Maybe you can help me with a silly problem regarding office etiquette

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#1 Posted by JustPlainLucas (79096 posts) -

So on a semi-regular basis, I bring in donuts to work on Saturdays. There's a couple there who will cut into half a donut and leave the other half to dry out. When people see that other half of the donut, they know someone touched it, and usually they'll want their own donut as well, so what happens is that no one eats the other half and it dries out and gets tossed out the next day. That's my money they're wasting. What's even worse is that we suspect our boss is also the one that's taking a QUARTER of a donut! Who does that?!

If it was just me bothered by this, I wouldn't care, but I've chatted with several people at work about this and they're bothered by it too, although not to the same degree as I am (probably because I'm the one who's buying them). I've actually considered not buying donuts anymore because of this.

So, my problem is, how do I address this in a way where I'm not going to come off as not embarrassing the culprits or coming off as passive aggressive? It just seems weird to me to send out an email or address it at a staff meeting and say, "Whomever is taking half or a quarter of a donut and leaving the rest behind, please stop because you're wasting my money." My thought would be to get a box of donut holes as well so that if they don't feel like having a whole donut, they can have a hole or two. I also thought about getting a cake safe to keep the donuts stored in so the cut ones won't dry out as fast, but that doesn't solve the problem of the person who cut it touching it and putting it back...

I know this is stupid, but I need advice. Thanks.

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#2 Edited by Master_Live (19276 posts) -

The donuts holes are a good idea.

If I were to do it (I probably wouldn't), I would do it in playful jokingly manner in which you dig them but in good nature. If they continued after that then I would go with the with donuts holes, accept what its happening or stop bringing in the donuts.

Like you said, this isn't that important. But humor would be the best way to go about it I think.

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#3 Posted by kyleali11 (11820 posts) -

Buy a third of the normal amount of donuts you usually do, and cut them all in half.

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#4 Posted by mrbojangles25 (43039 posts) -

@JustPlainLucas said:

So on a semi-regular basis, I bring in donuts to work on Saturdays. There's a couple there who will cut into half a donut and leave the other half to dry out. When people see that other half of the donut, they know someone touched it, and usually they'll want their own donut as well, so what happens is that no one eats the other half and it dries out and gets tossed out the next day. That's my money they're wasting. What's even worse is that we suspect our boss is also the one that's taking a QUARTER of a donut! Who does that?!

If it was just me bothered by this, I wouldn't care, but I've chatted with several people at work about this and they're bothered by it too, although not to the same degree as I am (probably because I'm the one who's buying them). I've actually considered not buying donuts anymore because of this.

So, my problem is, how do I address this in a way where I'm not going to come off as not embarrassing the culprits or coming off as passive aggressive? It just seems weird to me to send out an email or address it at a staff meeting and say, "Whomever is taking half or a quarter of a donut and leaving the rest behind, please stop because you're wasting my money." My thought would be to get a box of donut holes as well so that if they don't feel like having a whole donut, they can have a hole or two. I also thought about getting a cake safe to keep the donuts stored in so the cut ones won't dry out as fast, but that doesn't solve the problem of the person who cut it touching it and putting it back...

I know this is stupid, but I need advice. Thanks.

How many people in your office? You could just address the situation by standing up and saying out loud "Please don't take half the donuts. Eat a whole one or find someone to split it with"

  • Bring donut holes; every week we get donuts, there's about a dozen donut holes in there for people that don't want a whole donut, but only want the hole of donut (nyuk nyuk nyuk...). The problem here is people won't be happy with the plain donut hole...no no no, they want half of the maple glazed or blueberry or half of the crawler. So I doubt that'd work.
  • Tell your coworkers to stop being little bitches. So someone broke a donut in half, big deal. If it's an office environment their hands are probably clean, and even if they're not, so what? You won't get sick or poisoned or die from it, it's not that gross. Next you'll be telling me you disapprove of double-dipping (kidding! double-dipping is only acceptable with family and really close friends).
  • Write a note saying "Please don't use hands to cut donuts in half, please use the provided plastic forks and knives." I am sure you could ask for these utensils at the donut shop.
  • You could suggest a "donut carpool", because for everyone that wants less than 1 donut, there's probably someone else that wants more than 1 donut. Have the "more than 1" person take the remains :P
  • Stop bringing donuts. Problem solved. As you said, it's your money.

