Here’s a question for you. I probably should preface the question first with some background but I’ll just blurt it out first and then do a little backfilling.
Should the office holiday lunch be catered or “potluck-ish”?
OK, the backfill…so, the office has a holiday party (think office Christmas party, but you know, politics….) where we have a white elephant gift exchange and the managers provide (as in pay for) the lunch of pizza, garlic bread, salad, soda, etc. In the past, the activity took place at a pizza place and everyone travelled there to partake during the work day as it was only about 15 minutes from work. Then the world-wide panic happened and this practice was postponed for a couple years.
Keep in mind this shindig (at least the lunch part) is coming out of the managers’ pockets (there are three of them) because office funds can’t be used. We get paid for the time. They have always framed this as a “Thank you, for doing a great job all year” kind of deal.
So, this year they decided it would be held at the office in the conferences rooms (they can be combined into one large room) and they would provide the food. Like, literally, they would provide the food. They each brought part of the makings for a taco bar. So, in essence, the three managers provide all the potluck items. All of us then proceeded to go past the tables, buffet style, and put together out own plates. They also provided several different desserts. Most everything was from Costco and was either pre-made or prepped at their home prior to the gathering.
So, how should we feel?
Should we feel appreciated or should we feel like the managers “cheaped out”?
I understand it took effort and some expense on their part. I do feel appreciated to a degree, and yet I can’t help but feel the gesture was out of obligation rather than true appreciation. Does it have to be catered or lavish to get a true feeling of appreciation? I didn’t think so when it was at the pizza place. I don’t know. I just feel a little put out this year for some reason.
How would you feel?