Tips for a new vegan-food-eater walking into an unknown work situation... - VeggieBoards
Forum Jump: 
 5Likes
  • 2 Post By Naturebound
  • 2 Post By Naturebound
  • 1 Post By Tiger Lilly
 
Thread Tools
#1 Old 07-27-2014, 09:50 PM
Beginner
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 169
Question Tips for a new vegan-food-eater walking into an unknown work situation...

I need tips! Tricks! Suggestions!
...or someone to just tell me I'm not exactly inventing the wheel here and I'll be fine.

My situation is...
1) I'm not ready to label myself (so many reasons/backstory to that) but I've been eating only vegan foods for a little while now, and I have no intentions of changing that. I have the home-cooking thing down and on a roll, and I've figured out eating at restaurants near my house (there's a place with a chai soy shake under a mile from me and I can get delivery daiya pizza, I'm not suffering here).

2) I just moved to a new city. I'm about to start volunteering at an industry event with basically everyone who may ever hire me. Even volunteering to be there is a competitive thing, I got in by the skin of my teeth and the grace of a really great former boss. I have not easily been able to find out what the food situation is, aside from "you will receive meal vouchers for the cafeteria." There aren't restaurants that are easily walked to.


So... any suggestions on what to do? How to handle things as they come up?
I'm interested in how you usually handle both food to eat and what to say to people who ask about what you're eating when you're in new work situations.


I already have some bars that will fit easily in my purse. I'm going to have big breakfasts. I want to have lunch with the groups because networking, so I plan on having a bar about an hour before lunch "not that hungry, just had a bar" and then picking up whatever is clearly vegan and asking but not making a huge fuss about things I'm unsure of...
anole is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 Old 07-28-2014, 03:18 AM
Veggie Regular
 
Naturebound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 4,609
Is there an online or physical menu available for the cafeteria where your voucher will be? I have found working at a medical complex that there are options at those places (salads, some breads or crackers, sometimes soy milks, juices). I have on a few occasions had to call kitchen staff ahead and ask how something is made. 99% of the time I make or bring my own food to work and very rarely ever eat out so I am not much help there. However, I do remember back in 2011 when I first went vegan I came back to a job I had left and they were having a retirement party for the person who I replaced. It was all set up as to the restaurant and everything, so I called ahead and inquired about various menu items. At that time I was aware that "vegan" seemed to set people off when I shared that I went vegan, so I called myself "vegetarian" for a short time at work because it seems to be more acceptable to people for whatever reason. Finally I came around and said that I was a full vegan but had just called myself vegetarian because people understand that more. My coworkers were actually far more interested and accepting of my veganism than family or close friends.

For work events when everyone brings food etc I bring vegan dishes along but not necessarily mention they were vegan. Some larger interdepartmental events that involve catering, I just don't eat and I will eat my own food at a different time and just enjoy coffee or juice and socialize. If someone asks why I am not eating the food I will say that I am vegan and do not eat such and such a food but I brought my own meal so I am ok or if I don't feel comfortable saying that I might just say I ate earlier and really am not hungry. I am fairly open about being vegan but don't exactly announce it first unless asked. I did once email a coordinator at my place of work who orders for large catering events for the entire building and inquired about choices for vegans. She said she actually did send around a survey for vegans some time ago asking what they would want and most responded not to make any special effort for them. So I didn't push the envelope. The coordinator did ask me what kinds of food I would be interested so I mentioned things like fruit or vegetable platters, hummus, tortilla chips etc. Nothing ever came of it but it's no big deal.

I may have a job interview myself coming up as I put in a resume and was contacted that it was being reviewed. So I may have more to report in a month or so. fingers crossed. The department I am trying to get into is small and intimate and I imagine they probably make orders from local restaurants for everyone from time to time. I imagine I would try to see if there was a menu or call the restaurant to inquire about vegan options, and I would probably be honest and mention I am vegan to my coworkers. I have rarely been met with judgment or rudeness in a professional setting like that. I don't know though. Hard to say unless I am actually in the situation. I would have to kind of get a sense of the people I would be working with and feel for how they might respond. And then wing it from there.

Best wishes on your new venture!

In the end, only kindness matters. - Jewel



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Naturebound is offline  
#3 Old 07-28-2014, 06:02 PM
Beginner
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 169
Naturebound this is awesome, thanks!

Today went pretty well. Sadly the only place there for coffee has half & half and milk, no other creamer options. Lunch was a little iffy. I had 10 minutes to buy it & get back (to eat later) and the one person running the only option in the building spoke very, very limited English. I wound up sticking with the veggies at the salad bar that didn't look like they had anything oily (like potentially melted butter) on them. It was still a nice variety though.
anole is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#4 Old 07-28-2014, 07:15 PM
Veggie Regular
 
Naturebound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 4,609
Quote:
Originally Posted by anole View Post
Naturebound this is awesome, thanks!