Honestly I think, like most drama, this is totally unnecessary. Is it really that unappealing to touch a donut that's been touched before?

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#5 Posted by GTR12 (13348 posts) -

You got 3 options;

1. Pre-cut the donuts yourself.

2. Leave a note on the box, saying don't cut them or I wont be bringing in anymore donuts.

3. Don't bring in donuts anymore.

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#6 Posted by foxhound_fox (97651 posts) -

My wife actually talked about this a couple weeks ago, it seems like it's a problem in many workplaces.

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#7 Posted by JustPlainLucas (79096 posts) -
@mrbojangles25 said:
@JustPlainLucas said:

So on a semi-regular basis, I bring in donuts to work on Saturdays. There's a couple there who will cut into half a donut and leave the other half to dry out. When people see that other half of the donut, they know someone touched it, and usually they'll want their own donut as well, so what happens is that no one eats the other half and it dries out and gets tossed out the next day. That's my money they're wasting. What's even worse is that we suspect our boss is also the one that's taking a QUARTER of a donut! Who does that?!

If it was just me bothered by this, I wouldn't care, but I've chatted with several people at work about this and they're bothered by it too, although not to the same degree as I am (probably because I'm the one who's buying them). I've actually considered not buying donuts anymore because of this.

So, my problem is, how do I address this in a way where I'm not going to come off as not embarrassing the culprits or coming off as passive aggressive? It just seems weird to me to send out an email or address it at a staff meeting and say, "Whomever is taking half or a quarter of a donut and leaving the rest behind, please stop because you're wasting my money." My thought would be to get a box of donut holes as well so that if they don't feel like having a whole donut, they can have a hole or two. I also thought about getting a cake safe to keep the donuts stored in so the cut ones won't dry out as fast, but that doesn't solve the problem of the person who cut it touching it and putting it back...

I know this is stupid, but I need advice. Thanks.

How many people in your office? You could just address the situation by standing up and saying out loud "Please don't take half the donuts. Eat a whole one or find someone to split it with"

  • Bring donut holes; every week we get donuts, there's about a dozen donut holes in there for people that don't want a whole donut, but only want the hole of donut (nyuk nyuk nyuk...). The problem here is people won't be happy with the plain donut hole...no no no, they want half of the maple glazed or blueberry or half of the crawler. So I doubt that'd work.
  • Tell your coworkers to stop being little bitches. So someone broke a donut in half, big deal. If it's an office environment their hands are probably clean, and even if they're not, so what? You won't get sick or poisoned or die from it, it's not that gross. Next you'll be telling me you disapprove of double-dipping (kidding! double-dipping is only acceptable with family and really close friends).
  • Write a note saying "Please don't use hands to cut donuts in half, please use the provided plastic forks and knives." I am sure you could ask for these utensils at the donut shop.
  • You could suggest a "donut carpool", because for everyone that wants less than 1 donut, there's probably someone else that wants more than 1 donut. Have the "more than 1" person take the remains :P
  • Stop bringing donuts. Problem solved. As you said, it's your money.

Honestly I think, like most drama, this is totally unnecessary. Is it really that unappealing to touch a donut that's been touched before?

Roughly 10-15 on any given day. Yeah, the issue with donut holes is that they're only plain, chocolate, jelly or powdered, so there's no specialty flavors like the regular donuts. I like the idea of the donut carpool. Maybe I'll suggest that if someone's going to take half a donut, find someone who will take the other half. And yeah, it shouldn't be that big of a deal that someone touches a donut, but we work at a library so everyone's a bit worried about germs.

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#8 Posted by omegaMaster (1133 posts) -

I have never encountered this problem before. Most of the people are men in my workplace and they take the whole thing. That's a really annoying situation to be in. Here are my suggestions:

1) Bring fewer doughnuts

2) Bring mini/small doughnuts (highly recommended. No more people cutting in half)

3) Write a note saying 'DO NOT cut the doughnuts. Take ONE or f**k off!'

4) If all the above fails, don't bring doughnuts in. You're wasting your money.

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#9 Posted by VagrantSnow (145 posts) -

Buy cakes or smaller doughnuts instead.

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#10 Posted by JustPlainLucas (79096 posts) -
@foxhound_fox said:

My wife actually talked about this a couple weeks ago, it seems like it's a problem in many workplaces.

