Yesterday, we enjoyed a potluck lunch at my place of employment to celebrate the great fall harvest festival. Or was it Halloween? Anyway, during an average year, I’d say we have 4-5 potlucks, and I always look forward to them for the free food and great conversation.
After a department potluck, I feel compelled to talk about it with my coworkers for the rest of the day.
"Did you get some food?"
"Yeah, that roast was awesome. Did you get dessert yet? Make sure to try the pie.”
"OK, then, have a nice day."
This conversation is repeated throughout the rest of the day between me and every other employee I run into. After much observation over the years, I finally realized my compulsion to talk about the potluck is shared by most of my peers. Over in the corner a widower discussed how she caramelized the onions for her hot dish, while a 30-something single man nodded and sipped on a half empty cup of diet Coke. Out on the sidewalk, two of the younger employees chatted about the merits of eating food that had been left out for 3+ hours.
The beauty of the potluck is that it gives us something to talk about other than the weather or that last belligerent customer who called 2 minutes before closing time. Save for a few small cliques of close friends, my work place, like most, has a bunch of people working together who would not normally be friends, but are forced to coexist and spend considerable amounts of time together. The potluck gives us an entire day of built-in, stress-free, convenient conversation!
Here are a couple of actual conversations I had with coworkers:
Me: So, did you try the homemade macaroni & cheese?
Coworker: Yeah, that was the bomb.
Me: Ever notice how after a potluck, everyone talks about it the rest of the day? It’s great, it gives us something to talk about.
Coworker: Yeah, I suppose. (small chuckle)
Me: Did you try the pie? Amazing!
Coworker 2: Man, that trail mix is good. Go get some, it’s zesty.
Me: Maybe I will.
Me: Wow, that is really good. But I’m pretty sure it’s spicy, not zesty.
Coworker 2: Are you sure, I’m positive it’s zesty.
Me: I’m going with spicy.