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the thief and the hero, the crockpot discrimination, and different tales of potlucks at work — Ask a Supervisor


Listed below are 12 extra of my favourite tales you shared about potlucks and different meals gatherings at work earlier this month. (Half one was yesterday.)

1. The cook-off

“We had a chili cook-off and the winner admitted she didn’t make the chili. She acquired it from Wendy’s.”

2. The sushi

“Earlier than he retired, my partner labored in a unit that LOOOOVED their potlucks. They’d fortunately leverage any excuse – or no excuse in any respect – to have a full-on potluck for all the division to take pleasure in, and the bragging rights for whose dish acquired consumed quickest have been hotly contested.

For one potluck, Trudy introduced to everybody that she could be bringing in home-made sushi as her contribution. Sushi is a highly regarded merchandise in our a part of the nation, and Trudy was fortunately and confidently anticipating to take prime honors as having introduced the most well-liked potluck merchandise.

The day of the potluck arrived, and everybody crowded round Trudy as she proudly revealed her fastidiously ready delicacy. As a result of sushi!!

Effectively. There may be sushi, after which there may be ‘sushi.’

Trudy’s potluck contribution was string cheese and uncooked hotdogs wrapped in sushi rice and Nori (the dried seaweed used for sushi), and sliced into fairly little rolls.

Trudy was each baffled and deeply offended that her contribution went largely untouched all through the potluck. She simply couldn’t perceive why everybody most well-liked pulled pork sandwiches to her great do-it-yourself ‘sushi.’ And she or he by no means forgave my partner for taking prime honors for his pulled pork, the most well-liked merchandise at that potluck.”

3. The overthrow

“I labored at an organization the place the workplace supervisor took potlucks VERY SERIOUSLY. She had a system of releasing the objects required for the potluck by e mail at 10 am every week earlier than. You’ll reply as quick as attainable ‘claiming’ one merchandise. Accessible objects could be, like, 2 bottles of white wine, 2 bottles of crimson wine, buns, 2 salads, 3 meat objects, 3 desserts, and many others. The concept was that we’d have a ‘balanced’ potluck with simply the precise quantities of every sort of meals. And she or he was fairly adamant that we not carry store-bought objects.

Effectively, there have been a great many younger folks, and lots of busy folks, who had little interest in cooking/baking and wished to carry buns or alcohol. And sometimes we’d be the final to answer to the e-mail and find yourself with a meat dish, which is tougher.

Ultimately complaints in regards to the strictness of the system led to her having a mood tantrum and refusing to coordinate any longer. So the subsequent potluck was a ‘free for all’ (or true) potluck. That potluck, she pouted and wouldn’t come out of her workplace and we FEASTED on cheeseburgers, fries, pizza, a rotisserie hen, SO MANY BUNS and SO MUCH ALCOHOL. It was nice. Everybody however the workplace supervisor discovered it extremely entertaining (and actually intoxicating).

After that, another person took over organizing, and had the same however much more lenient system – if somebody was captivated with bringing buns, however already 2 folks had signed up, then they mentioned, yeah, let’s have numerous buns. And there have been loads of individuals who have been keen to cook dinner entrees or bake desserts and nonetheless somebody would carry a bag of cheeseburgers and all of us loved it. I’ve fond recollections of these potlucks. It was a very dysfunctional firm crammed with great folks.”

4. The thief and the hero

“At a temp secretarial job again within the day, the proprietor had a buffet arrange for the workers as an appreciation lunch for finishing a specific challenge (which was why I used to be there to temp because it was an all-hands/emergency scenario). One of many very well-paid senior workers took a complete tray of meatballs and a complete tray of pasta off of the buffet line, after the managers/seniors went, however earlier than any of the opposite workers, who needed to take a barely later lunch that day. When known as on it, he mentioned that he wanted it to feed his youngsters for the week – and the proprietor mentioned if the one approach he might feed his youngsters was by stealing from his job and taking meals from lower-paid workers, he was welcome to it. However the proprietor could be accompanying him to the meals stamp workplace to use or reporting him to CPS if he refused, as a result of feeding his youngsters ought to be his first precedence and if his youngsters might solely be fed by stealing, that wasn’t one thing that could possibly be ignored. It become a public argument about how the proprietor was shaming him for liking costly issues and needing a bit assist generally. Ended up as the worker’s final day.”

5. The potato salads

“I labored for a congregation for some time that refused to plan their potlucks, everyone simply confirmed up with what they wished to carry and ‘all of it labored out ultimately!’

Till the potluck that shall reside in infamy, as a result of that was the potluck with, I counted, 14 sorts of potato salad! About three most important entrees, and a few jello salads for dessert, and aside from that it was simply all potato salad so far as the attention might see. After that one, they began planning their potlucks and having join sheets for bringing entrees versus facet dishes versus dessert.”