God damn... I wish there was a Tim Horton's in Denver. I've always been curious about them. Have you had Dunkin? If so, how do they compare?

@omegamaster said:

I have never encountered this problem before. Most of the people are men in my workplace and they take the whole thing. That's a really annoying situation to be in. Here are my suggestions:

1) Bring fewer doughnuts

2) Bring mini/small doughnuts (highly recommended. No more people cutting in half)

3) Write a note saying 'DO NOT cut the doughnuts. Take ONE or f**k off!'

4) If all the above fails, don't bring doughnuts in. You're wasting your money.

Yeah, I was thinking bringing fewer as well. I usually bring in two dozen. There's a little less than a dozen left over at the end of the day, so if there's only a dozen and someone leaves a half, maybe someone will feel more inclined to take the other half when the dozen runs out. And I wish Dunkin made smaller donuts as well (but larger than the holes). I think that would have been perfect.

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#12 Posted by Serraph105 (33321 posts) -

@JustPlainLucas: If you're buying donuts for the office you shouldn't really concern yourself about whether they all get eaten or not "because money". You should really only be concerned with what your initial goal is, which, I assume, is making people happy. The money is gone either way.

The donut holes might solve the problem though.

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#13 Posted by watercrack445 (1170 posts) -

Install a small camera. Or maybe just bring munchkins so everyone will eat a whole piece. Unless somebody cuts that too....not sure who would cut munchkins in half.

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#14 Posted by JustPlainLucas (79096 posts) -
@Serraph105 said:

@JustPlainLucas: If you're buying donuts for the office you shouldn't really concern yourself about whether they all get eaten or not "because money". You should really only be concerned with what your initial goal is, which, I assume, is making people happy. The money is gone either way.

The donut holes might solve the problem though.

Yeah, that's a good frame of mind. I guess I really shouldn't worry. Whether it's eaten as a whole or cut in half and the other half dries out, that donut is officially eliminated from the selection, so there's really no money being "wasted". I honestly feel donut holes will be the best solution. Thanks!

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#15 Edited by Gaming-Planet (19794 posts) -

Don't say it's a waste of your money, instead tell them to be courteous of others and to grab the whole donut because others won't be comfortable grabbing someone else's half. If they don't want to eat the whole thing, that's fine. They could just bring the other half or quarters of it back home.

Remember, people make mistakes and not everyone knows that their habits are bad habits. Sometimes it's our job to point them out because no one else will.

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#16 Posted by Serraph105 (33321 posts) -

@JustPlainLucas said:
@Serraph105 said:

@JustPlainLucas: If you're buying donuts for the office you shouldn't really concern yourself about whether they all get eaten or not "because money". You should really only be concerned with what your initial goal is, which, I assume, is making people happy. The money is gone either way.

The donut holes might solve the problem though.

Yeah, that's a good frame of mind. I guess I really shouldn't worry. Whether it's eaten as a whole or cut in half and the other half dries out, that donut is officially eliminated from the selection, so there's really no money being "wasted". I honestly feel donut holes will be the best solution. Thanks!

Alternatively, you could stick it to your coworkers by mailing me the donuts.

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#17 Posted by LJS9502_basic (165927 posts) -

Eh not sure what the big deal is actually. Whether they eat an entire donut or half a donut the product is still consumed so to speak. If it's going to bother you then just don't bring donuts anymore.

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#18 Posted by shellcase86 (4252 posts) -

@Gaming-Planet said:

Don't say it's a waste of your money, instead tell them to be courteous of others and to grab the whole donut because others won't be comfortable grabbing someone else's half. If they don't want to eat the whole thing, that's fine. They could just bring the other half or quarters of it back home.

Remember, people make mistakes and not everyone knows that their habits are bad habits. Sometimes it's our job to point them out because no one else will.

This is a great point of view, and one I find to be true most of the time. Generally, people aren't out to annoy you or do you wrong, they're simply unaware of the impact their behavior has.

I'd go with writing a note in plain language, appealing to courteousness of others.

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#19 Posted by Byshop (19396 posts) -

@LJS9502_basic said:

Eh not sure what the big deal is actually. Whether they eat an entire donut or half a donut the product is still consumed so to speak. If it's going to bother you then just don't bring donuts anymore.

