I hold to the thought that the university where I work, as well as possibly many others, is the biggest collection of educated idiots you will find anywhere. Sometimes the thought process gets a little ahead of themselves.
Today, an official questionnaire was distributed to our department. The first question was “Can you read? (Please circle) Yes or No” I think I’ll urge all to check mark the no answer and skip the rest of the questionnaire.
This same institution has a policy of no potluck functions. This isn’t as obviously dumb as asking an employee who is paralyzed to raise his hand if he wants to request accommodation; but it’s still bad.
The thought behind the potluck band is to limit the spread of illness. If food is to be shared it needs to be purchased from another place of business by other unknown employees who obviously are illness-spreading free. The logic continues that because others will prepare food for other others, in a place of business, it’ll be safer than if one prepared food meant for self-consumption and shared with others.
Breaking bread together is a human trait that dates back a very long time. If you’re willing to share of your own sustenance, you recognize a commonality and will hold less ill-well towards those with whom you shared. Likewise if your enemy will feed you, does it not make that person less an enemy?
We no longer, at modern places of business, engage in lethal clan warfare, but work places can be just as divided as the people of the British Isles. Having meals together, not provided by the company but from the staff’s preparations, breaks down walls between us. If I make a potato salad that gets rave reviews, I will move up a notch in respect. And everyone who compliments said potato salad is now less my antagonist.
Hot dogs and bags of chips will only carry peace so far, but over time and with some frequency, I believe the tribal tradition of hospitality is worth the fear of a shared cold, which actually has value as well, but in the form of shared misery.
Being a rule keeper as I am, I do not condone banned Pot Luck luncheons. A shared lunch, however, a happy staff builds.