A potluck, working with mostly women
1. The potluck list goes up at least a month before the event. The desserts are oversubscribed and people ask Barb to please, please, please bring that fab peanut butter pie that she made last year.
2. You ask people if they are going to the potuck and they say of course they are and look at you a little bit funny because why wouldn't they be going?
3. The morning of the potluck, the cafeteria is already full of crockpots and covered dishes and food. It smells good.
4. At lunch, there is space to go down both sides of the table, but almost nobody figures it out and there is only one serving spoon per dish anyhow.
5. All the silverware and napkins are placed at the beginning of the serving line, which means you have to use one hand for your plate and the other hand for your silverware, which means serving yourself is difficult
A potluck, working with mostly men, almost all of whom are engineers
1. The list is up for two weeks and includes easy things like "paper plates" and also includes recipes for some of the dishes suggested on the list, for this is an Oktoberfest and maybe ve should keeping be vit ze zeme, yah? yet by the day before the event, the only items claimed on the list are the Nutella (from yours truly, who admires beyond grandness the brilliance of the person who thought to put Nutella on a potluck list), the cucumber salad, and the rolls.
2. You ask people if they are going to the potluck - for which there are signs hanging by every restroom and every door to the outside and for which HR has sent out three emails - and they look at you blankly and ask, "What potluck?"
3. The morning of the potluck, the cafeteria looks like it always looks.
4. At lunch, there is space to go down both sides of the table and the engineers file down both sides of the table because that is the logical, efficient way to serve the most people in the shortest amount of time.
5. But even engineers don't get the silverware right. Only the people who worked at the faculty club in college know that the silverware and napkins go at the end of the line in a buffet.