We've been in crunch mode at work this week, and there are a bunch of us who really can't leave our desks for very long. If a folder gets to our desk, we'll need to move it pronto. So the top managers announced that they'd buy lunch every day.
But they didn't buy enough for everyone, and the first day, all the people who physically sit closer to the conference room (who are actually not the people on deadline) got there first, and *because they were busy*, the crunch team didn't get there until the food was almost out--some of us didn't get any food at all.
It brought up a lot of office etiquette issues.
1) if you're going to announce that you're buying food for the whole staff, buy enough food!
2) it is too OK to say, "I'm buying food for people who are on deadline today and can't leave. If you're not on deadline I'm not buying your lunch." This isn't a party, where you would be rude to leave some people out. This is a working lunch; it's a form of compensation, and it's also a form of work supplies.
3) If you're not on the project for which the food was purchased, you really shouldn't be rushing to get there first. To me this is where etiquette is truly coming in. Yeah, sure, the email came to you and it said "lunch is here." So by the letter of the law, it's your lunch too. But I think you should wait, you shouldn't be the first person there trying to get the food.
I couldn't persuade the guy in charge of lunch to order more food, and I couldn't get him to stop sending the "lunch is here" email to the whole group, but I did get him to send that email FIRST to the deadline time, and then 20 minutes later send it to the rest of the staff.
And he was going to have a word with one of the non-deadline department heads to tell her somewhat large team to get their own lunches--or at least to hang back and
Has your office faced a situation where only some people needed lunch? How'd you handle it?
And, do you disagree with any of my assumptions above? Maybe I'm wrong.