At my place of work I hear absurdly anti-mustachian sentiments spoken all too often. I’ll have to refrain from publicly rebuking every single co-worker here.
We regularly have potluck lunches (“pitch-ins”) at work to celebrate birthdays, holidays, etc. Personally, I would rather skip the pitch-in and bring my own lunch, but I play nice and bring in a thoughtful contribution. Today I made a crockpot full of meatballs.
The reactions and contributions of my co-workers astound me.
Coworker 1: “I’ll bring a bag of chips. I can’t afford to buy a dish that feeds 12 people. Do you know how much that costs??”
Backstory: He’s mid-20’s, married, and he and the wife still live with his parents. He makes between $30-$40K. He complains about being “poor” but buys every video game & computer game that catches his limited attention for 5 seconds. He goes to the movies at least once a week. He gets fast food every day.
Last time we asked him to bring some veggies. Easy, right? Instead of cutting up some vegetables he BOUGHT a $20 pre-cut veggie tray with mostly withered vegetables that no one would eat.
Coworker 2: “I can’t afford to contribute. You know I don’t get paid enough!”
Backstory: late 30’s, divorced, lives with a roommate, makes $30-$40K. I know she manages to afford a weekly spray tan. She also gets a bi-weekly mani/pedi. She shops often. She’s always dressed to the nines and has a mammoth size collection of clip in hair extensions to compliment any look. Fast food every day. And I’m sure I would cringe if I ever saw her cigarette budget.
Neither co-worker contributed today but they have no problem eating everyone else's contribution!
I used to organize potlucks at my old company. We'd do them for holidays. We had 30 people, and a variety of workers...mostly PhDs in their late 20's to 40's, but some engineers and some techs.
One friend was in her 40s and Chinese. Each year, she and her husband and daughter would make homemade potstickers. Then my Mexican friend would bring tamales or enchiladas (that his mom made).
I told the single guys to bring chips, soda, cookies, or ice cream.
One year, my other single friend (early 30's) - well, she went to Costco, bought a bag of meatballs, bought sauce, and put it all in a crockpot in the morning. My Chinese friend, who had spent 3 hours making potstickers...well, that was the last time she made potstickers for the potluck.
At my current company, I threw a potluck summer picnic because we went years without one (then the company laid off 5/6 of my people two weeks later). We used to have a large night shift, and they ate together all the time. They kept acquiring kitchen tools - toaster oven, electric skillet, rice cooker, crockpot, George Foreman...
People eating and not contributing would also tick me off.