My rich boss wants us to provide the food for his party

Dear Amy: My coworkers and I are employed by a doctor in a small successful practice. Including the doctor, there are eight staff members. He bought the practice several years ago from our former boss.

Our former boss was generous and of a different generation. He lived within his means, was not extravagant, and didn’t try to compete with his peers.

Our current employer is of a younger generation, lives in one of the more affluent neighborhoods, and has only given us raises when we bring it up to him as a group.

He is very generous when it comes to bonuses, but bonuses are not something that can be counted on.

The doctor has recently invited staff and their families to a lake house owned by his parents. The doctor will be there with his wife and five children.

The problem we’re having is that he has asked that we all bring a dish to share and make this a potluck-style affair.

None of us has had a raise since January of 2022, and that was our first raise in two years.

Many of us are having difficulty putting food on our own tables, let alone bringing a dish to a party with enough food for possibly 20 to 25 people to sample.

Should we simply decline the invitation?

Should we ask him if he will be supplying a main dish?

Are we acting like spoiled children for thinking that if he’s the one throwing the party, then he should be the one to supply the food (such as our former employer did)? We welcome your advice.

– Potluck Party Pooper

Dear Potluck: Giving your employer the best-possible benefit of the doubt, I’ll brand him as “clueless.”

The best dish for you to bring to him would be some enforced clarity about this event. Call it a “get-a-clue casserole.”

You should ask him to clarify what he is expecting for staffers to contribute to this company party.

Let’s say that he responds: “A dish to share with 25 guests would be great.”

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𝗖𝗿𝗲𝗱𝗶𝘁𝘀, 𝗖𝗼𝗽𝘆𝗿𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 & 𝗖𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘁𝗲𝘀𝘆:
𝗙𝗼𝗿 𝗮𝗻𝘆 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗮𝗶𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝗿𝗲𝗴𝗮𝗿𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗗𝗠𝗖𝗔,
𝗣𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗲 𝘀𝗲𝗻𝗱 𝘂𝘀 𝗮𝗻 𝗲𝗺𝗮𝗶𝗹 𝗮𝘁

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