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  • krissyboo75
  • Expert Waygook

    • 638

    • September 27, 2011, 01:01:39 pm
    • Gyeongsanbuk-do, South Korea
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This is starting to drive me CRAZY
« on: June 11, 2015, 02:35:48 pm »
So my VP is a very kind lady most of the time. But sometimes I find her a little manipulative.  She clearly wants me to know she is the boss. I don't think I've shown anything but kindness to her since I met her. Its not always but anyway. What is really starting to irk me is when she decides she likes the look of my snack/ lunch I'm eating, and helps herself....

Now I get that this is a sharing culture. And if I were eating with the teachers I probably wouldn't mind sharing my snacks with others. But I don't. I sit at my desk and mind my own business. I'm trying to put myself on a healthier diet, and I pack myself just the right amount of food to last me until I go home. And then along she comes and will go "ooh nuts!" and help herself. She takes it, doesn't ask. Its starting to make me really angry. She also digs in with her bare hands. I'm not a clean freak or anything but with this *disease which shall not be named* going around I would love it if people kept their potentially dirty paws off my food that I'm currently eating!   

Should I mention something? Should I let it slide? Nowadays I've started popping out to the local CU and buying a drink so I can eat my lunch their with no one stealing my food.  Or I wait until nobody is in the room. There is kind of a "sharing table" in the teachers room. If I wanted to share, I would put it there. I guess this is more of a rant I guess but would love to hear your opinion or if you had a similar experience.


Re: This is starting to drive me CRAZY
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2015, 02:45:13 pm »
this sounds more like a "i'm an inconsiderate a-hole" than a power trip.  sadly all too comomon tho.  since she's the VP tho that does put you in an uncomfortable spot. 

I say definitely play up the MERS scare.  Make it known to everyone (not just her) you are really uncomfortable sharing food anymore because of MERS.


Re: This is starting to drive me CRAZY
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2015, 02:48:42 pm »
You need to visibly pick your nose so she can see and then use the same hand to touch your food. And she needs to see it happen.


  • ashe1590
  • Super Waygook

    • 428

    • August 27, 2013, 01:07:13 pm
Re: This is starting to drive me CRAZY
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2015, 02:53:51 pm »
It's pretty common that if you bring food you want to consume at school/ in a communal setting in Korea, you offer to share it. Even if my co-teachers bring like two pieces of bread from Paris Baguette, they will cut them up and offer to share them with the ten teachers in the staff room. That's just how it is in Korea. It's not the VP power tripping, it's just different cultural expectations. You think she is rude for taking it, the rest of the Korean staff probably think you are rude for not offering to share it with them.

If you don't want to share your food with them, don't eat it in the staff room or in front of them. Sneak away somewhere and eat it there. Problem solved.


Re: This is starting to drive me CRAZY
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2015, 02:57:51 pm »
It is a sharing culture, yes, but that does not mean they can take what they see without asking. It is just as polite to wait until the food is offered; it gives the person offering it a chance to be seen as generous.

Just taking food is not polite. It seems she just feels like she can take it because she can. Not sure what to do about it, though.


  • krissyboo75
  • Expert Waygook

    • 638

    • September 27, 2011, 01:01:39 pm
    • Gyeongsanbuk-do, South Korea
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Re: This is starting to drive me CRAZY
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2015, 03:01:11 pm »
It's pretty common that if you bring food you want to consume at school/ in a communal setting in Korea, you offer to share it. Even if my co-teachers bring like two pieces of bread from Paris Baguette, they will cut them up and offer to share them with the ten teachers in the staff room. That's just how it is in Korea. It's not the VP power tripping, it's just different cultural expectations. You think she is rude for taking it, the rest of the Korean staff probably think you are rude for not offering to share it with them.

If you don't want to share your food with them, don't eat it in the staff room or in front of them. Sneak away somewhere and eat it there. Problem solved.

Even so, to reach into my lap where the food is sitting as I snack? Without asking? I also don't think she would do it to other teachers.  I've brought food in to share specifically before. Anyway that's why I said I've been going out to eat these days. 


Re: This is starting to drive me CRAZY
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2015, 03:03:53 pm »
There is a very obvious difference between someone's lunch and something someone brought to share. I took my lunch to school one semester when I had a prolonged illness and usually ate it in the office I shared with two other English teachers. They never cared. They said "Have a nice lunch" and went off to the lunchroom. They didn't expect that I would share my lunch just because they were in the same room.