Yeah. I mean the alternative would be to take the entire doughnut but only eat half of it, which still wastes the other half. I get where the OP is come from but I also get where the office workers are coming from. A whole doughnut feels like a lot of sugar in the morning, especially one with cream, frosting, sprinkles, whatever. Personally I tend to just avoid doughnuts altogether.

Sorry, I don't have a solution to this problem. Smaller doughnut options would be good but they don't came in many flavors. Pre-cutting the doughnuts only really works with certain kinds, like ones that aren't filmed with cream.

-Byshop

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#20 Edited by Sevenizz (2810 posts) -

Timbits solve your donut crisis. They’re cheaper, more of them, better variety, and if someone cuts a timbit in half - then you know you’re dealing with a mentally ill individual and HR should be notified immediately.

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#21 Posted by foxhound_fox (97651 posts) -

@JustPlainLucas said:

God damn... I wish there was a Tim Horton's in Denver. I've always been curious about them. Have you had Dunkin? If so, how do they compare?

I haven't found one to stop at down in the US yet, but I've heard their coffee is the best you can find in the US aside from Starbucks. Not sure about their other stuff, but I'll let you know if I ever do get to try them.

Tim Horton's isn't as good as it once was. Everything is pre-made, frozen, then shipped in and thawed out and warmed up. I get why they do it (cost) but nothing beats homemade donuts/muffins/cookies/etc in-store, hot and fresh.

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#22 Posted by Volsung (54 posts) -
@foxhound_fox said:
@JustPlainLucas said:

God damn... I wish there was a Tim Horton's in Denver. I've always been curious about them. Have you had Dunkin? If so, how do they compare?

I haven't found one to stop at down in the US yet, but I've heard their coffee is the best you can find in the US aside from Starbucks. Not sure about their other stuff, but I'll let you know if I ever do get to try them.

Tim Horton's isn't as good as it once was. Everything is pre-made, frozen, then shipped in and thawed out and warmed up. I get why they do it (cost) but nothing beats homemade donuts/muffins/cookies/etc in-store, hot and fresh.

It's funny. That's pretty much the universal sentiment online. But when I drive by the local stores not only are the drive throughs full but also the line consistently spills out onto the actual road.

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#23 Posted by SOedipus (11274 posts) -

@volsung: It’s the same sentiment in person too. The quality of their coffee has only been going downhill. People need their fix though, and it’s cheap.

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#24 Posted by foxhound_fox (97651 posts) -

@volsung said:

It's funny. That's pretty much the universal sentiment online. But when I drive by the local stores not only are the drive throughs full but also the line consistently spills out onto the actual road.

Despite the drop in quality, it's still the healthiest fast food you can buy in Canada.

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#25 Posted by Horgen (119422 posts) -

@foxhound_fox said:
@JustPlainLucas said:

God damn... I wish there was a Tim Horton's in Denver. I've always been curious about them. Have you had Dunkin? If so, how do they compare?

I haven't found one to stop at down in the US yet, but I've heard their coffee is the best you can find in the US aside from Starbucks. Not sure about their other stuff, but I'll let you know if I ever do get to try them.

Tim Horton's isn't as good as it once was. Everything is pre-made, frozen, then shipped in and thawed out and warmed up. I get why they do it (cost) but nothing beats homemade donuts/muffins/cookies/etc in-store, hot and fresh.

Starbucks has good coffee?

@foxhound_fox said:

My wife actually talked about this a couple weeks ago, it seems like it's a problem in many workplaces.

Damn. I wish I had something like that here.

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#26 Posted by Volsung (54 posts) -
@foxhound_fox said:
@volsung said:

It's funny. That's pretty much the universal sentiment online. But when I drive by the local stores not only are the drive throughs full but also the line consistently spills out onto the actual road.

Despite the drop in quality, it's still the healthiest fast food you can buy in Canada.

Sure, if you're buying their soups and stuff. I wouldn't dare to try them now though, I had a BLT there a year ago and it was borderline inedible.

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#27 Posted by foxhound_fox (97651 posts) -

@horgen said:

Starbucks has good coffee?

In Canada and the US at least, lol. Are you one of those people that likes weak, brown water?

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#28 Posted by Horgen (119422 posts) -

@foxhound_fox said:
@horgen said:

Starbucks has good coffee?

In Canada and the US at least, lol. Are you one of those people that likes weak, brown water?