Today went pretty well. Sadly the only place there for coffee has half & half and milk, no other creamer options. Lunch was a little iffy. I had 10 minutes to buy it & get back (to eat later) and the one person running the only option in the building spoke very, very limited English. I wound up sticking with the veggies at the salad bar that didn't look like they had anything oily (like potentially melted butter) on them. It was still a nice variety though.
Glad to hear it went well for you today anole! Sometimes if I am too busy to make cooked meals to bring to work I might bring along pumpkin or sunflower seeds to snack on, or dates, or almonds and so on. I've even brought along a little ziplock bag of plain oats with cinnamon sprinkled on and some raisins I throw in there. I keep a plastic bowl in one of my drawers. I will add the oat mixture to the bowl and then get some hot water from the breakroom and pour it over the oats for a quick meal. Or on weekends I will make a huge batch of homemade soup and store it in my refrigerator and then each morning before I head out the door I heat up a few cups of it and pour it into my little thermos and have that for lunch at my desk. Soup can be anything. It's not too far out there as far as food goes. I do the same with big garden salads and add beans, chia seeds, fresh fruits and veggies and spicy lettuces and with all that I don't even need a dressing (I often just squeeze lemon juice and ground black pepper onto my salad). No one really takes too much interest in me eating salads lol. Just thinking of common foods if you didn't want to draw attention to yourself. I am now known as the "health addict" in my department but I guess there are worse things to be called. I hope you eventually find more to eat there than plain veggies.
LedBoots and anole like this.

In the end, only kindness matters. - Jewel



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Naturebound is offline  
#5 Old 07-28-2014, 09:05 PM
Veggie Regular
 
Tiger Lilly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 1,617
Oats are a really good idea actually.

As are the little bottles of soy milk. Not sure if you have them where you are, but I usually pick up a six-pack of them before I go on any trips. That way, I can order a coffee, ask them to not fill it up completely, then slip the milk in once it's done.

In new work situations, it's tricky. If you really don't feel comfortable with letting someone know you're vegan, then don't let them. It took me a while before I was ready to announce my vegetarianism (and most people still don't know I don't eat eggs or dairy). I think feeling good about your own changes, feeling strong in your convictions, takes time. I don't think there's anything wrong with taking that time.


So, this is what I would do. Whether you bring food or not, if someone asks what you're eating, just tell them! After all, food is food. If you're good at baking, then one day you might want to bring muffins or biscuits for everyone to try. You can say they're 'egg and dairy free, for anyone with an intolerance'. Not only does that mean you have something to eat, it's a good way to start conversations with people.

And no one I ever know, has turned down a choc-chip muffin. :P
anole likes this.
Tiger Lilly is offline  
#6 Old 08-03-2014, 01:15 PM
 
EdithElaine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: UK
Posts: 30
Send a message via Skype™ to EdithElaine
Its not ideal, but you could always just say that you are lactose intolerant. People will generally take that more seriously & those who would judge/comment on your veganism will not on your allergies haha.

It doesn't help with the meat, but folk seem to have an easier time accepting vegetarianism over veganism.

Vegetarian of 8 years, newbie vegan.
RawTill4 <3

"May the sun bring you new energy by day,
May the moon softly restore you by night,
May the rain wash away your worries,
May the breeze blow new strength into your being,
May you walk gently through the world & know its beauty all the days of your life".
-Apache Blessing.
EdithElaine is offline  
#7 Old 08-06-2014, 06:36 AM
Veggie Regular
 
Gita's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Mexas
Posts: 1,610
I'll bet there is a salad bar. Get a huge salad and say your watching your weight.

Sent from my BNTV600 using Tapatalk
Gita is offline  
#8 Old 08-06-2014, 01:19 PM
Ankle Biter
 
Poppy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Central Virginia, USA
Posts: 9,333
Yeah, I think all vegans have to learn to drink their coffee without creamer from time to time.

Actually I would advise you NOT to say that you are allergic to something when you are not. It could come out later and you'd look dishonest. You don't need to have a reason for eating or not eating anything. You don't even have to use the food coupons. Keep a Cliff bar or a pb&j in your backpack or locker in case there are good real options - don't starve.

Washington, DC is a wonderful town for vegans. With all the multi-cultural influences there, you should have no problem eating vegan anywhere.

It is our choices that show what we truly are far more than our abilities. ~A. Dumbledore
Poppy is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the VeggieBoards forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off