  • nomadicmadda
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1585

    • July 01, 2014, 06:49:40 am
    • Seoul, formerly Boseong
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Re: This is starting to drive me CRAZY
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2015, 03:07:34 pm »
If you don't want to share your food with them, don't eat it in the staff room or in front of them. Sneak away somewhere and eat it there. Problem solved.

OP said they've been eating it privately at their desk.  What is this, high school?  Should OP go hide in a bathroom stall at lunch time?  :rolleyes:


Re: This is starting to drive me CRAZY
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2015, 03:12:46 pm »
It's pretty common that if you bring food you want to consume at school/ in a communal setting in Korea, you offer to share it. Even if my co-teachers bring like two pieces of bread from Paris Baguette, they will cut them up and offer to share them with the ten teachers in the staff room. That's just how it is in Korea. It's not the VP power tripping, it's just different cultural expectations. You think she is rude for taking it, the rest of the Korean staff probably think you are rude for not offering to share it with them.

If you don't want to share your food with them, don't eat it in the staff room or in front of them. Sneak away somewhere and eat it there. Problem solved.

Can you really not tell the difference between a snack someone brought to share and someone's lunch? They're Korean, not mole people. I'm sure they can recognize that.

You need to visibly pick your nose so she can see and then use the same hand to touch your food. And she needs to see it happen.

Also this.


OP, play up the SREM panic. Bring in a box of those plastic gloves people use to each chicken and make her put gloves on before she touches your food, and explain why. It will annoy her and she will stop.


  • ashe1590
  • Super Waygook

    • 428

    • August 27, 2013, 01:07:13 pm
Re: This is starting to drive me CRAZY
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2015, 03:16:08 pm »
If you don't want to share your food with them, don't eat it in the staff room or in front of them. Sneak away somewhere and eat it there. Problem solved.

OP said they've been eating it privately at their desk.  What is this, high school?  Should OP go hide in a bathroom stall at lunch time?  :rolleyes:

Do you see Koreans ever eating anything 'privately' at their desk? That's my point. There is a teacher at my school who orders 30,000w coffee and has to hand drip it for all the teachers when he wants to drink a cup in the staff room. You think he wants to do that? Probably not. But that's how it goes here. 

OP said they go to the convenience store and eat their lunch their. I'm not telling them to hide in the bathroom. I'm saying go somewhere else where no one is going to take it.


  • Mister Tim
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1508

    • September 08, 2013, 10:33:54 am
    • SK
Re: This is starting to drive me CRAZY
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2015, 03:17:58 pm »
I once had a roommate who would always help himself to my sodas. That stopped when I found a soda he hated but I could tolerate (Big Red ftw) and I started buying that exclusively.

Try applying that here. Find out what foods you like that she hates, and only ever eat those foods at work.  :laugh:


Re: This is starting to drive me CRAZY
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2015, 03:21:45 pm »
If you don't want to share your food with them, don't eat it in the staff room or in front of them. Sneak away somewhere and eat it there. Problem solved.

OP said they've been eating it privately at their desk.  What is this, high school?  Should OP go hide in a bathroom stall at lunch time?  :rolleyes:

Do you see Koreans ever eating anything 'privately' at their desk?

...yes? All the time?

I think everyone must live in a different Korea from  everyone else.


  • krissyboo75
  • Expert Waygook

    • 638

    • September 27, 2011, 01:01:39 pm
    • Gyeongsanbuk-do, South Korea
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Re: This is starting to drive me CRAZY
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2015, 03:22:49 pm »
If you don't want to share your food with them, don't eat it in the staff room or in front of them. Sneak away somewhere and eat it there. Problem solved.

OP said they've been eating it privately at their desk.  What is this, high school?  Should OP go hide in a bathroom stall at lunch time?  :rolleyes:

Do you see Koreans ever eating anything 'privately' at their desk? That's my point. There is a teacher at my school who orders 30,000w coffee and has to hand drip it for all the teachers when he wants to drink a cup in the staff room. You think he wants to do that? Probably not. But that's how it goes here. 

OP said they go to the convenience store and eat their lunch their. I'm not telling them to hide in the bathroom. I'm saying go somewhere else where no one is going to take it.

