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Co-worker doesn't respect my frugality

October 4th, 2008 at 05:19 pm

Since I've started my new job, I've struggle to try to fit in. I'm a loner by nature but I know that until people get to know you, being a loner can be mistaken for being stand-offish so try to come out of my shell a little, at least until my probation is up.Smile

The lady who works on my team is the one I am having the most difficult time with. She is very social and is constantly wanting to buy gifts for people for this and that for which I am expected to chip in, she wanted us to buy company shirts so we could dress alike (*sigh*) and she always wants to go out to lunch. Most of the time I turn her down. She rarely wants to do something that doesn't cost money. I do not go to work just so I can spend it all on trivial things.

I bring my lunch every day. Every day. Such is my state of financial affairs. I have went out to lunch a couple of times with the group but apparently they go out a couple of times a month for these lunches and I can see that this will get real expensive real fast. Last time, the birthday lunch cost me $26 dollars which is more than I usually spend on lunch in 2 weeks time.

Last week, I politely declined to go out with the gang. No one else seemed to care but this particular co-worker rolled her eyes and accused me of being difficult to get to know.


The new challenge is that she texts me constantly usually to let me know that she has arrived and for me to let her know if I'm enroute and when I am expected. I do not have unlimited texting on my phone and these texts cost me. I was looking at my cell bill today and I'm going to have to tell her to knock off the text pages; I bet she'll think I'm just being a meanie. Any suggestions for how I can approach this subject for someone who is basically clueless?

12 Responses to “Co-worker doesn't respect my frugality”

  1. onesexylady Says:

    I would go out to lunch and discuss not all your personal business but at least make it known to her that you aren't in a state to eat out so frequently. If I were you I would make it seem like it was embarassing to bring this to the for front. Kind of hard to explain but so she'll see it as OOOO OKay I understand now your fiances don't allow you too and not just she's a antisociable "BITCH" pardon my french

  2. thriftorama Says:

    I have the same problem with texts. I have to pay 75 cents each for a message, and I have told people not to text me, but they do anyway. Probably because they are so used to texting everyone else.

    It is hard to work with folks like that. You aren't the only one who has been like this.

    I find if you flat out say either "I can't afford it" or "I'm saving up for a " it works.

  3. disneysteve Says:

    If you don't use texting, you can call your carrier and have it disabled on your phone. If there is just one person who keeps texting you, I would tell them that they need to stop since it costs you money every time they text you.

    As for the coworker, I would explain that you prefer not to spend your money on eating out and the other things that she does. Don't make it sound like she's wrong to do so. Just make it clear that your financial situation and priorities are different.

  4. ME2 Says:

    I agree with Steve. I wouldn't cave in and go out to lunch and then explain that you don't want to spend your money that way. It would kind of make you look like a hypocrite.

  5. frugaltexan75 Says:

    At my company the ladies usually get together after work once a month or so. Every one except for me drinks. I don't want to single myself out (more than I already am) so I go along and either order one soda (usually free at bars) once in awhile I'll get one virgin daiquiri (depends on my budget), then drink water until it looks like I've stayed long enough to appear "sociable" or the others appear to be getting quite silly due to alcohol. Sometimes the others order food along with the drinks - but I still just order the drink. I can socialize just fine with soda or water.

    Something else we do at my company is have office potlucks. The bigwigs (i.e. men, i.e managers) usually donate $5 - 10 towards food costs, and then the ladies sign up for food dishes to bring. Then at lunchtime we all enjoy each others creations and sit around and talk and laugh. This happens maybe 4 or 5 times a year.

    So . . maybe you could find a way to bring up the idea of an office potluck? Or maybe you could go out to lunch with the others - but eat a really good sized breakfast, then get just an appetizer or something small at lunch - go maybe two or three times a month. Or if you notice other people who tend to bring their lunches, maybe you could get together with them and take turns bringing in food to share. A couple of my coworkers do that - they all eat meat, and I don't, so I haven't been included in it.

    And like DisneySteve said, all you have to do to stop unwanted text messages completely is to ask your phone company to block text messages. You may also be able to block specific numbers from texting you as well.

  6. nanda603 Says:

    There is nothing wrong with stating that you prefer to bring your lunch to work insted of going out. You don't even have to make it about money. I personally love walking to the park across the street and reading a book while enjoying my lunch. You could always suggest taht your coworkers join you. some of the more gregarious women at my job spend a lot of time together in the kitchen preparing their lunches which they then take to their desks and eat. Luchtime can be social without being costly.

  7. gamecock43 Says:

    you will learn. There are many many people on this earth who do not understand the concept of money. At all. I have run into these people many times. You just learn ways to recognize em and subtly avoid em.

  8. fern Says:

    A woman like that would drive me completely crazy. I completely sympathise with you, i really do.

    I agree that it might be necessary, to get her off your back, to tell her, either privately or in a group setting, that you don't want to spend money on eating out so much becus you are saving up for something, something that she'd never know about or whether you were or not, like, say, a kitchen renovation or some big new purchase for the house. Then you have a good excuse.

  9. orchid Says:

    That coworker of yours sounds really obnoxious.

    You can cancel that text messaging feature on your phone so no one can send you test msgs. That's what I did. It cost about .10 to send and receive but it adds up.

    You don't have to do anything you don't want to do. You're not hurting anyone. If they can't respect you that's their problem.

  10. asmom Says:

    Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I decided to cancel the text messaging on my phone; I didn't even realize I could do it but I went to the cell provider site this morning and did it. Monday, I'll tackle the lunch problem. I think I will make up something simple that explains why I can't afford to eat out. I'll have to be careful because I know that whatever I tell her will be repeated around the office but hopefully if I'm specific about why I prefer to pack my lunch, that will hit home more than simply stating I'm trying to save.

  11. debtfreeme Says:

    How about casually asking if the company reimburses the cost of text message sent to personal phones for business purposes?

    If she needs to notify you, why can she not call and say: i'm here or where are you?

    Since it is a new job i can understand the wanting to fit in and there is a whole new company culture to learn. I'd take her aside and just say: I can go to lunch on the third friday of the month (or what ever works for you. Oh and, can you not text me? it is not a free service on my phone and i need to pay for them.

  12. nance Says:

    I was in the same boat at my last job. There were people who went out to lunch, as a group, every day. Then they complained about financial problems. One had even filed bankruptcy, but kept going out every day.
    Fortunately, I lived close enough to go home for lunch, and told them that I had a dog that couldn't wait nine or ten hours to go outside, and I had to let him out.
    When they wanted ten or twenty dollars for gifts for people I didn't even know, I told them I had already purchased something for that person. I would find something nice, on clearance, like a nice picture frame, and wrap it nicely. It worked, and no one seemed to care. Once, I needed two gifts for clients who were older kids being adopted. I used a calligraphy type print on my computer, and copied it on a nice quality paper, using the child's new legal name, and wrote the name, and "from this day forward" and the date, and put it in a 5X7 silver frame. They loved it. The frames were purchased on sale, so each gift cost about five dollars. Be creative!

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