Dear Lola,

I love to bake treats and share them with my coworkers. Since I live alone, this allows me to enjoy a homemade goodie without having to eat it every night until I feel sick. A colleague approached me privately and hinted I should stop bringing in treats to share. When I pressed for a reason why, she said that most of the group felt obligated to eat my creations even if they didn’t want them. They worried it would hurt my feelings if they declined a serving. What can I do to ensure sure my coworkers feel comfortable saying no when I bring in an item to share? 

Baking Betty

A cartoon rendering of Lola riding a scooter saying "I'm on my way to help the humans!"

Dear Baking Betty,

I honestly cannot name a single workplace in the history of mankind that did not appreciate a baked treat walking in the door. Cupcakes, puddings, cookies, and pies – all have been welcomed with wide-open arms and grins big enough to light the Earth for a day. Which leads me to a very awkward question.

Are you sure your treats are as delicious as you think they are?

I’m not asking to be cruel, but it is a rather logical conclusion to the request that you not bring in dessert to share. Unless you work at a biological weapons lab where eating while working could lead to an accidental poisoning with no cure – then I would have to rethink my position, of course. Ask a few trusted friends or family members to give you objective feedback about your baking. Tell them you’re considering entering the Great British Bake Off.

Hopefully they’ll be truthful before allowing you to embarrass yourself on television.

If your baked goodies are indeed the most scrumptious thing your friends and family have ever tasted, you should continue to bring your creations to the workplace. Be sure to put them in the break room where people can stumble upon them when they have time to snack. I suspect that your coworkers (most assuredly the one who approached you) may feel pressured into taking a treat as you march the dish from cubicle to cubicle on your way into work. To avoid hurting your feelings, they take one and then awkwardly nibble on it while you stand waiting for a bit of praise before moving on. I can just envision the Marzipan March you perform each week with your baking dish.

Stomp, stomp. Here’s a treat. Bite. Swallow. Now praise me! Stomp, stomp…

Oh, and if it turns out your treats aren’t very yummy, don’t despair. Find a local baking class and start practicing with a professional guide. Then you should consider actually auditioning for the Great British Bake Off and show your coworkers up.

There’s no better revenge than rubbing someone’s face in your success.


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2 replies on “Dear Lola – Don’t go baking my heart…

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