Author Topic: Save $2,000+ year by vulturing at work. Yes, there is such a thing as free lunch  (Read 9981 times)

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Catered lunch at work today, woohoo!

meatgrinder

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Here is an example of what I brought home last night from work....
This is a catering tray that still had probably 75% of the brown rice left in it.  I added in some of the other dishes that were left, curry chicken, some fried wings (yeah not exactly healthy) and some beef with noodles.  This was sitting out in our break room when I arrived at work.  I know it had been there long enough for those who wanted some to take what they wanted.  I put this tray together and put it in the fridge.  There was still a fair amount of food left out for those who wanted it, I did not take it all.  This tray weighed over 17 lbs.  Since I eat a lot of brown rice, this is a great score.  This food was literally rescued from going in the garbage because the rest of the food was thrown out.


This isn't vulturing food IMHO, this is maximizing a situation with a logical solution.

Wow...that haul is legendary.  Nice work.

Slee_stack

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Reducing waste is good.  Hoarding and preventing others from partaking is cheap and despicable.

There's a significant number of the latter at my workplace.  Their thought process is "I got here first, I will take as much as I want' and 'Too bad, so sad for you being late'.   Nasty people.   Load up their plate and others get nothing.  No shame about it either.  They'll even stash their excess in a fridge to bring home later.  Free lunch and free dinners!!  No free lunch for their co-worker though...fuck them!  It really is mind boggling.  I guess one hopes karma eventually evens things out.

I almost always skip trying to get any food because I just don't want to get frustrated by seeing the Vultures in action. 

Writer_Girl

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As an executive assistant, I order food for the building/meetings,whatever often. It means I get lots of free food, but it also means I have to guard it like a damn hawk until everyone eats.  Sometimes not everyone eats by 1:00 depending by what time the meeting end, and I have to put up signs or literally chase people away.  I always order extra and will almost always set it out for people when it's done, but we have to actively protect from vultures or people who take food home for their entire families. Honestly, there have been times we allow this if we have enough.)  There have been times where I step away and when I come back, I don't have enough food to even feed the people in the meeting!  It's really frustrating.  I obviously would love to feed everyone, but it isn't feasible.  Sounds like OP is a kind vulture so asks, and I'm down with that, but just a word of advice about vulturing...don't make it harder on the assistants who organize the meetings, please.

HAPPYINAZ

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My company has an app you can use to see where leftover food has been posted rather than hitting every floor's kitchen at 1:00pm. As a meeting owner, you are expected to move leftovers to the kitchen and post. There is food almost every day.

I love this!  Great way to reduce the amount of food that gets thrown away and helps out your workers!

jacric2001

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My last two companies (15 years total employment), would actually put out emails to employees about left overs. We are talking some good stuff from places like Panera Bread. The hospital I worked for had a kitchen and cafeteria and the food they made for the board and the physician meetings was very upgraded, not the regular fare. The only "bad" that happened is that people got too aggressive for a while and once ate the lunch that was waiting outside the room for the board lunch.

BuffaloStache

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Today a friend got an email from an Admin saying there was extra/free food. I showed up to the location, and there was TONS of leftover QDoba. The Admin said "Please take all that you can!"

Now I have lunch for a solid 2 days...

Dave1442397

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We had a co-worker we called the raccoon because of his scavenging habits. He was notorious for never chipping in for catered lunches (usually $5 for pizza and soda, or sandwiches, etc), but would somehow always show up to scavenge food right after lunch. The fact that he never paid was bad enough, but what really annoyed people was that he would take way more food than he could eat, and stash it in his desk until it went bad.

He also liked to swipe donuts when people brought them in. One day, he took four donuts out of the 24 available, and had them stacked on his desk. A co-worker walked by, saw the donuts, and grabbed one, saying "Oh, is that where all the donuts went? Thanks for saving me one!".  What makes it worse is that he was diabetic, so what the hell was he thinking when he took four donuts?

He's since been fired (for good reason). We've had multiple layoffs over the past few years, and the in-house food is no longer a thing, which suits me just fine. Now, when people want to celebrate birthdays, etc, they go out to happy hours after work.

GuitarStv

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We had a co-worker we called the raccoon because of his scavenging habits. He was notorious for never chipping in for catered lunches (usually $5 for pizza and soda, or sandwiches, etc), but would somehow always show up to scavenge food right after lunch. The fact that he never paid was bad enough, but what really annoyed people was that he would take way more food than he could eat, and stash it in his desk until it went bad.

He also liked to swipe donuts when people brought them in. One day, he took four donuts out of the 24 available, and had them stacked on his desk. A co-worker walked by, saw the donuts, and grabbed one, saying "Oh, is that where all the donuts went? Thanks for saving me one!".  What makes it worse is that he was diabetic, so what the hell was he thinking when he took four donuts?

He's since been fired (for good reason). We've had multiple layoffs over the past few years, and the in-house food is no longer a thing, which suits me just fine. Now, when people want to celebrate birthdays, etc, they go out to happy hours after work.

Food that goes bad is of no value.  Sounds like some form of hoarding impulse that the poor guy had.

