In an office of 14, the Original Poster (OP) starts a daily lunch pickup service for coworkers, bounded by strict moral principles. As demands grow, conflicts arise, especially over two forbidden restaurants, Chick-fil-A and a local wings restaurant where OP used to work, culminating in a dramatic showdown with the vice president. What unfolds next tests the values and unity of the entire office.
The Unusual Office Hours
OP worked in an office of 14, with unique hours because of clients in another time zone. While others worked from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., OP began at noon and finished at 9 p.m. This led OP to start a unique lunchtime ritual.
The Inception of the Lunch Club
On the way to work, OP began picking up lunch for a few coworkers. What began as a kind gesture for a couple soon became a service for most of the office. This budding lunch service took on a life of its own with OP earning around $15 on an exceptionally good day.
The Three Golden Rules
OP set three rules for this lunch service: One restaurant a day; two restaurants were off-limits; the cost was rounded up plus a dollar. The final amount remained cheaper than most delivery services, making it an attractive proposition for coworkers.
The Forbidden Eateries
There were two specific restaurants OP refused to buy from for personal reasons – one being Chick-fil-A and the other she had a bad experience working at. They were non-negotiable on the “banned” list. Yet, two individuals from the office were not keen on adhering to this rule.
Despite the clear boundaries, one coworker and the vice president consistently requested food from the forbidden places. Every week, they’d push their luck, and every week, OP would reiterate the refusal.
The Friday Showdown
The drama came to a head on a Friday when the vice president summoned OP. Accused of bullying and exclusion, OP was pressured to include the forbidden restaurant in the “lunch club.” OP promised a resolution by Monday.
The Saturday Stand
Following the orders’ distribution on Saturday, OP took a drastic step. In a company-wide email, she disbanded the “lunch club,” citing her moral and religious reasons for not supporting the controversial restaurant. Monday would see a different lunchtime scenario.
The Reason Behind the Rules
OP clarified the refusal was rooted in deep-seated beliefs, which made the forbidden restaurants non-negotiable. She was ready to refund any prepaid orders and encouraged coworkers to approach her on Monday for their money.
The office split into two factions after the announcement. Half supported OP’s decision, understanding the reasons behind it. The other half was irate, missing the convenience and cost-effectiveness of the lunch service.
Time and Money Saved
The service had been a godsend for many. Not only did it save time, but it was also light on the pocket. The end of the “lunch club” meant the end of these perks. Conversations were rife with disappointment, annoyance, and support, creating an electric atmosphere.
The Weight of Principles
The service was a gesture bound by certain principles and morals for OP. When those were challenged, OP quickly prioritized her beliefs over convenience. The end of the “lunch club” introduced a palpable tension in the office.
Discontent in the Air
On Friday, following the cancellation of the “lunch club,” a coworker called OP several racial names, knocked her lunch out of her hand, kicked it, and left the building. When he returned, he was met by police and the owner, and terminated on the spot.
A Price for Conviction
As a result of the hostile office environment, OP was now allowed to work from home, which she preferred. This way, the company would be less liable for more in-office showdowns over personal morals and religious convictions.
Was The Employee’s Behavior Appropriate?
OP posted her story online for feedback and perspective. The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter.
One reader said, “I have a forbidden fast-food restaurant that my friend jokingly calls ‘Fascist Chicken.’ I never give them money, either. I applaud you for standing by your ideals and refusing to be bullied.”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote, “Picking up their lunch isn’t your job. You were doing it as a courtesy. They can use a delivery service since they can’t respect your rules.”
A Third View on The Story
A different person stated, “You sound like a wicked cool coworker to offer something valued and appreciated. You had minimal and easy ground rules. Your VP is controlling and mental. His ridiculous demands ruined the good time, not you.”
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another reader commented, “If her coworkers want to be mad at someone, they can be mad at their boss. OP was very clear about not going to these restaurants.”
What Do You Think?
What are your thoughts on their actions?
What would you have done in this situation?
This story is inspired by a thread from an online forum.