Why I Shared my Celiac Status on my First Day of Work
After officially surviving my first week, I can now say that I am absolutely in love with the people, purpose and atmosphere of my internship. (And you will definitely be hearing more about my work as an Editorial Intern for Entity Magazine soon!) I also couldn't be happier that I chose to share my celiac status on my first day of work - and here are the four reasons why you should too!
|From your favorite gluten free goofball...|
Thanks to an email the night before, I walked into the office knowing that a bagel party would greet me. I wasn't worried; as usual, I had brought my own breakfast to eat (my favorite oatless zoats for all those who don't follow me on Instagram!). Imagine my surprise and appreciation when my boss motioned towards a jar of fruit that had been specially set aside for me. I had actually informed her of my celiac disease during the job interview because part of my resume, believe it or not, is this blog!
|My usual breakfast to-go...|
2. It prevents having to explain your "special" food to each co-worker individually.
I didn't stand up in the middle of our first office meeting and yell, "I have celiac disease!" (That would be frowned upon, I do believe, in most workplaces). However, I explained why I wasn't eating bagels like everyone else during small talk with my fellow interns and, when my boss asked what kind of articles I'd be especially interested in writing, I mentioned food-related topics and my blog.
|And an easy dinner...|
3. Without anything to "hide," there isn't any anxiety about your eating habits either.
One of the most nerve-wracking moments of my first day, ironically enough, was our lunch break. In typical first-day fashion, all the interns wanted to go eat together. I already knew that most nearby restaurants didn't speak "celiac" (thank you Find Me Gluten Free app!) and I ate a late and large breakfast for exactly that reason.
|Lunch breaks are meant for walkin'...|
4. You can focus on getting to know your job and your co-workers - not your food.
Clearing the (gluten free) air on my first day made my next days of work even easier. I cook breakfast, lunch and dinner the night before and bring it to work in my handy cooler/lunch box. When I'm hungry, I have food that I know is safe to eat. Easy, simple and pretty darn delicious.
It can feel awkward telling strangers your medical history - though I can't say too much considering I write to hundreds of strangers about all parts of my life on here! - but it let me focus less on my eating and more on my internship overall. After my first week, I don't know everything about my co-workers or my internship. But I know that we are an amazingly talented group of young ladies excited to grow together. They don't see me as "the celiac." Instead, my fellow interns know me for my "endearing sense of humor" (as one girl told me on our second day).
|In case you didn't already know...|
Whether you like it or not, celiac disease is part of you. Instead of trying to hide it at work, own it instead!
*Also found at the Chronic Friday Linkup!*
When you do you share your celiac status with co-workers? With new people you meet? Comment below!