Friday, April 21, 2006

To My Concerned Co-Workers

I would like to let you in on something: There is a difference between "broke" and "not spending money." Usually, one stops spending money in order to prevent becoming broke. I am not broke. I am simply not spending money.

Earlier this week one of my bosses wanted to do our monthly lunch thing (there are two of us newbies that have to go with him for these 'lunch-chats'). I'm never excited about this because 1.) I have to pay for it and 2.) It's my lunch break, but I have to spend it talking about work stuff. I like my boss, but if he wants to insist that I have to go out to lunch with him, then he should pay. And maybe it should count as work time so that I can go home a little earlier. But that's all beside the point.

When my newbie co-worker told me that the bossman wanted to do the lunch thing this week, I told him we'd have to wait til after we got paid on Friday, cause I didn't have any money budgeted for lunches out this week. Co-worker said fine, told the boss - and I thought that would be the end of it.

Three days later, half of the reference staff now think that I'm on the edge of poverty. I've gotten offers for snacks. I've gotten comments about the fact that I somehow had enough money to travel to Europe last month, but that I don't have money to eat now. I've gotten countdowns for the last three days, with people reassuring me that payday is only a few days away. I've had offers from people to take me out to lunch. The only one that I accepted was from the other newbie - and only because he owed me lunch since I bought his a couple of weeks ago. When a couple of us went downtown and I put 10 cents in the parking meter, one of the women said she felt guilty because she "knows that money is tight" for me right now. And my boss - the one who wanted to go out to lunch - has had more than one comment to make about my money situation.
There are a few points that I would like to make:
  1. I am on a budget. This does not mean that I am one paycheck away from moonlighting on street corners. It means that I can't indiscriminately spend money.
  2. I do not feel it is worth getting into my savings account so that I can go eat Chinese buffet food. Yes, I have a savings account. There's not much there, and that's why I don't feel the need to use it at the moment.
  3. While I enjoy eating out - and I love to socialize with most of the people I work with - I know that if I want to afford another vacation then I can't eat out every day. It's called priorities, people.
  4. My boss does not need to have updates on the state of my checkbook, and while I'm sure that his financial advice is sound, I don't want it unsolicited.
  5. The comments of "I bet you're glad we got paid today" really need to stop.
  6. Do I look like I'm starving? I'm a size 14 for goodness sake.
  7. I don't feel that eating canned soup for lunch is something to worry about. I actually like Progresso's Minestrone.
  8. Going out to eat for lunch should not be this big of a deal. Really.
  9. You all need to find something else to obsess about. Go back to worrying about newbie-coworker's lack of a girlfriend.
I think that's it for now. I've had more conversations about food this week - and not the "what are you fixing for dinner tonight" variety - than is good for my sanity. I know this shows that people are concerned, but the cynical part of me realizes that this is great gossip fodder - and everyone wants some of it. It's not as juicy as last week when I was a little nauseous (a monthly occurence for me), though. Pregnancy rumors still trump every other kind.


Karen said...

LOL. That's funny and sweet at the same time. Then, I'm not the one living through it.

Want to really give them something to talk about, stop splurging for the Progresso and switch to the store brand. Leave pennies on the floor and "race" to pick them up when you see them. Ask a few co-workers if they know anyone having a yard sale soon. Oh, I could go on... but I won't.

Psst... happy payday!

Loribelle Hunt said...

Omg lol. I think you probably handled it better than I would. I'd be lecturing the whole office about budgets and how bad most restaurant food is for you lol.

Goeve said...

wow, drifted from anothers blog page ...
I've worked in offices such as yours and they can be brutal. Great show of patience btw and your boss needs HR to shove a boot up their rear - way out of line and you have every right to demand YOUR lunch especially if it is on your dime. Amazing.