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    tree hugger's Avatar
    tree hugger Posts: 4, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Dec 18, 2005, 05:30 AM
    Social etiquette advice needed please
    Hi all. This is very much a grey area and I really don't know the correct etiquette for this situation.

    Last night was my husbands work Christmas party. It was an informal BBQ at his boss's home. It was pre-arranged last week that the wives would each bring 2 salads and 1 dessert. The boss also told the wives to keep their supermarket receipts for re-imbursement for the cost of the food by the company. The boss was paying for the bbq meat and alcohol from the company's petty cash.

    Hubby and I caught a taxi to the party. There was a massive amount of food left over, with only about 30% eaten. On leaving at the end of the night, the taxi arrived earlier than expected and I told the hostess we would be back tomorrow to pick up our salad bowls.

    On our return the next day to pick up our things, the boss's wife handed me back all the bowls - empty. She had kept all the left-over food for themselves. Also the boss said he wouldn't be able to re-imburse us for the cost of what we brought, as he'd spent all the budget on the meat and drinks.

    Am I justified in feeling just a little used? I'm thinking that all the workers contributed financially to the party, the boss used the petty cash to pay for some, and then the boss and his wife kept what was left. This is not the first time this has happened.

    Just curious about others opinions?
    fredg's Avatar
    fredg Posts: 4,928, Reputation: 674
    Ultra Member

    Dec 18, 2005, 05:45 AM
    Christmas party
    Personally, that's the last time I would attend a Christmas party given by the boss!
    The boss said the company would pay for the food, with a receipt; but then says, "no". That in itself, is enough said about this particular boss. He is not a man of his word, and that is not the Christmas Spirit, as well as an outright lie.
    I think they should have returned the food not eaten to you, but it's not surprising they didn't, considering the lie about the receipts.
    I feel the way you do. I would feel "used", too, and that would be my last trip to one of their parties. If you feel you "have" to go, for the sake of the job, I would make up some excuse not to go.
    Others here will have opinions and maybe they can help with this some, too.
    I think the whole thing is very rude on your boss' part, to say the least! Best of luck.
    tree hugger's Avatar
    tree hugger Posts: 4, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Dec 18, 2005, 06:00 AM
    Thanks fredg, I appreciate your moral support. ;)

    Was also wondering if anyone else has been in this or similar situation?

    Maybe its just me, I might have 'doormat' stamped on my forehead.:mad: The same situation happens at the inlaws at Christmas too.
    fredg's Avatar
    fredg Posts: 4,928, Reputation: 674
    Ultra Member

    Dec 18, 2005, 06:34 AM
    You are Welcome
    Hi, tree hugger,
    You are quite welcome. I am sure others here will be along to voice their opinions as well.
    I live in the Great Smokey Mountains, in SouthWest VA; where "mountain folk" live; for the past 28 years. Love it. Got tired of the Washington, DC, area, with their "beltway" and millions of vehicles on the roads every day.
    "Etiquette" here is a little different than in much larger populated areas. Here, it's based on "what's right" with others, and caring for others.
    Again, your boss is not a very caring person, and I'm sorry you got caught up in all this.
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,302, Reputation: 7692

    Dec 18, 2005, 07:43 AM
    Do you enjoy the party ?

    You are getting upset over left overs??

    Parties like this are more often much more than social events, depending on your husbands position with the company it is a required company event, even if they don't say it is.

    In previous companies it would have been company sucicide not to attend bosses parties.

    Next so it happened before, why on this earth did you expect it to not happen this time.

    And you did get your bowls back.

    I really don't see what the big issue is
    bizygurl's Avatar
    bizygurl Posts: 522, Reputation: 110
    Senior Member

    Dec 18, 2005, 12:07 PM
    I think you have every right to be a bit peeved about the situation. Bottom line is if the boss had announced that people would be reinbursed(can't spell) for the food than he should have stuck by his word and did it. That's just basic common respect. If he had no intensions on reimbursing than he shouldn't have said so. Then you wouldn't have expected anything. Unfortunately there are people out there who take advantage of others generosity and there isn't a whole lot you can do.
    CaptainForest's Avatar
    CaptainForest Posts: 3,645, Reputation: 393
    Ultra Member

    Dec 18, 2005, 02:02 PM
    You are pissed? I would be too...

    The boss said you would be reimbursed if you have your receipt, he lied. That arrogant jerk.

    As for the left over food... well, he should have given you the food back since he didn't reimburse you, but if he was to reimburse you then he could have kept the food.

    It happened with your in-laws too (doesnt that mean your husbands parents?? ) And if that's the case, I hope your husband laid into his folks for that.
    tree hugger's Avatar
    tree hugger Posts: 4, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Dec 18, 2005, 04:16 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainForest
    As for the left over food...well, he should have given you the food back since he didnt reimburse you, but if he was to reimburse you then he could have kept the food.
    That's my take on it too CaptainForest. If he had re-imbursed me as he originally stated, then he would have been well within his rights to keep the food.

    At the inlaws for Christmas, we take a ham and dessert. Always I have to ask for the left-overs to bring home, its never offered to me. I could never do that in my home. If someone brings food to my house for a function, any leftovers is always returned to that person. If it isn't returned, I see it as making a profit out of friends and family, (and I'll never be accused of that).
    orange's Avatar
    orange Posts: 1,364, Reputation: 197
    Ultra Member

    Dec 18, 2005, 08:12 PM
    As everyone else has said, the boss was very rude to go back on his word. I would be really upset if I thought I was getting reimbursed for bringing food and then wasn't paid back! I don't exactly have piles of money to throw around, especially for my employer to take advantage of! I would have felt better if he had given the food back to me or at least have given the extra to a food bank or soup kitchen. But to keep it for himself when only 30% was used? That's like you're paying his grocery bill for him. Totally inappropriate. I don't blame you for being upset.