The Korean teachers all go to the cafeteria actually to have their lunch. I don't wanna eat that crap and want to avoid the before mentioned so I stay alone in the office. I used to have my own office at my old school so I just prefer it and that way I can avoid sharing and the "ok your eating a salad today!"  Yes yes I am, and you are eating rice. Anyway.  Why would anyone expect me to share a little pack of mixed nuts/container of cut up veggies with everyone? Their isn't near enough for everyone.     

Although when I was eating veggies with my bare hands she didn't seem to like that I wasn't using utensils.... but still dug in anyway.  :evil:


  • midori951
  • Veteran

    • 248

    • February 24, 2014, 12:14:59 pm
    • Daegu, South Korea
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Re: This is starting to drive me CRAZY
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2015, 03:23:51 pm »
just sneeze in your lunch bag. scratch your ass and grab some nuts (the food). Make sure someone sees it. or just say hey this is my food and im on a diet dont eat it. i know this BS sharing culture, but thats just rude. she cant fire you because you dont share your food.


Re: This is starting to drive me CRAZY
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2015, 03:24:30 pm »
I once had a roommate who would always help himself to my sodas. That stopped when I found a soda he hated but I could tolerate (Big Red ftw) and I started buying that exclusively.

He didn't like Big Red? You don't need to be hanging around with people like that anyway.


  • The Arm
  • Expert Waygook

    • 682

    • March 09, 2015, 09:15:02 am
Re: This is starting to drive me CRAZY
« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2015, 03:32:45 pm »


  • Aristocrat
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1703

    • November 10, 2014, 01:04:27 pm
Re: This is starting to drive me CRAZY
« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2015, 06:30:25 pm »
If you don't want to share your food with them, don't eat it in the staff room or in front of them. Sneak away somewhere and eat it there. Problem solved.

OP said they've been eating it privately at their desk.  What is this, high school?  Should OP go hide in a bathroom stall at lunch time?  :rolleyes:

Do you see Koreans ever eating anything 'privately' at their desk? That's my point. There is a teacher at my school who orders 30,000w coffee and has to hand drip it for all the teachers when he wants to drink a cup in the staff room. You think he wants to do that? Probably not. But that's how it goes here. 

OP said they go to the convenience store and eat their lunch their. I'm not telling them to hide in the bathroom. I'm saying go somewhere else where no one is going to take it.

I have a CT who eats at her desk. I think she's a little self-conscious about her weight and prefers to eat alone. I had another CT, from a farming background, he never ate lunch in the cafeteria, stating that he never touches processed food. So yes, not all Koreans religiously go to the cafeteria.
Your VP sounds like she can be reasoned with, just explain to her the trouble you go through in preparing your lunch and that it's not for anyone other than you.

You know what to do.


  • krissyboo75
  • Expert Waygook

    • 638

    • September 27, 2011, 01:01:39 pm
    • Gyeongsanbuk-do, South Korea
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Re: This is starting to drive me CRAZY
« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2015, 09:23:40 pm »
My VP also gets a little huffy if I (always kindly) refuse a snack she offers me. Sometimes I'm just not hungry, or I can't bare to stomach another rice cake. Always no thank you, I even make a big deal "ooohhhh thank you so much but Im sooo fulll!" Kind of thing. And I get a kind of *hmmf*....Its not always, but sometimes I just don't want to eat!


Re: This is starting to drive me CRAZY
« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2015, 09:42:46 pm »
Cilantro in everything for a couple weeks.


  • VanIslander
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 1346

    • June 02, 2011, 10:12:19 am
    • Seogwipo, Jeju Island
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Re: This is starting to drive me CRAZY
« Reply #19 on: June 11, 2015, 11:33:51 pm »
Quote from: kissyboo
So my VP is a very kind lady most of the time. But sometimes I find her a little manipulative.  She clearly wants me to know she is the boss.
She is, isn't she?

Quote from: kissyboo
I get that this is a sharing culture. And if I were eating with the teachers I probably wouldn't mind sharing my snacks with others. But I don't. I sit at my desk and mind my own business. I'm trying to put myself on a healthier diet, and I pack myself just the right amount of food to last me until I go home. And then along she comes and will go "ooh nuts!" and help herself. She takes it, doesn't ask.
First you say you "get" the culture, and then you show you don't.

Quote from: kissyboo
Should I mention something? Should I let it slide?
Lump it or leave it.