Do you complain when you get free stuff?

I was at Chipotle (mmmm, Chipotle) today and there was a woman in front of me who was quite obviously getting married today. She was in comfy clothes with an elaborate hairstyle and veil.

She ordered her food and when she got to the register the cashier didn’t charge her. She got a panicked look in her eye and started badgering the cashier about “why didn’t you charge me idon’tunderstandwhywhywhywhy”. Her friend was just kind of staring at her.

Manager guy comes over and says, slowly, using small words “I noticed you were celebrating something today… so I thought I might be nice and not charge you for your lunch…”. She looked at him like he had spiders crawling in his hair and grabbed her veil and said “Oh, you think??”.

Then she just kind of walked off with her food.*

Seriously? Who questions that? Especially if you’ve eaten at a Chipotle before. They LOVE to give away food. It’s good business. I know I go back there not just because the food is good.

I try to be as grateful as I can without drawing too much attention to freebies, in case I get someone in trouble.

*she later showed her ‘oddness’ by shouting her friends name across the crowded dining room 15 times (I counted) instead of standing up and walking the 30 feet over to her

I don’t know that I’d complain, but I might be puzzled. I certainly don’t eat at Chipotle to be aware that they give away a lot of freebies. I think I’d confirm that there was no confusion, and then be grateful, but non-attention getting.

My funny story about free food. Half a dozen of us went to one of those buffet places, where you pay for your food, and then go through the buffet. While standing in line, a manager came over and told the cashier that “these four people are free”. The whole group of us, and the cashier looked at her, wondering which four of us. She then upped to to all 6 of us being free. We were more surprised than grateful at that moment. We didn’t complain–although we later confirmed that she wouldn’t get in trouble for giving away so much free food at once. She did lecture us on leaving a tip based on the value of our meals–not what we paid. Had she not given us all free meals, I think we’d have split up the free meals so everyone paid $2 plus tip, rather than a couple of us pay full price, and the rest eating free. Other funny part of story–she looked over at us, saw that a guy was really tall-- wondered how he compared to one of the members of our group–then realized that the guy next to the really tall one was a buddy of the tall guy. She then walked over and realized that she knew the rest of the group, well enough to offer us all a free meal.

I suspect the bride to be was experiencing a bit of sensory overload. Really, too much to think about, and she said the wrong thing.

To bad for the nice manager at Chipoties, but he probably understands.

I know that when I got married, while I was at the ‘alter’ I experienced a kind of tunnel vision. I could see my Wife, and her cousin (the minister) but that was about it.

Unless…. She got stood up at the alter, and then her friends took her out to lunch to make up for it :smiley:

A lady doesn’t eat steak burritos until the night of the wedding.

This happens All. The. Time. at my office. Free food usually comes in two forms:

  1. a lunch given to employees by management for some reason or another - training sessions, end-of-month stress relief (mortgage business), vendor-provided party (holidays); or

  2. leftover food from an executive meeting.

It never fails. “Why did you order from XYZ instead of PDQ?” (Well - the VENDOR was KIND enough to provide about $5K of excellent Italian food - I’m SO sorry it’s not to your liking!)

“Why do we have Chinese instead of sandwiches or Italian or spotted dick & toad in the hole?” (Well - the manager, who was KIND enough to provide this lunch for the allegedly excellent work you’re all doing at the end of the month ASKED that Chinese be ordered. I’m SORRY you can’t find something you like for the 15 vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes offered)

“If they’re ordering sandwiches, can we get some without mayonnaise/mustard/bread/whatever?” (Well - no. I’m not going to ask a caterer to provide 3.4 sandwiches without mayonnaise/mustard/bread/whatever because YOU asked, because then I’ll have to ask for whatever other people have decided they have to have as well)

I find it ironic that the ONLY person in the ENTIRE company who has NEVER complained in one form or another is the Jewish man who keeps Kosher and can’t eat the usual catered food we bring in!


The calling of her friend’s name 15 times 30 feet away and odd/slow/obtuse reaction to the cashier screams, “DRUNK BRIDE!!!” to me. Didn’t seem like she was complaining, just utterly confused.

:confused: I thought that was tube steak.

Depends on whether it comes with ranch sauce.

Ditto. It’s happened every time the company springs for food, at different jobs. Mind-boggling to me.

What really gets me, though, is that there’s this type of person who’ll bitch you up one side and down the other about failings of whatever free stuff you’re giving them, but charge them a small price and…they’re happy. It’s really weird.

