In a bustling corporate environment, the Original Poster (OP) finds himself amid a divisive conflict born from a seemingly innocent initiative: lifestyle clubs. When a vegan-only club led by his former friend, whom he called ‘Jane’ incites discontent with its exclusionary policy, OP retaliates by establishing a rival meat-eaters-only group. This move sets the stage for an escalating office drama.
A Boring Workplace
OP, a 30-year-old male working in a high-pressure office environment, longs for the camaraderie of his colleagues. Management promotes lifestyle clubs within the organization to encourage workplace morale, offering financial support. Forming these clubs is straightforward, requiring only a few members, a statement of purpose, and administrative approval.
The Vegan Colleague
Jane, a 29-year-old female, a coworker, and a dedicated vegan, captures the interest of a few new team members after a company merger. Although her vegan lifestyle had been a personal matter, it soon took center stage. Amid office chatter about existing clubs, Jane and her new vegan colleagues decide to form a group.
The Vegan Dinner Club
Together, they form a Vegan Dinner Club. This move garners no immediate opposition. However, their statement of purpose, declaring that the club is exclusively for vegans, vegetarians, and pescatarians, creates friction within the office.
A Divisive Rule
Many workers feel excluded by this rule, despite the dinner menu being completely vegan. Questions surface about the logic of excluding meat-eaters if the food isn’t meat-based. Confronted about this, Jane becomes distant, insisting that the Vegan Dinner Club is about lifestyle, not just food.
The office turns into a battlefield, with employees taking sides. Rather than take the issue to HR, those opposed to the exclusive nature of the Vegan Dinner Club choose a different course of action. Inspired by the concept of a dinner club, they devised their idea.
The Counter Club
OP and his allies create the “Burger and Steak Club” for meat-eaters, aiming to try different steak or burger joints each week. Like the Vegan Dinner Club, they restrict their membership to meat-eaters, citing it as a lifestyle and culinary club. This provocative move further fuels the divide.
Soon after, the Vegan Dinner Club files a complaint with HR against the new club, labeling it as exclusionary and offensive to their lifestyle. They argue that eating meat should not be classified as a lifestyle. Despite the controversy, HR approves the meat-eaters-only club, quickly making matters worse.
Weekly Meaty Feasts
Unphased, the Burger and Steak Club begins weekly excursions to various burger and steak venues, providing a well-deserved break from the grueling work schedule. These trips create a rift, with the vegan and meat-eater groups growing further apart.
The Broken Friendship
Jane, previously a good friend of OP’s, now refuses to engage with him. She spends her time exclusively with her Vegan Dinner Club members, despite the office’s intention of promoting camaraderie and a friendly environment. This shift in social dynamics makes for an awkward work environment.
OP turns to Reddit, asking if he is the antagonist for his meat-eaters-only club. This question opens up a debate forum, leading to varied perspectives.
Although not explicitly mentioned, the growing divide clearly impacts office productivity and communication. Teams that once collaborated seamlessly now find themselves unable to bridge the gap, with meat-eaters and vegans sticking strictly to their own. The workplace started to feel like a teenage sitcom.
There is only one possible compromise. If the clubs will maintain their culinary focus but drop their exclusivity rules, allowing anyone to join, it should lessen the tension. The damage done to relationships and the overall workplace may not be redeemable.
The Lesson Unlearned
OP remains unsure about his role in the office debacle. The Reddit community offers mixed responses, further muddying his perspective. One thing is clear: the company’s attempt at building a vibrant workplace culture backfired.
Was Creating A Meat Lovers Club Behavior Appropriate?
The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter. Here are some of their responses:
One reader said, “If the vegan dinner club explicitly excluded people who eat meat, you aren’t the problem.”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote: “By approving the first club, they created a division amongst employees. What if I want to learn about veganism but am not currently vegan? I can’t join. This is a major oversight by HR.”
A Third View on The Story
A different person states, “You got your feelings hurt and made a club meant to provoke and offend. Grow up.”
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another viewpoint on the story: “You did this not to create a valuable club, but to undermine the existence of a niche club.”
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.