I used tongs to pick up some slices of melon but then used my fingers to pick up two strawberries. I then used tongs to pick up a pastry and then used my fingers to pick up a bagel. Because you don’t know the context of how the food is served you probably can’t see the pattern. If I could pick up something without touching anything else, I did use my fingers. If I couldn’t pick it up without touching someone else, I used my tongs. After all, who wants to eat the food after someone else touched it. I saw the granola and was curious what it tasted like but didn’t want to actually take any. Some of the granola is in large lumps that you can pick up without touching anything so I picked up one lump. Somebody saw me pick it up and told me how totally nasty it was that I would do something like that when a spoon was right there. I responded back that I didn’t dig around in it, I simply picked up this lump without touching anything else. He basically reiterated how nasty and gross I was being. I was feeling pretty socially stupid at this point. I have seen plenty of people use their fingers in my lifetime when there was no risk of touching anything else but I definitely won’t make this social faux pas again. What really upset me is that this co-worker went into the main room and announced to other co-workers what I had done. I felt totally humiliated. Wasn’t it enough to yell at me in front of the people that were in the lunch room? Did you really need to tell the whole company what I had done?
Something funny (or at least I thought it was funny) that was said to me was… "Why would you do this when you have kids?" If anything… kids teach you an even higher level of tolerance to other people’s germs. I can’t say that I ever imagined I would eat off of a spoon that another person had put their lips to and yet… we often share utensils. If you want to make the case that you should never touch food that others might eat, don’t bring their kids into the discussion. They don’t help you make the case.