No one gives a gift expecting something in return.
Though it’s not unreasonable to expect those on the receiving end of a gift to show their appreciation in some way.
Nor should one feel inclined to continue offering gifts to those who don’t seem to show any sort of appreciation.
Redditor NoMoreCakeTA often delighted their colleagues by bringing homemade baked goods to their place of work.
But after becoming increasingly frustrated by what they considered a lack of gratitude, the original poster (OP) decided to stop making their colleagues baked treats.
After their colleagues deemed their reasons for doing so as “petty”, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where they asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for refusing to make desserts for my coworkers when my dishes were returned still dirty?”
The OP explained why they ultimately decided to stop bringing baked goods to their colleagues after their dishes continued to be returned in less than tip/top shape.
“So I love to bake desserts.”
“It’s a meditative sort of activity to me.”
“I really enjoy making tasty treats for other people especially since I’m actually not a huge sweets person and couldn’t ever eat all the stuff I bake.”
“Most of the time I take it into work.”
“I work at a small restaurant staffed by about a dozen people including the two owners.”
“We are all pretty tightly knit as most of us have been here since the restaurant opened.”
“I started bringing desserts for everyone to enjoy.”
“It was never an obligation nor did it ever feel like it.”
“But I got a little miffed when I went in the day after I’d dropped off a pie to get my glass pie dish, and one of the owners handed it back to me still dirty.”
“It still had crumbs and bits of pie crust left in it.”
“I didn’t say anything and just resolved to let it go.”
“The following week I made an apple cake in a glass 9×13 to bring in, and left it that evening so the others on the later shifts could enjoy it too.”
“Two days later on my next shift, I was given back my dish that was still dirty, and now it needed soaked to clean it because the crumbs and such had dried to a hard layer.”
“I thought this was kind of rude as I’d been raised that if someone gifted me food (casseroles, etc) it was good manners by washing the dish that it came in when you go to return it.”
“It happened a couple more times, so I asked the owner who was managing that day if my dishes could be washed before I got them back.”
“However the next few weeks nothing changed, and my dishes were still left dirty when they were returned.”
“I decided that I’d just use disposable bakeware for anything I took to work.”
“However I ran into an issue that sometimes the baking time and temperature for some of my recipes doesn’t work for the cheap metal disposable bakeware, something I’d forgotten about until I took a pie to work and when they cut into it, it was discovered that the bottom crust was a bit burnt.”
“One of the owners joked that I had downgraded my equipment so they got burnt pie.”
“A server said she noticed I’d stopped using glassware and wondered why.”
“So I replied that my glassware was never cleaned after everyone had eaten, and it was a major pain in the ass to clean after it was dried on, plus I felt that it was a bit rude to have my dishes returned to me still dirty.”
“The server shot back that the desserts were gifts, and that it’s actually rude to insist that the giftees have to do something in return.”
“Another server agreed with her, and said that if I was expecting them to wash my dishes for me, then I shouldn’t bother making food for them at all.”
“So I said I wouldn’t if it was such a contentious issue.”
“The servers said I was being petty and are refusing to speak to me unless they have to.”
“Now, I could see their reasoning that someone being gifted something shouldn’t be obligated to do something in turn, but I still feel that it’s rude to not wash the dish that gifted food came in.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
The Reddit community agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for ceasing to bake for their colleagues.
Everyone agreed that the OP might have been gifting their colleagues the baked goods, but was lending them the dishes, so it was impolite for them to always return them dirty to the OP, which many found particularly surprising coming from restaurant employees.
“They work in restaurants, why are they returning dishes dirty?”- wishforeverafter
“It is not rude to expect the dishes to be cleaned.”
Who does that?”
“You’re not obligated to make desserts for them.”
“If you are making the effort then it’s basic manners to clean it and give back.”
“Not to mention they themselves said you should stop if you want clean dishes back.”-No_Competition7327
“I believe there’s a difference between ‘treats’ and ‘gifts’.”
“It’s just common courtesy to clean a dish before returning it to someone.”
“They’re ungrateful slobs who don’t deserve any of your delicious treats.”- RoyallyOakie
“Sounds like the best solution.”
“Them not even being willing to at least RINSE the dish so it doesn’t get crusted is just stupid.”
“Though I was also raised you cleaned a dish when gifted food but that was typically if it was directly to a person or family, not a communal situation where it’s left in a common area for multiple ppl who don’t take it home to enjoy.”
“So I’m not sure how the two situations might conflict.”
“Your coworkers should still be showing some appreciation for you in the very simple gesture of cleaning the dish that’d take like.”
“2 mins for the last person who gets the last of the food to clean it.”
“It costs them nothing to show that sliver of gratitude.”
“If I were you, I’d just stop making them food.”- PollyWallyFrog
“Fellow baker who used to love to bake and bring treats to work.”
“Do not make these ungrateful AH anything ever again.”
“If you have friends at work you wanna treat, bring them small individual servings.”
“I stopped baking for work after entitles AH at two different jobs starting acting like they were owed my time, efforts and money.”
“One place decided to heavily suggest a 7 layer rainbow cake decorated like a leprechaun hate.”
“The other place my boss decided to start demanding a certain desert so I could get a vacation day off to bake before Thanksgiving, though I always worked black Friday.”
“Entitled people ruin it for everyone and take the joy out of baking.”- Aligirl520
“I think your servers were brought in a barn!”
“I would be mortified to return a dish dirty, so lazy and rude!”- ParamedicSilent2097
“It’s rude to return dishes that have not been washed.”
“Your co-worker said it ‘You shouldn’t bother making food for them at all’.”
“You are not obligated to bestow your baking talents on anyone, but especially not on ingrates who are dirty.”- choc0kitty
“NTA for expecting glass baking dishes to be returned clean, but getting into it with coworkers over the subject wasn’t wise.”
“Part of the issue may have been that the baked goods was a gift for everyone, so it wasn’t one person’s responsibility to return it to you.”
“If you brought a casserole to my house, I would be washing the baking dish and returning it.”
“At your work, there wasn’t one person to take responsibility for returning it to you and cleaning it first.”
“Common sense would dictate that the person who ate the last piece put the dish in the dishwasher, soak it in the sink, etc as they should throw away the box if it was a dozen donuts.”
“What bothers me most in this case is that it’s a restaurant.”
“They have dishwashers, both the machines and people designated to do the job.”
‘Why can’t someone get the dish washed ?”- JazzyKnowsBest13
“Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.”- thevoiceofreason5
It seems pretty shallow indeed for the OP’s colleagues to be angry at her when they literally took their suggestion to stop baking.
But seeing as they would eat the OP’s offerings without a moment’s hesitation, maybe it will only take a matter of days for them to reconsider their actions, and return the OP’s dishes cleaner than they found them.
Which, seeing how much they love baking, will likely make the OP very happy as well.