Our Former Office Manager on the One Thing Everyone Forgets for Office Potlucks

updated Nov 7, 2019
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Credit: Olive & Mango

Oh, the office Thanksgiving potluck (aka Worksgiving). Sigh. You’ve had a billion reminders, you knew it was coming, and you’ll still probably end up scrambling a bit in the morning. Getting out the door on a regular morning is hard enough — never mind doing it while also remembering the special casserole/dip/mac and cheese you made the night before. You’re bound to forget something.

And you will, according to our former Human Resources Manager, Louisa Smith, who used to be in charge of organizing our company’s holiday potluck. It’s true: She says there’s one thing people never remember to bring.

Make the party run smoother — and help out your office’s Louisa — by remembering to pack this one thing.

The one thing people almost always forget: extension cords.

Tons of our staffers bring in things in portable slow cookers or use the warming plates we’re lucky enough to have in the office (it helps that we’re a food site!), but almost no one brings an extension cord or power strip, making it very hard to plug in everyone’s small appliance.

Even if you have no intention of bringing in an extension cord, it’s a good idea to give your office manager or designated party organizer a heads up. Let her know if you’re bringing something that needs to be plugged in. “It’s always nice to know ahead of time in order to make sure we’re well equipped,” says Louisa.

It never even occurred to me that a Worksgiving (or any potluck, really) would involve extension cords!

Louisa also suggested having — and using — a sign-up sheet. Both so you don’t end up with 14 bowls of gravy and so the office manager can get a count for attendees, appetizers, and everything in between. Not doing this is the biggest mistake a first-timer (or an overwhelmed fifth-timer) can make.

A Few Other Things That Are Necessary and Often Overlooked

  • Serving spoons
  • Containers for leftovers
  • Willing and reliable volunteers to help before and after the party

Although Worksgiving might just be a one-day event for almost everyone in the office, chances are that your office manager (or whoever coordinates the event) has been thinking about dark meat and side dishes for the past several weeks. If you want to make his or her job easy, you may want to start thinking about it now too.