this country, who are indirectly paying for her food.
If these are business functions, then such misconduct ought to be treated like any other office misconduct, with a formal warning and disciplinary procedures.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Nicolai | 2005/12/08

Sounds like she is being a glutton. Tell her that the left overs are for the cleaning ladies ALONE. Compulsive eaters are usually ashamed of their bingeing and do it on the sly, eat to salad leaves and themn five pies when they are home. I would send a memo to 'all staff' politely informing them that one plate is allowed per person - until everyone has eaten. MAybe get some one to dish up. Next time ask her in a jovial way if she has worms "'cause where do you put all that food'
My mom is 55, hardly ever goes out and lives alone - but she would never in a million years dream of being such a glutton. I wonder if she packs food in her handbag too?

Reply to Nicolai
Posted by: Been there | 2005/12/08

You are not wrong and it is rather embarrassing to have a guest liek that at any function - why not rather sit a at a different table, that way she is only embarrasing herself.
At her age she should be well aware and well informed regarding table etiquette.
If this matters so much talk to her...seems you do care so maybe bringing the topic up wont be such abad idea?

Reply to Been there
Posted by: Friend | 2005/12/08

I think because she's a spinster, perhaps she does'nt bother cooking or making herself big or fancy meals, but when she gets the opportunity at functions, she really enjoys eating all the foods she misses out on.

But is is an embarrassing situation and it is very difficult to talk to her about it, because she may be offended. A tough one.

Reply to Friend

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