From the mounds of artery-hardening junk food to the modest stupidity of the phrase "Food Day", my hatred for work-related potlucks has been well-documented in this journal. I think I say that every time we have one. It's been some time since I've talked about it, though, because with the increase in workload and decrease in staffing, it's been harder and harder for my department to actually hold potlucks. We have enough people that there might be enough variety for a full meal with choice of entree if we carefully coordinated what everyone was bringing, but (now that the AEG is gone) nobody wants to put forth the effort for anything more complex than a bag of Oreos. Without guidance the Dispute Resolution team is probably capable of assembling an assortment of chips and a dish of hummus.
I didn't make hummus on Friday.
I didn't make hummus on Friday because I just didn't feel that it was worth my money or effort. Friday's Food Day (and I shake my head and roll my eyes whenever I type that phrase, incidentally) was a collaboration between three departments -- the same three I've worked in during my tenure here, which is complete coincidence. I knew what kind of food would be served and I decided I'd rather go home on my lunchbreak, nuke a potato in the microwave, and have some of that convenient Romaine in a Bag with Little Bits of Carrot and Red Cabbage which I bought for reasons I've yet to determine. That was before I talked to Lauri.
Lauri is one of the two other people who eat the hummus I bring in, and she was lamenting the fact that she'd signed up to bring taco dip but didn't really want to spend ten dollars on the ingredients. I completely understand this problem, so I offered to pay for half which would allow me to eat without having to bring anything. She agreed and everything was fine and dandy until Friday morning when one of Lauri's kids got sick. She stayed home and bullied her husband into bringing in the dip.
Food Day was pretty much as I expected it to be, meaning that there wasn't much that I felt like eating.
There's always unclaimed food after Food Day. Some people leave quite early on Fridays and just plan to bring their dishes home on the following Monday. Others want nothing to do with their leftovers and simply let them sit until somebody else takes care of them. There was a fair amount of food left on Friday, but most of it was of the non-perishable variety, still intact in its original packaging. I let that stuff sit because eventually somebody would take care of it. I did, however, take home the baking dishes Lauri's husband had brought in, and about two cans worth of black olives in Tupperware containers because it was obvious that no one else was going to take them. Once I got home, I scraped the remaining taco dip into some Tupperware, stuck it in my fridge, and washed Lauri's dishes.
This morning I received no fewer than three marriage proposals, all from married women, because I know how to wash dishes (hint: there's soap involved). I tried to pay Lauri for the other half of the taco dip, reasoning that she hadn't been able to partake, but she refused. I was thinking about sneaking the money into her purse or something when she's away from her desk, but I'm not going to because I'm just not that nice a guy.
There's a problem somewhere in the last two paragraphs. See if you can find it.
The problem is the olives. I have a lot of olives. I have approximately two 16-oz. cans worth of black olives sitting in Tupperware containers in my refrigerator right now, and nobody else in the house will eat them. I like black olives. I like black olives a lot. But these olives are no longer sealed in aluminum cans and will eventually spoil if I don't do something with them.
I have a week to eat -- or throw away -- 32 ounces of black olives.
I can do this, and I feel some sort of moral imperative to do it because they're black olives and not iceberg lettuce (the leftover lettuce, by the way, is still wilting on the table by the window). I figure I can probably trust them as far as Friday. I probably won't finish them, but if I use them to top frozen pizzas, stir them into my salads, sprinkle them over my Cheerios and blend them into my banana smoothies, I can at least make a dent.