Dave1442397

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We had a co-worker we called the raccoon because of his scavenging habits. He was notorious for never chipping in for catered lunches (usually $5 for pizza and soda, or sandwiches, etc), but would somehow always show up to scavenge food right after lunch. The fact that he never paid was bad enough, but what really annoyed people was that he would take way more food than he could eat, and stash it in his desk until it went bad.

He also liked to swipe donuts when people brought them in. One day, he took four donuts out of the 24 available, and had them stacked on his desk. A co-worker walked by, saw the donuts, and grabbed one, saying "Oh, is that where all the donuts went? Thanks for saving me one!".  What makes it worse is that he was diabetic, so what the hell was he thinking when he took four donuts?

He's since been fired (for good reason). We've had multiple layoffs over the past few years, and the in-house food is no longer a thing, which suits me just fine. Now, when people want to celebrate birthdays, etc, they go out to happy hours after work.

Food that goes bad is of no value.  Sounds like some form of hoarding impulse that the poor guy had.

I'd forgotten until you mentioned it, but after he was gone we discovered that he had been hoarding magazines in an empty cube on his aisle. They were mostly women's magazines brought in by co-workers and left out for people to take. He had filled four double-wide file cabinets with hundreds of magazines.

YttriumNitrate

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For 18 months I worked at a firm that had free food leftover from meetings almost every day. It was great, except for the fact that I gained 15 pounds in that time.

ice_beard

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Here is an example of what I brought home last night from work....
This is a catering tray that still had probably 75% of the brown rice left in it.  I added in some of the other dishes that were left, curry chicken, some fried wings (yeah not exactly healthy) and some beef with noodles.  This was sitting out in our break room when I arrived at work.  I know it had been there long enough for those who wanted some to take what they wanted.  I put this tray together and put it in the fridge.  There was still a fair amount of food left out for those who wanted it, I did not take it all.  This tray weighed over 17 lbs.  Since I eat a lot of brown rice, this is a great score.  This food was literally rescued from going in the garbage because the rest of the food was thrown out.


This isn't vulturing food IMHO, this is maximizing a situation with a logical solution.

Last night at work I ate the last of this food.  This produced dozens of work meals for me over the course of months.  Don't let good food go to waste!!

RetiredAt63

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Could also work on a college campus. There's always something going on, and very often, I'm sorry to say, the food gets tossed.

If there was left-over food at an event, I always asked for the left-overs for my students.  I was always allowed to take it.  My students really appreciated it!

everyredpenny

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It can work, but you must be shameless.  There was one guy in our building who was famous for this.  He appeared, as if from nowhere, at exactly the right time for any lunch meeting anywhere in a giant building. Everyone knew and joked.  As soon as he appeared on your floor, loitering aimlessly, you knew there was food somewhere.  People wondered how much of his day he spent stalking catering and looking for food. He was eventually laid off.

We have a guy like this.  His nickname is the human vulture.

Pizzabrewer

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It can work, but you must be shameless.  There was one guy in our building who was famous for this.  He appeared, as if from nowhere, at exactly the right time for any lunch meeting anywhere in a giant building. Everyone knew and joked.  As soon as he appeared on your floor, loitering aimlessly, you knew there was food somewhere.  People wondered how much of his day he spent stalking catering and looking for food. He was eventually laid off.

We have a guy like this.  His nickname is the human vulture.

Yeah you really don't want to be "that guy".

nick663

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I agree with what was said above about having to be shameless.  At every company the most aggressive food hounds were well known and had a reputation.  Unsurprisingly, those same people tended not to last long at the company... likely because they were spending too much time scavenging food instead of getting their work done.

4. If room is empty and/or the event is over, feast! If the training is still active, ask an admin if its ok to vulture some left over food. Don't take any food that has not had an opportunity to be eaten by the group and don't pretend to be a part of the group unless you want to feel like a mouth breather.
I find the 2nd example here to be problematic.  At a former company I would have potential customers visit that we were trying to impress and ultimately sell our products to.  Depending on the schedule of the day, we would either go out to lunch or have something catered in.  On more than one occasion someone uninvolved with the meeting popped in and interrupted us (mid discussion) to ask if they could help themselves to the leftover food.  An embarrassing distraction and something that did not reflect well on the organization.

I was good friends with a VP in that company along with most upper management.  Needless to say, the people that did that received feedback from their managers to never interrupt an active meeting again.

I'm fine with keeping food from going to waste but do not under any circumstance "vulture" an active training/meeting/etc.  At a minimum it's a distraction and at worst it could be a serious negative mark on your performance review (which will cost you a lot more than an $8 lunch).

Tarquin

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I'm unsure of why this is classified as 'badass'. MMM addresses this exact 'habit' in this blog post: Mr Money Mustache: Frugal vs. Cheap
https://gj837.app.goo.gl/w4fze4BStx9CcbV83

How is vulturing a 'badass' trait? That's a Cheap trait. Not frugal.
Seriously. Either stop, or never tell anyone that you're being 'Mustachian', as vulturing is a cheap & disgusting trait and will make Mustachianism look really bad.

Oh purlease! Is this about FI or being a 'mustachian' cult member? I couldn't care less what MMM says. If it saves money. I'm up for it. I consider being called 'cheap' a compliment and recognition that I'm doing something right.