The potluck thread over in the work forum made me remember this, but I figured it wasn't really work-exclusive, so I'd just pose the scenario here. I know it's not really all that important, just curious though...
You're having a potluck and two guests brought a similar dish. For the sake of argument, let's say corn. Sarah brought white corn and Trixie brought plain ole yellow corn. The corn looks to be just canned corn which was placed into another container, but you don't know if/how it was seasoned, etc. Sarah brought hers in a reused butter container and Trixie had placed hers in a casserole dish. If it matters, there was a 'sign up' list, and Sarah signed up, saying she was bringing corn, where as Trixie did not sign up for anything.
What would you serve?
1) Both, there is plenty of table space and potlucks are all about options.
2) Sarah's because she signed up. Trixie's would be used if Sarah's was finished.
3) Trixie's because she used a nice casserole dish and it looks better on your table/food spread. Use Sarah's if it emptied.
4) Dump Sarah's corn into Trixie's dish, mix them up and serve. Hey, it's all corn anyway, so who cares.
5) Whoever arrived first. The second person's dish would be used after the first was finished.
6) Other - please describe.
My real scenario; I was 'Sarah' and the designated(?) server, who was just a coworker, decided to use option 4, but also because of option 3. I was disappointed to find them mixed, because I had prepared mine a certain way, prefer white corn, and even spent extra on getting a 'good brand' for it. Full disclosure; the item in question was not really corn. She also threw my container away without asking me, which may be a self-fulfilling thing now, since I specifically used it because it seems whatever type of container I use always tends to disappear during these things, regardless if my name was on it or not.
My opinion; I'm mostly leaning towards placing both out, but if space was a factor afterall, as it could very well be in a home scenario, prime placement on the table would be first come, first placed (desserts excluded, obviously
)and the rest would get put in the kitchen/whereever there was space for whatever didn't fit on the table.
I figured this was typical procedure, until I ran into this weird combiner incident. If I remember correctly, she also piled up all the cookies on a huge platter or two, getting them all mixed up.