Freebies make all the difference on wether I keep doing business with someone.

Arby’s drivethrough the other day I ordered 5 roastbeef. I drive around to pay with my debit/checking card. Their system is down.

What I could have got: “Sorry, systems for cards is down. We can only take cash. Do you have cash? Can you come back with some?”

What I got: Manager at window, “I apologize completely but out card system is down today. Here is your food free of charge. Please come back to continue doing business with us. Sorry for any inconvenience.”

Makes “all” the difference.

IF the lunch is being provided by work because I am expected to be there over my lunch hour for some sort of meeting or deadline or something, I am not going to be grateful and I am going to complain if they made bad choices. That is not a free lunch.

Of course it is. If you don’t like the choice, bring your own food. You are getting paid for your time and that is compensation enough.

I run a company and my response to anyone that complains while I am providing FREE food for a meeting that they are getting paid for is “by all means, feel free to bring your own.” Amazing how often they manage to eat what is provided.

Worse is when I have something catered for an employee appreciation reward. I hear, “Do we have to clock out?”

Huh? You can’t appreciate the fact that I fed you, you also want me to pay you for eating it?

I hate the entitlement attitude that has become the norm.

Only one time in my life have I ever been really irritated at NOT being given something for free, and it was under $2. I was picking up fifteen dozen bagels at 6:30 in the morning (pre-ordered, I am not a jerk!) and I told the lady I wanted a cup of coffee, but that it would have to be rung up speratly, as the other reciept would be reimbursed. So she did! She charged for for a cup of coffee! I dunno why that irritated me so much (not that it showed), but it just seemed like if I was buying that many damn bagels AND it had to be a seperate transaction, she could have just handed me a cup.

If you are saleried, the expectation is that you get a period of time in the middle of the day where you are free to do what you want–go have lunch, read in your office, whatever. Sometimes professionals sacrifice that option for the greater obligation to get their overall job done, but it’s still giving something up. Free food is a token aknowledgement of that, and if it’s crappy, it’s a crappy token adknowledgement, which chaps.

Do you get pissed at ungrateful employees if they don’t go to the event? Is it politically important that they be there, if they want to advance? I can see the irritation when you have to clock out of a job that you’s like to get paid for to go (for free) to an event you don’t value to eat food you don’t like.

I hate the entitlement attitude that has become the norm.

Is it possible this was a bachelorette party and that she wasn’t really eating at chipotle’s on her wedding day?

Thank you, seconded here. I am salaried but I am still very jealous of my time vs. company time, and I hate lunchtime meetings. I don’t want to eat their lousy sandwiches in return for losing an hour of my time. I’d rather work an hour later in the evening; I need that hour in the middle of the day to refresh my mental state (and burn some calories going for a walk).

Do you give them a warning beforehand? (“We’re serving _______ tomorrow for a lunch meeting”) or is it a “nifty surprise”?
There’s a lot of stuff I do not eat, free or not. And if I’ve planned to run out to lunch to buy something I do eat and instead I’m stuck in a meeting with food I won’t, I get a bit annoyed (every so often, I’ll decide to give it the old college try, have a bite, realize I was right, and get annoyed at the waste of food. Not annoyed enough to choke it down, but annoyed).
I do try not to complain about it, I just don’t eat it. It really isn’t the plus that some managers and owners seem to think it is.

Save your money on the food if your going to order something they don’t like. There’s no point in buying food, if it’s going to be with the atitude of punishment. I’ll teach you for eating on the company during your lunch, with the clients, I’ll just order what you don’t like.

I knew teenagers in the military who were given free houses and complained about them. Ungrateful grumble

At work sometimes we are allowed to leave early or come in late because of severe weather. If you already drove in before they decided to let people come in late, then that’s the way the cookie crumbles. If you left before they decided to let people go home early, same thing. Yet I have coworkers who will massage their timecards so that they also get the same amount of time off.

There’s a difference between crappy food, and food that a couple of people just don’t like. Oddly enough, the people I work with have been complaining lately that our manager hasn’t provided a special lunch for the last couple of lunchtime meetings. (Our meetings are held in a jail facility where something resembling lunch is provided and eaten by most of my coworkers every day) I can understand why he doesn’t- because with this bunch the only way he could possibly satisfy all 25 people would be to take 25 individual orders and probably go to 10 different restaurants.