I prefer homemade. I think we only got one Starbucks at the main airport in my country. It wasn't worth the cost imo.

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#29 Posted by foxhound_fox (97651 posts) -

@horgen said:

I prefer homemade. I think we only got one Starbucks at the main airport in my country. It wasn't worth the cost imo.

Yeah, it's very overpriced (especially the espresso-based drinks) but it's good when you need a coffee and don't want to settle for garbage or can't get homemade.

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#30 Posted by Horgen (119422 posts) -

@foxhound_fox said:
@horgen said:

I prefer homemade. I think we only got one Starbucks at the main airport in my country. It wasn't worth the cost imo.

Yeah, it's very overpriced (especially the espresso-based drinks) but it's good when you need a coffee and don't want to settle for garbage or can't get homemade.

It would still be one of the last places I would go. Killing the smaller coffee shops.

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#31 Posted by MirkoS77 (13737 posts) -

Donut half-eaters are the worst. I’d say put a note on the box that says if you’re going to take some, take all. Or place a knife with a note to cut off only as much as you’re going to eat.

Down with the donut half eaters!

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#32 Posted by quadraleap (36576 posts) -

OMG (WTF) like the other portion of the donut is going to make them go wildly out of control of their diet or diabetes, etc. Ridiculous! If someone buys them a drink do they only drink half? lol

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#33 Posted by LJS9502_basic (165927 posts) -

@foxhound_fox said:
@horgen said:

Starbucks has good coffee?

In Canada and the US at least, lol. Are you one of those people that likes weak, brown water?

Starbucks is over priced.

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#34 Posted by shellcase86 (4252 posts) -

Since we're talking about Starbucks -- yes, they are overpriced, but they seem like a great employer.

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#35 Posted by Serraph105 (33321 posts) -

@MirkoS77 said:

Donut half-eaters are the worst. I’d say put a note on the box that says if you’re going to take some, take all. Or place a knife with a note to cut off only as much as you’re going to eat.

Down with the donut half eaters!

The weird thing is that I have no qualms about eating the other half of that donut. I couldn't care less if someone has touched it a little. I remember at some point that pizza was bought for the office (different job than I have now) and some guy got all pissy about me pulling two pieces apart so that I could have one because "Oh noes I touched it." Since then I have basically resolved to tell anyone like that that I simply don't have time for their bullshit and walk away because if you want to avoid shit like that you should avoid food bought for an entire group of people rather than sit their get pissy about others ruining things for you.

lol Maybe places just need to put that as criteria for being hired so they can make sure all the donuts get eaten.

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#36 Posted by Sancho_Panzer (563 posts) -

Smoosh them all up like mashy potatoes and leave out bowls and spoons.

Soak what's left overnight in brandy or vodka for a delicious breakfast treat.

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#37 Posted by JustPlainLucas (79096 posts) -
@quadraleap said:

OMG (WTF) like the other portion of the donut is going to make them go wildly out of control of their diet or diabetes, etc. Ridiculous! If someone buys them a drink do they only drink half? lol

Yeah... one of the co-workers who we believe to be our boss is super thin and does cross fit all the time. There's no way eating the other half would cause her to gain weight. Now, if she was having three or four at a time every time, then yeah...

@sancho_panzer said:

Smoosh them all up like mashy potatoes and leave out bowls and spoons.

Soak what's left overnight in brandy or vodka for a delicious breakfast treat.

Wow.. that sounds bizarre... yet delicious.

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#38 Posted by fireman64 (49 posts) -

@foxhound_fox said:

My wife actually talked about this a couple weeks ago, it seems like it's a problem in many workplaces.

I agree, happens all places where donuts are served. And no one wants to finish a half donut..

And depends on how assertive you want to get.. And who you could offend.

Most likely not worth the battle.. I'd quit bring them or share the burden.

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#39 Posted by X_Karen_x (362 posts) -

@fireman64:

My coworker got someone involved in very mess up situation once. It cause all type of health problem, problem with irs, amd insurance. I tell her it alway best to come clean because eventually it bite you in the end.

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#40 Posted by schu (9982 posts) -

Why don't you just figure out who likes the halves and tell them to split them...

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#41 Posted by comp_atkins (35401 posts) -

are the people not touching the other halves then proceeding to cut their whole ones in half and leave another half?

