This may seem minor in the scheme of things, but it’s driving me crazy. Occasionally we have a potluck day at work. The problem is, while there are always people who eat, others never bring food to share. It’s usually the men in our office — those who hold higher positions and make far more money than the rest of us. They are also the ones who eat the most. They go back for seconds before the rest of us have eaten. If they do occasionally bring anything, it’s usually a bag of chips.
I’m tired of paying for their lunches when they are more than capable of providing something — takeout from a deli or even asking their wives to help. I’m also tired of going to get my lunch and discovering most of the food is already gone. I would welcome your advice or any tips your readers may have.
— FED UP IN DES MOINES
Dear Fed Up,
This isn’t minor. This is a crime against food.
This reminds me of when I participated in a Secret Santa while I was in college. Nearly everyone involved put some thought into their gifts. Even when one was a joke gift, the effort put into the presentation and the actual gift itself was worthy of the gift exchange. But there was one person who clearly went to the campus mini mart that day and bought a giant package of orange Tic Tacs. They’re the best Tic Tac, obviously, but it was that there was so little thought (or that they just forgot about it altogether) that really irked me and others.
What I am getting at is that there needs to be more organization and accountability.
I would start with some sort of itemized list of what one will bring to the potluck. We do this every year for my Friendsgiving. I am tasked with bringing a salad, someone else brings dessert, etc. If you don’t want to deal with assigning specific food I recommend that you print out a sign-up sheet and have slots for dessert, appetizers, meat entree, salad, etc. Do this coupled with stating that in order to actually partake in the potluck, you will need to bring an item on that list. Do that and institute a “no seconds” rule until everyone has gone through the line once.