I recently resigned from my position at work to take up a job offer interstate. This was for a variety of reasons, but it had little to do with where I was working (I liked it there), but was primarily due to personal circumstances.
That aside, as is common when someone leaves the workplace, they threw me a small farewell event. I’d worked there for 7 years, everyone knew I was allergic to dairy (the veganism was more recent and may have been forgiven).
What happened during my farewell? They bought a creamy chocolate cake and pastries.
No, I’m not even kidding.
This sums up the attitude of a lot of people I know. I’ve had problems with this for years. My employers were told up front when I started work there about my dairy allergy. They had to know in case of an emergency. But ever since I started work, they’ve ignored it. Every time we had to cater for a work function and I told them I needed dairy free food – they told me I was being difficult. Of course, they catered for the Muslim and Hindu staff in the department. Because heaven forbid you offend someone on religious grounds. But still, they refused to cater for someone who had a potentially life threatening food allergy. I’ll give them credit though, they realised what had happened very quickly when everyone except me was eating my “goodbye” cake. I got an apology.
Attitudes like this are rife. Nobody would dare refuse to cater for someone on religious grounds, because that would lead to calls of discrimination and would be all over the media. Yet, I fail to see how it is not discrimination to refuse to provide appropriate food for me on medical grounds when they’re already catering to people’s special religious needs.
I’m used to it, but I won’t pretend that it doesn’t frustrate me.
Time to fly away!