The Forbidden Salad

, , , , | Working | August 19, 2019

(My store has a space upstairs that we rent out for corporate events. Between the coffee shop in the building and leftovers from those corporate things, it’s pretty common for us employees to end up getting free snacks. One day, I’m working a half-shift as a greeter when a man in a suit comes up to me holding two prepackaged salads.)

Corporate Guy: “Hey! We’re renting, and we just let out for the day. Do you want a free lunch?”

(I’m pleasantly surprised, both by free food that hasn’t spent a few hours on the break room table and the fact that he walked halfway across the store to deliver it.)

Me: “Sure! Thank you so much!”

(The guy wanders off towards the checkout area, leaving me with my salad. About half an hour later, my replacement comes and I head to the customer service counter to clock out for my break.)

Coworker: “Are you going on lunch, [My Name]?”

Me: “Yep! And look, I have a whole meal this time!”

(I show him my salad, and he frowns.)

Coworker: “Where did you get that?”

Me: “One of the corporate rental guys. It was a leftover.”

Coworker: “You’re not allowed to take that.”

Me: “What? We get free food all the time.”

Coworker: “But that’s from the managers. This is a tip. We’re not allowed to accept tips.”

Me: “It’s not a tip, dude. This is just leftover food. It’s exactly the same as if they’d given it to the managers to give to us.”

Coworker: “But we’re not allowed to accept tips. I’m going to have to report you.”

Me: “Why? [Coworker], you’re overthinking this, seriously.”

(At this exact moment, the customer service supervisor happens to walk by.)

Supervisor: *checking schedule* “Hey, [My Name]. Did you go on your lunch break yet?”

Me: “Not yet. I was just about to go eat this free salad.”

(I show him the salad, while my coworker draws breath to speak.)

Coworker: “[Supervisor], she took a—“

Supervisor: “Nice choice.” *points to the employee shelf, where the other salad box is sitting, and winks* “You’ve got good taste. Enjoy your break!”

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