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N1111

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Can't win with the people at work. I knew that going in but it still hurts all the same. I started a new job about a year ago. The culture in the office is very family oriented, as in a lot of people working there are the recipients of blatant nepotism. For most people this is a great thing as they have a lot in common with our coworkers - many even live in the same small town in the suburbs and hunt and eat crabs on the weekend. I know, because I have to overhear about it ALL - THE - TIME. All the while, I am over at my desk eating my breakfast of brown rice and broccoli and keeping to myself. I have tried to jump in to some conversations that I thought I would have a chance in, but quickly get "kicked out". I have slowly but surely become the dreaded "office vegan", which I have been before and it sucked before too. I never discuss food with them, and if they try and ask me why I don't eat something, I quickly shoot that conversation down because at a previous job I had made the mistake of being honest and I think we all know how that works out. At work is the only time I make the exception of not completely being myself. Which I think everyone has to do on some level or another with all sorts of lifestyle choices.
I recently visited a vegetarian/vegan dating site, and quickly noticed that many of the professions listed were "IT". Is it possible that the happiest vegan is one working mostly alone or at home. What are some thoughts on this? Is is possible to be a happy vegan working around a bunch of people that can't stand you because you're vegan?
 
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Rebecca68

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Not really sure if my comment would be helpful but I can understand it would be hard for you. It never seems to make sense to me why someone would judge another and not like them just based on the food they eat and the lifestyle they follow. I do believe vegans can be happy in a variety of jobs. I am studying to become teacher so I will be working around children and other adults all day. I am not sure how you can approach the situation as I havnt quite worked out the answer myself. I hope you can find some support on this forum as i do believe you are not alone on this issue and there will be likeminded people out there
 
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Emma JC

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This is only my opinion.... I would think that your office troubles have more to do with the nepotism than they do with your veganism. Certainly the veganism may exacerbate the situation.

My spouse works in an office full of non-vegans and doesn't have any issues. He is in IT. He just refrains from participating in the yearly BBQ and when pizza is ordered he just doesn't have any if they don't order a vegan one. He's not a huge fan of cake anyways so birthdays don't really present much of an issue for him.

I work from home so it is simpler for me, as you suggest.

Emma JC
 
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TofuRobot

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Another person in IT here... yeah - it would be a lot easier to work from home or alone, but that fact is probably why I choose not to. I know I need the human contact, whether I want it or not. But I could totally do without people cooking salmon and bacon in the kitchen(s) at work, or my fellow IT guy eating his sausage and egg/pancake breakfasts at his desk every other day, or people walking around with donuts and various other junk "food." But really, I don't socialize at work - no one that I "lunch" with (except for the cute vegan guy who works on the 3rd floor that I'm tempted to ask out to lunch the next time I see him, lol). The truth is, I don't eat much at work - when I do it's fruit, nuts, dates, and maybe some crackers or a piece of toast with tahini. I'm totally good with waiting till I get home.

I wonder if the vegan IT people are just the ones who happen to be on computers the most and need forums like this one to feel some sort sense of belonging... ?
 

Mom2vegan

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I'm very familiar with small towns and nepotism! Vegan or not, outsiders are excluded from a lot things. Also the opportunities for promotion in such workplaces are nil. I much prefer to work in larger towns, and in large corporations with a lot of diversity. I'm so very glad to have moved back to a metro area.

I work in a culturally diverse hospital and float to all the floors, eat in all the different break rooms and snack at the nurses stations. Only one person has noticed anything since I went vegan going on 1 month ago. She noticed I was having a black bean burger and asked if I was a vegetarian. I said "Yes but I don't want to advertise it." She asked a few questions and that was it. None of my colleagues working in my department know yet, and I'd rather they didn't so they won't feel the need to do anything special for me during special occasions. I'm positive they would be very supportive, I just don't like attention. There is a girl from India in our department and she's vegetarian so they already make sure there's something vegetarian at every potluck. I think she's going vegan secretly - she told me the other day she was trying to "cut back on dairy for digestive reasons".

Nobody notices my food doesn't have animal products in it - because everything looks normal. I haven't started eating tofu yet so that helps. Nobody knows my smoothies don't have dairy milk or that my chili doesn't have meat. Also it helps that I was on a strict weight loss diet for about a year before going vegan - I already packed all of my own food and never touched junk food, and ate a ton of fruit, so it's been easy so far for me to be a "closet vegan" LOL.
 
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N1111

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Another person in IT here... yeah - it would be a lot easier to work from home or alone, but that fact is probably why I choose not to. I know I need the human contact, whether I want it or not. But I could totally do without people cooking salmon and bacon in the kitchen(s) at work, or my fellow IT guy eating his sausage and egg/pancake breakfasts at his desk every other day, or people walking around with donuts and various other junk "food." But really, I don't socialize at work - no one that I "lunch" with (except for the cute vegan guy who works on the 3rd floor that I'm tempted to ask out to lunch the next time I see him, lol). The truth is, I don't eat much at work - when I do it's fruit, nuts, dates, and maybe some crackers or a piece of toast with tahini. I'm totally good with waiting till I get home.

I wonder if the vegan IT people are just the ones who happen to be on computers the most and need forums like this one to feel some sort sense of belonging... ?


I'm laughing as I'm reading the responses to the thread and there are several IT peeps... I think it is a good argument to work around others even when we have the choice not to. We are "supposed" to be social creatures, and I guess it is good for us. You absolutely need to ask the cute vegan guy on the 3rd floor out to lunch!