Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Visions of Pot Lucks

Years ago I was invited to a holiday office pot luck breakfast for just the secretaries where I work.  We were told to bring a dish and a wrapped gift of not more than $15.  I'm not much of a traditional breakfast eater but I was willing to play along in the spirit of teamwork and getting to know my counterparts.

I had a hard time decided what to gift to get that would fit such a diverse group of women that I didn't know well, but opted for a cute little basket that I filled with some fancy treats and trial size lotions and potions.  It was hard to make it nice and not break the $15 limit.  As it was I spent a little over $20 and hoped I wouldn't get in trouble.

The only other secretary in my department opted not to come so I had pretty much been ignored the whole party (so much for getting to know people). We were all given numbers to determine what order we picked our gift out of stash.  I was dead last.  There was a lot of squealing as each gift was opened in order.  I was completely put to shame by these lavish gifts that obviously cost upwards of $40. I sat nervously by breathing a sigh of relief every time my gift was passed up. As the numbers were winding down no one paid attention as the lady in front of me picked her gift--not the one I brought--leaving me with my own gift.
Neither one of us opened our gifts and all was well until someone noticed us with our unwrapped gifts.  With all eyes on us, we were forced to unwrap our gifts.  Hers was a large ugly glass paperweight filled with air bubbles and mine was the cheesy little basket of dumb stuff. The room grew quiet.

One woman roared, "Who brought these?!?!!" Finally it came out that the other lady brought the gift she picked out and I brought the gift I picked out. The women were furious that we picked out own gifts even though basically that is how the numbers worked out and we were told to switch with each other.

The following year I politely declined to partake. 

The Fine Print: Wishing you a sweet holiday and not a shame inducing potluck greedfest! Stamps by A Muse Artstamps, brad from the Eyelet Queen, and fancy schmancy ribbon from my stash.  BTW, I gave the glass paperweight to my grandmother in law who thought it was fabulous and gave it a place of honor in a cabinet with other glassware. Although I did miss having it on my desk at work because I could threaten to break people's skulls with it. 


Janeen said...

OMW could it get any more awkward than that? I always declined after the first one b/c of similar situation. It was never fun for me to try to "break into" office cliques. I had my own friends, i wished them well, if they decided to attend. LOL. I like your red border on the treats.

Joyce said...

Your card is so sweet. I had to chuckle a little about your gift story. I have been a participant on those kind of exchanges, and it is always a mixture of fun and shame. What if no one wants my gift, and it is obvious for everyone to see??? Hope you have survived a stronger person because of it.

Carol L said...

Thx for sharing your cute card and your story! I no longer attend Christmas parties or gift exchanges, and I like it this way! What you experienced goes on all the time, and it really takes away the Christmas spirit when people form those dreaded office cliques!

Angie said...

Oh my dear, what a dreadful Christmas story! Your basket really sounds like it was a nice gift!!! Why on earth do people have to be so snotty! I love your card! It's not snotty! :) Cute candy cane and I love the red fiber! Wishing you a peace filled rest of the week!

Leslie Hanna said...

What a horrible experience! I'd opt out of that one, too. And to the ladies who mocked you? I'd say (1) YOU didn't pick it, so it's all that was left, (2) I know for a fact this was over $15, so how much did THAT one cost?, and (3) STFU. Oh, heck, it's not like you'd go back even if you WERE invited, right? #losers