Mum branded ‘petty’ for refusing to buy colleague’s Marks and Spencer meal deal

A woman has been dubbed as “petty” and “unprofessional” for refusing to buy her colleague a lunchtime meal deal.

The mother had popped out for a walk to “stretch her legs” but before she left the office her colleague, whom she does not like, asked her if she could pick her up a meal deal if she passed a shop.

As she was new to that particular office, the woman opted not to buy a meal deal when she realized the nearest shop which had such an offer was Marks and Spencer.

Their sandwich lunchtime meal deal would have cost the working mum around £ 5 and crucially she was not given any cash before she left the office.

As a “lone parent and broke”, the woman claimed she never had any “real intention” of buying any food or drinks, reports Liverpool Echo.

However, she then confided in a colleague that she “did not feel comfortable” spending that much of her money without checking with her first – especially as the colleague did not offer any cash upfront.

Taking to Mumnset’s popular Am I Being Unreasonable [AIBU] thread to seek advice, the mum penned: “In the office the other day, I was going to stretch my legs.

“A colleague asked me to buy her a chicken ready meal if I went near a shop. I went to Marks and Spencer to buy Percy Pigs.

“The ready meals were about £ 5. She did not offer me money before I went, she’s not in my team and I might not see her in person for months. I would probably have ended up paying for her lunch.

“I also do not like her, she’s rude and weird and messed with my stuff once because I was using the desk she likes.

“Final point, I’m vegan and do not want to buy chicken, but I was too chicken (lol) to say that.

“If I liked her, I would have happily bought a meal but I would have said can I get you a veggie one instead, and I would not have minded if I did not get paid back.

“I told her the meals were £ 5 and I did not feel comfortable spending that much of her money without her agreement.

“But I never had any real intention of buying one, mostly because there were no actual supermarkets nearby anyway. Context, I’m a manager and she is not, but I’m a lone parent and broke as s ***.

The lunchtime meal deal from the supermarket comes hit the purse hard priced at £ 5

“So, was I a total cow (YABU) [you are being unreasonable] or a diplomatic genius? (YANBU) [you are not being unreasonable]. ”

The mum’s post was met with a flurry of divided responses from fellow Mumsnet users.

One Mumsnet user said: “So did you tell her you’d pick up her lunch and had no intention of doing so? Yabu [you are being unreasonable], you should’ve just said ‘sorry I’m not going in a shop’ then she could’ve made other plans. Why so passive aggressive? ”

Another said: “Weird. Presumably she knows the price of an M and S ready meal so was happy to pay that?

“Seems a bit mean not to get one but I guess you could have asked for the money in advance and explained that you’re skint.”

A third commented: “I do not blame you, I would have just said I got sidetracked and forgot.

“Sometimes it’s hard getting money back off colleagues you see every day. Do not worry about it its not worth the brain space ”.

In a follow up response, the mum added: “I said I was going for a walk. There are some shops nearby but I’d never been in that office before and wasn’t sure if there was a sainsbos or whatever. I did not have zero intention of buying it but when I realized there was only a marks I decided I would not. ”

Another Mumsnet user said: “While I get your point, I think you should have said No straight out so that she could arrange to go out herself to buy her lunch.”

And another was on the mum’s side: “I think you handled it perfectly. You also subtly pointed out “you WOULD be paying me back, right?” for next time in case she’s going to ask again and then never get round to paying for it! ”

One Mumnset user commented: “By the way Yes, I do think she was unreasonable to even ask! I’d barely ask a good friend without offering money, let alone a manager that I barely know.

“I think that shows that you would have had trouble getting the money back.

“Day one she has no lunch and no money, Day two she’s so sorry she forgot, Day three oops forgot again, tomorrow I promise! And on and on …. until you give up. ”

Another said: “No, all she did was ask if you’d pick up a ready meal if you were going out, it’s hardly rude.

“I would have assumed she’d pay when you brought it back and if not immediately offered surely you just say thats £ 5 please?

“You come across as quite petty and seem weirdly pleased with yourself about the whole thing.

“You knew you had no intention of buying it so you should have just said no.

“If you were too ‘chicken’ to refuse then you could easily have said you were not planning to go into a shop or that you did not have cash.”

One Mumsnet user said: “You come across as very unprofessional. All you needed to do was either say no, or get the money before you went. It’s not rude to say no, it is rude to say you will and then come back with nothing. ”

And another added: “I think it was poorly handled to be honest, either say no, or say yes and do it.

“As it was, presumably a fair chunk of lunch break was over and she then had to leave and get the lunch you said you’d pick up. Next time why not either say no or say sure, but I do not have any cash on me so I’ll need the money now ”.

At the time of writing, 76% of Mumnet users voted the mum was not being unreasonable.

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