Ask Jack: Holiday Time at the Office + Job of the Week

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Loyal AOL Jobs reader Kate says:

I've got a work-related question. I spent 6 hours baking for an event at work. What's wrong with me?

I don't know that there's necessarily anything wrong with you, Kate (though perhaps you should be in a baking-related profession). The holidays mean spending entirely too much time -- personal and business -- on festive office events: baking, Secret Santa shopping, standing around with a plastic cup pretending to be "merry," etc. I imagine you are someone who really throws yourself into projects (i.e. not satisfied picking up a package of Oreos on your way into work and calling it a day), so that only compounds matters. My only advice: multi-tasking. Bake one big batch that can be used for the office party, your idiot neighbor's holiday open house, and don't forget to keep some for your own family. Same goes for shopping trips. And don't worry, it'll be miserable January before you know it.

Meanwhile, Elyse says:

'Tis the season when people at my job are always offering me food and I have to explain that unless I know the ingredients I can't eat it due to my allergy. This is always followed by them continuing to force the food on me, then acting offended that I won't eat it. So even when I say I could DIE they make it all about them! What else can I do?

Look, I know Kate is pretty sensitive, but she'll get over it. There's definitely some weird psychological mojo attached to homemade food. It's not just some ingredients that were stirred together and put in the oven, it's a treasured family recipe and the kitchen was the only time I ever really truly connected with grandma and I am offering you my SOUL and you dare refuse it, you animal?!?! Plus, there may be some pent-up frustration out there about the vegan, gluten-free, lactose-intolerant, low-sodium, free-range, anti-GMO world we now live in. Can you fake a big ol' smile, Elyse? Just pleasantly explain that it LOOKS absolutely delicious and you WISH you could eat it but the last time you accidentally ate the wrong thing, you ended up in the HOSPITAL. That last bit may not technically be true, but it gets the point across: This is a serious allergy. Which reminds me, 'tis also the season for open enrollment.

Last week's Ask Jack questions

Do you have a work-related question for Jack? Write it in the comments below (better answers to this week's questions are also welcome!) or tweet it @AOLJobs with the hashtag #AskJack.

Jack's Job of the Week

Kate, I found you a job. As long as you're baking for six hours, you might as well get paid for it. So how about being a baker in Dallas, Texas? Or if want to find another way to make some dough, do your own search on AOL Jobs right now. Butcher, candlestick maker, and thousands of other great job listings!

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