    Actually I've never had that happen to me. At all the pot luck functions I've attended, people get their leftovers returned to them. It's pretty much expected. The people who take your leftovers, even if they are related to you, seem pretty rude.
    bizygurl's Avatar
    bizygurl Posts: 522, Reputation: 110
    Senior Member

    Dec 19, 2005, 08:24 AM
    Your in-laws don't offer you your leftovers? That's so messed up. If I went through all that trouble to make a ham (and those suckers aren't easy to make) I would have at least wanted to be asked if I wanted the leftovers. Since it was me who went through the trouble to cook it. At least your courteous to give back the leftovers. If the person is fine with you keeping it than that's fine but the person who brought the food should at least be asked.
    tree hugger's Avatar
    tree hugger Posts: 4, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Dec 27, 2005, 04:56 AM
    Thanks all for your valued input. Bizygurl, I agree with you entirely.:)

    Just as a footnote; at the conclusion of Christmas lunch with the inlaws, and prior to leaving, was asked by my mother inlaw if I could please leave the food that we had brought. I said no, as we were going to my family for Christmas dinner and wanted to take the ham and dessert with me.

    I just find this unbelievably rude to actually ask someone to keep their food. I couldn't even entertain the thought of doing that.

    I'm not familiar with Christmas day customs in other countries, but in Australia, families often travel to have lunch and dinner with different family members (sometimes includes breakfast too). Due to distance, its not always possible for everyone, but we only live 1 hour from my inlaws and 1 mile from my parents.
    bizygurl's Avatar
    bizygurl Posts: 522, Reputation: 110
    Senior Member

    Dec 27, 2005, 05:52 AM
    That sounds like most of what people, here in the states do on christmas. On christmas eve everyyear, we have some of my family and all of my husbands family at out house and every year someone does bring food, usually a dessert. If there is some left over I always ask the person who brought the dish if they would like to take the rest home most of the time people would rather just leave it with us, I guess as a sign for our hospitality for cooking the meal and having them over. But I really am not offended if someone would rather take the rest with them. Sometimes if we have tons of leftovers of the meal I prepared I will actually ask them if they would like some leftover ham or turkey etc. When I'm at someone else's place I would like to be asked and most of the time I just leave it with the person, But for someone to ask you to "leave the food" is very tacky and not right. Good for you for standing up and saying no, I commend you for that. Sometimes its very hard to tell people no, especially family. Good for you!:D
    augustknight's Avatar
    augustknight Posts: 83, Reputation: 31
    Junior Member

    Jan 10, 2006, 10:29 PM
    I see two issues here. The food and the promise to reimburse. Generally speaking I think it's fine to make a plate or two to bring home that night. Especially if there are kids or an older parent at home. Frankly I wouldn't be interested in getting the food the next day. We all have been on both sides, as host or guest. The host is left with clean up duty and I think it is expecting too much to have him/her dole out protions for everyone that attented. As a guest I am required to bring something. Once that is given it is no longer my property. If you live in an urban area as I do, we always donate the food to a local shelter.
    The other issue I believe is far more serious. The host broke his promise and used his position as boss to bully his way out of it. However you could not have known that beforehand. So you would not have expected to take back food that was paid for by someone else.
    I admit the whole affair could have been handled with far more class. It was slimy but I would leave it be. There are other considerations here. Don't consider your loss to be total however, next time you will be far wiser as to the effort and expensive you want to contribute to his next party.
    s_cianci's Avatar
    s_cianci Posts: 5,472, Reputation: 760
    Uber Member

    Jan 15, 2006, 06:24 PM
    If in fact the boss indicated that you'd be reimbursed for the expense you put out for the food you brought to the party, then he made a serious misrepresentation. Unfortunately you're in a serious predicament. Clearly you were wronged but it involves your husband's boss and his company's christmas party. Your practical options for recourse are quite limited. Is there a union involved? If so, your husband and his co-workers may be able to file a grievance through the union, especially if the contract stipulates who'll finance the annual christmas party or otherwise prohibits any granting of favors between coworkers or between coworkers and management. Otherwise the best course of action may be for everyone to boycott next year's christmas party as a form of protest. If everyone is united and acts together the boss will probably get the message and not be so likely to con everyone into paying for part of the christmas party, for which he and his wife get to be the primary beneficiaries, after specifically promising to reimburse everyone.
    Sosdog's Avatar
    Sosdog Posts: 39, Reputation: 4
    Junior Member

    Jan 23, 2006, 05:20 PM
    Well, the very first thing would be to determine what the 'boss' actually said.

    Did he say 'all food brought would be reimbursed!' or 'ill reimburse those that bring food out of petty cash!'?

    It may seem like a fine line, but if he budgeted so much from petty cash (and is this a proper use for petty cash?) then going over that budget would not be good. He has to account for it.

    Second, did they keep the food? Or did they throw it away? In your post you said that 'you would be back tomorrow for the bowls.' it would seem to me that if someone said this to me, id empty and wash the bowls for you.

    Well, I can't relly see you getting irritated about losing the salads. Doesn't seem like you from what I read of your post. The thing that is getting you is that he said he would pay, and didn't, and then appears to have insulted you by not returning the leftovers (do we know that there were, in fact, any leftovers.)

    I'm not trying to be critical, I'm just trying to understand the mindsets involved at the time.


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