6. The shrimp and grits

“I used to work in an elementary faculty, and one of many lecturers was happy with his shrimp-and-grits. Like, actually REALLY proud. After I began working there (months earlier than the potluck) he began telling me the way it’s a practice and everybody loves his grits. Then main as much as it, he was speaking about making his grits. Then throughout it he was ensuring everybody tried his grits. He seemed to be satisfied that his grits have been all the raison d’etre for the potluck. And there’s no well mannered strategy to say, ‘Truly the grits are good however no one cares that a lot,’ so in fact I ended up taking part in into it with, ‘Mm-hmm, sure, very scrumptious!’”

7. Crockpot discrimination

“Years in the past the ground supervisor banned crockpots from the work ground the place groups would use an empty cubicle for workforce birthdays and celebrations attributable to ongoing points. Quick ahead a couple of months; a workforce brings in a crockpot for an occasion. An outraged worker approached me yelling that it wasn’t truthful the opposite workforce might have crockpots and hers couldn’t. She regarded me within the eye and fully critically instructed me, ‘That is crockpot discrimination!’”

8. The desserts

“My workplace used to host an enormous Octoberfest social gathering for all of our purchasers and whereas they catered the precise meals, dessert was an opportunity for the workers to carry a dish in the event that they wished. One among my coworkers took off two full days to bake desserts … a number of three-layer desserts … making our small division under-staffed. She would at all times make an enormous deal in regards to the desserts and the way scrumptious everybody thought they have been. They weren’t. Inevitably, there have been one or twice slices taken from every cake however 90% of the desserts have been left uneaten, and I used to be (and clearly nonetheless am!) salty that I used to be left to cowl her desk whereas she baked these *so scrumptious* desserts.”

9. The salsa

My coworker used to carry her ‘well-known salsa’ to each potluck. It was simply three totally different manufacturers of store-bought salsa blended collectively. She even made a (fully severe) manufacturing of making ready it within the kitchen, like she was Julia Youngster. Professional tip: The trick was to ‘fold’ the salsa to get the most effective taste.”

10. The deviled eggs

“A couple of years again, my employer held a Thanksgiving potluck. It was my first yr there, and my first potluck with this firm. A coworker (an older woman nearing retirement) talked about a number of occasions to a number of those that she’s be bringing her ‘well-known’ deviled eggs, claiming they’re at all times in excessive demand. Appeared legit, proper? Potluck day arrived and he or she made some extent to inform me to seize a deviled egg earlier than they ran out. I didn’t discover them at first as a result of they didn’t appear like conventional deviled eggs — they have been … vibrant yellow? And flat on prime?? I used to be very confused, however her enthusiasm bought me. I added one to my plate, and fortunately she left the room earlier than I took a chunk as a result of because it seems, her ‘well-known deviled eggs’ have been simply hard-boiled eggs lower in half with mustard on prime.”

11. One other hero

“There’s a very well-known deli/bakery in my city. Their items are extremely prized and it’s at all times particular when an employer orders from them for employees.

Pre-pandemic, my bigger division moved to new workplace house and the constructing administration ordered trays of brownies from there to welcome us. My bodily workplace was close to the kitchen and I witnessed somebody from one other group stroll by with all the tray that had been put out for the entire ground and carry it again to his desk. There have been most likely a minimum of 75 brownies on it. Quickly I heard everybody being very confused that we have been promised brownies and there have been none available. This result in folks from our ground going to different flooring to search out brownies, which induced its personal drama.

Lastly, once I noticed the identical man stroll previous my workplace once more on his strategy to a gathering, I ran to his dice, grabbed the tray, and positioned it again within the kitchen for everybody to take pleasure in as supposed.”

12. The pie drama

“Throughout our first annual Pi Day Pie Contest, folks have been requested to usher in a pie to share and the most effective would win a prize (an elaborately adorned pie tin that’s nonetheless lurking in our workplace and will get handed round every year).

That was it. That was all the information and all the foundations supplied. Being an workplace stuffed with apparently chaos loving maniacs, we had a number of regular pies, some do-it-yourself and a few store-bought masquerading as do-it-yourself, a minimum of one pizza, and a tray of meat pies (pasties).

The occasion organizers weren’t amused as store-bought pies, pizza, and non-dessert pies have been OBVIOUSLY disqualified as not being within the spirit of the competition. Besides at no level had the ‘guidelines’ mentioned something about pies being dessert and do-it-yourself solely. And so began a showdown of really epic proportions.

Ultimately it was agreed for this, the primary yr, all pies could be thought of. However detailed guidelines as to what constituted a pie have been negotiated for all subsequent years culminating in them having to be dessert and in a pie tin. Retailer purchased have been nonetheless allowed – for causes – however needed to be labelled as such.

In yr two we had a minimum of one cheesecake as some folks insisted on pushing the boundaries of what constitutes pie.”

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