Do you complain when you get free stuff?

A lot of places like that (I’ve worked in one) track their inventory by counting cups at the end of the day. Handing you a cup of coffee might have thrown them off at the end of the day. Had it been me, I might have found a way to give you the coffee free anyway, but there might have been more to it than that.

Not sure if you’re referring to my post, but event-planning is one of my job functions and I can ASSURE you that the food we order for our lunches/dinners is NOT “crappy”. I eat at any establishment we’re considering BEFORE we order from them, and I take 3-4 other people with me so we can form a consensus.

We’re not talking 7-11 pre-fab sandwiches here. If it’s sandwiches, it’s usually Panera or Atlanta Bread or another deli in the area that makes superb sandwich platters.

The food we order may not be someone’s preference, but it ain’t crappy.


I don’t think it’s the food per se, but the forced socialization with coworkers. Considering that many conversations with coworkers steer back around to work, it is like you have to go the whole day without a mental break from work. I appreciate when they order food in (and I don’t complain, even if I don’t eat it), but I do resent having to have an unofficial work meeting on my break period. I’d rather go to Wendy’s and read a paperback.

I would never complain about something free out loud, but I’ll do it in my head. Gift certificates are a major pet peeve. Like when someone gives me a gift certificate to Panera. I don’t like Panera’s food. Moreover, I feel it is overpriced. If you give me a $5 gift cert to Panera, I will have to spend another $2 to get a full meal because it is so spendy. Also, if I am out with friends and one of them decides to spring for my meal because I’m not carrying any cash, or so we can split something, or just to be nice, it is kind of a pain to have to keep track of it in my head so I know to pay them back or catch their meal the next time. So that is a little annoying. But I would never say anything to anyone’s face about it, that’s just rude.

If you are requiring attendance, then it’s work and you should pay them.

My wife is required to be at the office for nine hours a day. She gets paid for only eight. The remaining hour is her “lunch hour,” which she is not allowed to take at the beginning or at the end of the day.

When management is being “generous” and providing food for some stupid event, and it goes over one hour, guess what? She has to stay late to make up for the time. And now you’re telling her she has no right to complain about the lousy food they’re forcing her to stay for?

Managers need to understand – our time is more important to us than their need to feel generous. Either pay us or let us go home. If you want us to stay, there should be no question; it should be on the clock. And no one should have to ask. It should be automatic.

Wow, you pay people for their time at lunch meetings? MY place doesn’t – and they like to schedule things for the lunch period. They don’t cater either – it’s “brown bag” meetings.

Maybe your employees want to go to an employee appreciation award event on their own time. I’ve never actually met anyone who wanted to go to those things on their own time, but all things are possible.

How can you tell? Here’s a handy way to determine if they appreciate your appreciation enough to want to go to it unpaid on their own time: they don’t ask “Do we have to clock out?”

I hate the entitlement attitude I see in business owners and CEOs.


I would actually look twice and make a point of bringing up items missed on a bill at a restaurant. If the management wants to treat me, let me know that and don’t look at me like I’m dumb for being honest about it.

Similar to the OP, I went to Friendly’s and they used a bunch of machinations to charge for a free sundae and charge too little for a non-free sundae. When I went to pay I asked about it and they assured me it was right; I was concerned about paying for everything, not that they have cheated me. The server said he hadn’t had a chance to explain the bill; I wasn’t an idiot for asking.

When I went to get my car checked up, they couldn’t find my key and offered to cut another one. In the meantime they found it but for the wait (maybe five minutes) they wanted to give me a certificate for a free oil change. Nah, no big deal.

(bolding mine) I think this woman is completely obnoxious. According to the OP, she got exactly what she wanted - she ordered it first and was only then told that she wouldn’t be charged. If I were in the same situation, I’d give the guy a big smile and thank him.

As far as other free stuff, it depends on the situation. I actually expect free food if someone expects me to work until, say, 9 p.m. and didn’t tell me about it until the day of. I won’t complain if I don’t get it; however, if you ask someone to work so far past their usual quitting time, I think it’s the least work can do to provide me with food, especially if I wasn’t expecting to work so late. As for other freebies, if I don’t want 'em, I just don’t take 'em. This applies not only to food at work, but also to those little gift bags they try to give you at the makeup counters at department stores. I hate those. The last thing I need is another little tiny nylon bag filled with samples I’ll never use.

As a sidenote, the only time I actually got tired of being offered freebies was when I was a bride. While I enjoyed being able to taste cake and wine and food for free, there were only so many pens, plastic bags and copies of Bride magazine I could handle. The area under my bed was stuffed full of plastic bags full of useless crap I never looked at. I hate that.