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#42 Posted by Jacanuk (17643 posts) -

@JustPlainLucas said:

So on a semi-regular basis, I bring in donuts to work on Saturdays. There's a couple there who will cut into half a donut and leave the other half to dry out. When people see that other half of the donut, they know someone touched it, and usually they'll want their own donut as well, so what happens is that no one eats the other half and it dries out and gets tossed out the next day. That's my money they're wasting. What's even worse is that we suspect our boss is also the one that's taking a QUARTER of a donut! Who does that?!

If it was just me bothered by this, I wouldn't care, but I've chatted with several people at work about this and they're bothered by it too, although not to the same degree as I am (probably because I'm the one who's buying them). I've actually considered not buying donuts anymore because of this.

So, my problem is, how do I address this in a way where I'm not going to come off as not embarrassing the culprits or coming off as passive aggressive? It just seems weird to me to send out an email or address it at a staff meeting and say, "Whomever is taking half or a quarter of a donut and leaving the rest behind, please stop because you're wasting my money." My thought would be to get a box of donut holes as well so that if they don't feel like having a whole donut, they can have a hole or two. I also thought about getting a cake safe to keep the donuts stored in so the cut ones won't dry out as fast, but that doesn't solve the problem of the person who cut it touching it and putting it back...

I know this is stupid, but I need advice. Thanks.

So how many half doughnuts do you see and how many are tossed out? do you notice if someone takes a whole and eats a quarter of it and then toss the rest out? Are we talking 20? 50? 500? 5000?

But if you are really bothered by it, just don´t bring in doughnuts and if people ask, tell them why or you could place a jar with a sign saying money for next Saturday's doughnuts and then you all split the bill even the ones only taking a half or a quarter.

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#43 Posted by Jacanuk (17643 posts) -

@foxhound_fox said:

My wife actually talked about this a couple weeks ago, it seems like it's a problem in many workplaces.

Hmm, never heard about it before to be fair, so not sure it´s a problem in many workplaces.

But I guess it´s also about chemistry if you don´t get along with your co-workers than small things like this can be a major pain, same goes for places with a low wage.

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#44 Posted by JustPlainLucas (79096 posts) -
@comp_atkins said:

are the people not touching the other halves then proceeding to cut their whole ones in half and leave another half?

That has happened, but they'll also take a quarter from a whole donut.

@Jacanuk said:

So how many half doughnuts do you see and how many are tossed out? do you notice if someone takes a whole and eats a quarter of it and then toss the rest out? Are we talking 20? 50? 500? 5000?

But if you are really bothered by it, just don´t bring in doughnuts and if people ask, tell them why or you could place a jar with a sign saying money for next Saturday's doughnuts and then you all split the bill even the ones only taking a half or a quarter.

It's usually one or two. Although, I remember once where someone cut open all the filled donuts to see what was in them, and then didn't take a single one. That one pissed me off. As far as I know, the donuts get thrown out (but I don't know what happens to the left overs for Sundays since I don't work Sundays).

But yeah, I was thinking of getting a contribution jar so I could bring them more often, because I do enjoy bringing in donuts. It just expensive after a while.

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#45 Posted by Jacanuk (17643 posts) -

@JustPlainLucas said:
@comp_atkins said:

are the people not touching the other halves then proceeding to cut their whole ones in half and leave another half?

That has happened, but they'll also take a quarter from a whole donut.

@Jacanuk said:

So how many half doughnuts do you see and how many are tossed out? do you notice if someone takes a whole and eats a quarter of it and then toss the rest out? Are we talking 20? 50? 500? 5000?

But if you are really bothered by it, just don´t bring in doughnuts and if people ask, tell them why or you could place a jar with a sign saying money for next Saturday's doughnuts and then you all split the bill even the ones only taking a half or a quarter.

It's usually one or two. Although, I remember once where someone cut open all the filled donuts to see what was in them, and then didn't take a single one. That one pissed me off. As far as I know, the donuts get thrown out (but I don't know what happens to the left overs for Sundays since I don't work Sundays).

But yeah, I was thinking of getting a contribution jar so I could bring them more often, because I do enjoy bringing in donuts. It just expensive after a while.

Good idea, and it won´t seem to strange and if people love you bringing those doughnuts then they would also love to contribute.

You could also talk to your boss and see if the employer wants to reimburse you and make the doughnuts a work benefit instead.