DEAR AMY: I attend a professional networking potluck lunch every week.
This is our lunch hour and the only opportunity some of us have to eat lunch that day. Most of us bring a substantial main or side dish to share.
Occasionally, attendees bring nothing at all, or, as recently happened, a group of four co-workers from the same office brought a small box of chocolates.
We are not at risk of running out of food, as most people bring more than enough, so it seems petty to quibble about the amount and type of food someone brought, but this is puzzling, especially as we are all working professionals. What is a polite, but clear message to such potluck participants?
Puzzled by Skimpers DEAR PUZZLED: If the group is not at risk of running out of food, then definitely generously share your main dishes and salads with the chocolate-people. You can assume that people occasionally simply forget that the meeting is happening, or when they left the house in the morning, they didn’t think they could make the meeting, but now they can.
If the same people continue to neglect to bring food, then before you start the next meeting, your leader(s) can say, “We’re here to network and communicate; that’s the most important thing. But we’re also here during lunch. One way for us to eat is to rotate the task of bringing main and side dishes. Or we can each just bring our own lunch and not worry about shared dishes. Can we get a consensus on how to handle this?” DEAR AMY: I wonder if other readers were shocked by the question from “Still Shocked,” whose mother had carried on a longtime affair with the family’s high school foreign exchange student. I don’t know if I could recover from that knowledge. Also Shocked
DEAR ALSO: I agree. Mom wanted to sweep this affair under the rug, but I agree that it was obviously wrong in so many ways, and she should answer for it.