A slew of emails went out this week notifying staff of the annual Thanksgiving potluck lunch. We are all familiar with this tradition… Company pays for the meat and colleagues bring in all the fixings. A sign up sheet gets posted in the main break room and everyone notices who is cheap, who thinks they can cook and wants bragging rights, who slacks by opting for the donation-option, and all the other amusings between.
It’s the holiday tradition in most offices and I just want to fart on it, around it, and pretty much all over it. I absolutely disgust potlucks and people’s behavior resulting from potlucks.
The following scenarios will happen:
1. Person with food allergies/sensitivities– Awkwardly singled out for either bringing their own food or nitpicking everyone else’s dish to make a federal case out of their dilemma.
2. “Chef” competitions– Who’s grandma has the best recipe for sweet potato casserole? What’s the ‘secret’ ingredient in her bean casserole? Is it farts? Because it looks like shit. But we all know that there will be some sort of rivalry over the food categories. The pies, the potatoes, the stuffing, the cranberry sauce… Someone’s side will go faster than someone else’s in the same category. There will be a winner. And there will be a loser. And the drama will continue throughout the rest of the year. Yay!
3. The overachiever vs. the underachiever– Everyone was given the option to bring a side, utensils/cups, or donate financially. Someone will show up with a $1 bottle of soda or a box of pop-tarts. They may even go back for thirds to stretch their dollar for that extra lap around the table. Technically, they found the loophole to the $10 donation rule…. And then there’s the person who decided to bring in the over-the-top lobster souffle. They brag about the fancy cream and cheeses they handcrafted over the weekend to include in their dish. They spent hours and a significant amount of money to show off their side. And…they will be pissed about the guy who brought the bag of marshmallows and 4 canisters of Tupperware for leftovers….
4. Food Preservation is Nonexistent– There will be a huge spread of food. Then after the first 10 people have laid their eyes and hands on the buffet , the spread will begin to look like a pack of rats attacked it. The food will become unappetizing and picked over. Someone ate all the edges of the casserole or ate the middle of the pie. The only pieces left are oddly shaped crumbs. How did it get to this point? Or the food has sat at room temperature that now it’s lukewarm jello slop and cold mashed potatoes. Yum! Totally worth the calories… I’m sure of it.
5. Surprise!– Someone will get socially manhandled into putting something on their plate that they didn’t want because the cook forced them. Or, you thought the corn looked kosher but after that one bite you are left scrambling for a napkin to spit into. Your left thinking “This tastes like shit!” While forced to hold a big smile on your face because the chef is fishing for compliments. Yay!
6. The Infectious– Have you taken a good look at your co-workers? We all know of someone in our office that tends to skip on washing their hands after using the restroom. Or maybe you share a wall with the “cat-lady”. She has 4 cats, her cube is decorated with cat-attire, and when she can slip a kitty-pic, she will. But after work she goes home… to her cat-infested house. And her kitchen looks like? You can only imagine. Do you really want to eat something from your zombie-looking co-worker who suffered a bout of mono over the past 3 months? Just consider it before you take that first bite.
7. Gone Postal– Again, have you taken a good look at your co-workers? Have you pegged the person that is “Most-Likely to Go Postal”? I have. And I’ve also planned my escape if/when they do. A potluck could be their most ideal time to go nutty. Maybe a little sprinkle in the mashed potatoes? NO THANK YOU!
8. The “I Wife-d Her Guy”– He’s a tool and is completely incapable of cooking. Maybe the grill, but that’s questionable. So he opts out of creating anything for the potluck and signs his wife up to do the chore. His topic of conversation is all about how he got his wife to bake cupcakes. It’s borderline demeaning and it slowly approaches inappropriate sexist remarks when his immature buddies join him. These guys get forced to eat his wife’s cupcakes while swapping stories about their own wife’s cooking excursions. I truly wish that this guy’s wife walks in to the office and begins flipping tables. That would be a memorable potluck.
9. Brainwashing and Forced Socialization– The real reason for office wide potlucks is because someone in management decided it was a good idea and it may boost morale. They lied and they were wrong.
10. Other people feel the same. Google it. This entire post has been scattered with links to other people’s disdain for potlucks. I say we walk in to the next potluck, lay a fart, blame it on the asshole who brought in cabbage and walk out.