Not About Food

Take what you want, or leave enough for others?


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Not About Food

Take what you want, or leave enough for others?

akq | | Sep 25, 2008 04:27 PM

In my office we often have food brought in for lunch meetings. After the meeting, if there are leftovers, an email goes out to the entire office that there are leftovers in whichever meeting room. Sometimes when I haven't had a chance to get my own lunch, I'll go and grab some of the leftovers, but I am often caught in the quandry:

Should I take what I want (i.e. a whole sandwich, etc.), or should I leave enough of the leftovers so that whomever wants something gets at least something?

Usually, if I get there before other people show up, I just take what I want to eat for lunch, but if there are a ton of people who show up and not enough leftovers for everyone to make a whole lunch, I just skip it and go out to get my own lunch. That is, unless I have to work through lunch. In that case, sometimes I will just take what I want, even though it may mean that someone else gets nothing. For example, today there were six pieces of leftover pizza and some salad left over from a meeting. I had been on a conference call through lunch and was not going to be able to get out of the office to buy a lunch. I got to the leftovers first (my office is close to this particular conference room) and I took two pieces of pizza and some salad - enough to fill me up - leaving only four pieces of pizza and salad. No one else had shown up yet and I have no way of knowing whether anyone else would show up for the leftovers, how many people might show up, when, etc. Should I have only taken one piece and then circled back around 30 mins later to claim another piece if it hadn't been eaten?

Does it matter that in my office there are professionals and support staff in my office? Since I am a professional and paid more than support staff, should I defer to support staff so that they get the free lunch? Or does it make more sense that since I am more likely to have to work through lunch and simply not be able to get away from my desk to buy my own lunch (as an "exempt" employee, I am not guaranteed a lunch break like the staff is), does that mean I should get the lunch?

What do CH'ers think?

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