my coworker acts like the food police

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A reader writes:

I’d like to ask some advice about what to do regarding a coworker who I think is TOTALLY crossing personal boundaries.

I work in an office that’s made up primarily of women, but the issue is with this one man who will not keep his thoughts about everyone else’s food choices to himself. He’s known by some of my coworkers to give them funny looks about whatever they happen to be eating, and I’ve heard him on numerous occasions offer up his opinion on various coworkers’ food choices completely unprovoked. This guy isn’t qualified in any way to be doling out nutrition advice – a fact I’m very much aware of because I’m in eating disorder recovery and have been going to a registered dietitian for nearly 3 years, so I have a lot of information stored in my brain – and even if he was, NO ONE ASKS HIM FOR HIS OPINION.

He’s yet to criticize my food choices (I rarely eat with other people in the office anyway … too much diet talk is triggering as hell), but I’ve often joked to friends outside of work that the day he does will be the day I get fired. I do know my other coworkers don’t appreciate it, and I know of at least one of them who has said that she actively tries to hide her eating from him because he’ll give disapproving looks.

Is there anything I can do about this guy without him having directly affected me? Being nosy about other people’s choices in general irritates me, but I hate that so many of the women that I work with get randomly harangued about their lunches for no reason (and with no consideration paid to their overall diet, which he obviously cannot see). I just feel like I can’t do anything since he hasn’t addressed me directly.

You can read my answer to this letter at New York Magazine today. Head over there to read it.

my coworker acts like the food police was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

HR

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December 6, 2016 at 03:36AM

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