Suri Says: Half-Baked

Dear Suri: A co-worker has a ‘side-business,’ where he and his partner sell cookies and baked goods. It’s grown a lot, thanks to social media and word-of-mouth. They now own a food truck, and spend weekends driving around, selling their treats to people at malls, work sites, etc. 

Needless to say, he is proud of the operation, and has even hinted about doing it full-time (his partner currently works FT with the business).

Occasionally, he’ll bring in cookies for everyone. The other day, we were all taking a break, and he brought out a fresh batch. Everyone was psyched! I had never tried the cookies, so I, too, was excited. Unfortunately, my elation was short-lived.

The cookies are not good, Suri. They’re way too bland, and they just taste weird. I mean, they are okay, but they most definitely taste like someone just made them at home. They don’t have that “professional” taste, if you get me. Not like from the store.

He asked everyone what they thought, and I pretended to have to get upstairs to get something done. Now, he’s on my case almost every day about it! I don’t want to lie, but I also don’t want to tell him the truth. What should I do?! Darren D., Chillicothe, OH

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Dear Darren, Honesty is the best policy, and even ‘little white lies’ have a way of creating future troubles — particularly in an office environment. If you don’t want to hurt his feelings, you may wish to focus on the experience, rather than the product.

For example, you may say something like: “Thanks for bringing in the cookies! I was excited to try them; everyone had such great things to say! You must be very busy. How many batches do you make per week?”

Your friend will most likely jump at the chance to talk about/promote his business, and the actual taste of the cookies may become a moot point. If he pushes the subject, just be honest. He can’t fault you for your opinion, and, in fact, he may take the constructive criticism to heart and change the recipe. ~ Suri

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About Suri Says™

Suri Syrtauwnya is the resident advice queen at Residential Life Magazine. Her unique insight into “pickles and predicaments” (as she puts it) has helped many of us sort out even the most difficult of decisions. Now, we’re sharing this valuable resource! Submit your questions for Suri.

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