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Office Employee Asks Internet If They Were Wrong To Secretly Trick A Coworker Into Eating MSG

The office is a weird place to work. On a related note, I haven’t been in a physical office for a job in years. Consequently, I don’t know first-hand how weird work has gotten. Luckily, I can check r/AITA and see the strange questions people ask, and the angry moralists who take a side on every single issue. In this instance, many people agreed on the right answer.

A person working in an office seemed a little fed up with a coworker who insists she is allergic to MSG. She also loves authentic cuisine. The coworker took it upon themselves to feed her a dish that she claims would make her sick. Was the person wrong to do that? Reddit has the answer.

But, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s hear the story straight from the horse’s mouth. (The horse is the office worker. They’re treated like cattle nowadays so the idiom works.).

Here is the story about one office worker who decided to sneak some MSG into a coworkers food:


First, some background:

“I have a co-worker “Trish” who is really into eating “authentic” cuisines from other countries and not wanting to eat the “fake” stuff (e.g. she refuses to eat Dominos because according to her, Italians would never eat such a thing). She also claims she has an MSG allergy. There’s a Chinese restaurant close by, but we haven’t catered from them since she made a large spectacle of stomach pains and headaches when we ordered from them over a year ago. She’d ordered a separate dish of plain steamed veggies and meat but claimed there must’ve been cross-contamination and demanded that we not cater from them again.

Whenever someone gets Chinese takeout, she loudly talks about how it’s fake Americanized Chinese food and that the MSG would give us cancer. She frequently mentions how much she misses the “real” Chinese food she had when she went to China (once, like a decade ago).”

Before you judge the person telling this story, there’s more you should know:

“She often comments on my food (I’m Chinese) which I cook from home, saying things like “wow that smells so good; you can tell it’s authentic and doesn’t have preservatives and isn’t catered to white people like the food from that restaurant” (she’s white). I mostly ignore this. And honestly, I wouldn’t even call my food “authentic” Chinese food. It’s just stir fry with sauce generally.

Last week, I volunteered to bring in food for my team of six people (to clarify, Trish is not part of this team), since I know they like the food I make. I do cook with MSG sometimes. It’s definitely not something all Chinese people do, but my family does it with certain dishes because it makes things delicious. There were some leftovers, which someone put in the fridge after the meeting, with a note saying anyone could take some. I didn’t really think about it, since this is normal.”

Trish loved the authentic food:

“Apparently, Trish had some of the food I made. At the end of the day, she came by my desk and commented on how delicious my “real” Chinese food was. She claimed could tell I made it without preservatives or MSG because she would normally get sick within minutes if she accidentally had MSG. She also claimed it tasted just like the food she ate when she was in Beijing (I’m not even from Beijing).

After she went on for a few minutes, I just told her that there was actually MSG added to some of the dishes I made. But it was good to know her allergy was cured now, since I wouldn’t want her to get sick.”

We’re past the point of no return… but there’s more to the story:

“She freaked out, and suddenly claimed she had a huge headache and felt like she was going to throw up. She yelled at me for not telling her I put MSG in the food (I didn’t realize she would eat it since she normally doesn’t eat the communal food and it was intended for my team members, not her).

She went to HR because I supposedly tricked her into eating something I knew she couldn’t eat, and now I have a meeting with HR next week (Idk how this is going to go). In all honesty, maybe I was kind of hoping to peg down her anti-MSG crusade, but if she had asked, I would’ve told her what the ingredients were.” –u/Rough_Bike_2252

So… is this person the jerk in this scenario? The internet responded:


1. Did you know that an “MSG allergy” doesn’t exist? Not the jerk!

2. The new plan.

3. Is it tricking if someone stole the food?

4. It’s on her.

5. When you really pick it apart… it’s racist.

6. The original poster never thought of this angle, but it’s true.

7. Lastly, MSG is everywhere. Sorry, Trish.

There you have it: a resounding “not the asshole!”

h/t Reddit: r/AITA