The Potluck~An Office Survival Guide
Look, odds are if you work at an office or are in grad school you’ll be invited to some sort of potluck dinner (or lunch during the day). The invitation will tell you to bring a dish (or even what type of dish) and the people will tell you that the potluck is “kinda like a barbecue.” What we often fail to realize is that this invitation is a Total Setup and will result in awkwardness, discomfort, unintentional racism, and extreme hunger if you fail to handle it properly. I’ve been to many, and I’ve come up with a 10-step fool-proof plan for how to survive at the potluck.
- No matter what they tell you THIS IS NOT A BARBECUE. At least for the office potluck. There will be no grill, no hot dogs or hamburgers, and very often, there won’t be much in the way of hot food or meat. Remember that.
- DO NOT BRING A CHICKEN-BASED, CHICKEN-FLAVORED, CHICKEN-COLORED, or even a CHICKEN INSPIRED dish to the potluck. This should be self-explanatory. If in search of a dish to bring, bring sliced baguettes and bruschetta. Everyone likes that. If you don’t know what those things are, bring a storebrought cake. Nobody likes them but it’s safe.
- FOUR CHICKEN WING MAXIMUM. This too should be self-explanatory. And when asked if you like them, your default answer should begin with “well usually I don’t eat wings, but.”
- EAT BEFOREHAND
- NEVER EVER EVER EVER eat the tuna salad. Nobody really likes it, it’s just a test.
- LEARN TO EAT HUMMUS. It will form around 60% of the diet for any office event with food. You will probably hate it, as it looks like a mold growth and smells like regret. It will grow on you. It comes in cajun, cayenne, lemon, and many other varieties but I am convinced it’s just different colors of the same thing
- There will be an inevitable combination of meat, eggs, and mayonnaise. God be with you if you attempt to eat it. Don’t look it in the eye.
- DEVELOP A LIST OF FOOD ALLERGIES AND STICK TO IT. This is the easiest way to avoid the awkward “taste this!” conundrum. Make sure you are thorough though. You can’t claim an egg allergy and eat those good deviled eggs.
- Vegetables are your best friend. They can’t mess those up right?
- Wrong. Meet my friend, the mayonnaise salad