A thread long overdue, this is a place to share ideas and/or get input on work or career-related questions, situations, problems or successes. I'll start. Whine. (Yes. I know this is not the whining thread. So sue me.) I think I may have created a monster. It's a long a complicated story, but I'll try to keep it simple. I mentioned this lady before; she's the one who, the day after a pot luck at work, claimed all the leftovers and started heating them up for a second group lunch the next day without my permission even though I'd already given the leftovers to a single Mom. That went over like a lead balloon, so I figured she'd gotten the message -- if you want the leftovers, ask; don't assume. This was a couple months back. Fast forward to last Friday. This lady and a few of her friends decided to share a very low-key, low-cost, snack. She specifically asked that people not go to any expense, but, if they had something to share, bring it. No problem. On the day of, on impulse, I told her that I had a couple of unopened tubs of hummus and some yogurt dip in the fridge that I would be willing to open. I'd already bought them and stored them in the fridge, planning to have them for lunch for a week or two. On Friday, I opened the dips, but I left early to go to the movies, so I didn't get a chance to take care of my dips. When I got back to work this past week, the leftover dip was in the fridge. Problem? There was also a note on my desk. "P. You know that leftover yogurt dip? I'd like to have it. Okay?" Uhhh... well. At least she asked this time. It was really awkward, though, since I had been planning to have that dip for lunch for a few days, NOT give it to this lady just because she wanted it. I decided to just avoid the conversation by pretending I hadn't seen the note. (I was out of the office a few days and, as usual, my desk was covered with all sorts of stuff people dropped off in my absence. I couldn't see the surface of my desk. It is very plausible that I might not have seen the note.) Anyway. So I took my dips home and decided to just carry individual servings in for lunch each day, even though it's a pain. So. Yesterday I happened to run into this lady right by the big communal fridge. She said,"Uhh, you know, P. When you were out of the office, I left you a note and told you I wanted that yogurt dip. Uhh ... where is it?" Meanwhile, this chick is rifling through the fridge, looking for it! I kid you not. She just assumed that, since it was left over and she wanted it, I was going to give it to her. I was relieved to be able to say, "I took it home." I'm so glad I thought to take it home, to be honest. Questions: Am I blowing this out of proportion or is this woman being rude (in the context of American culture; she is a Southern American woman.) Not that it makes all that much difference in the larger scheme of things. I just see this whole possession of leftovers thing as having the potential to steal my joy at doing pot lucks. Not to be parsimonious or anything but, when we do potlucks, most people bring a $5 or $10 dish, at most. If I'm planning the pot luck, I usually fill in all the blanks -- to the tune of $50 to as much as $150. I don't mind spending the money; I entertain because I enjoy it. But, since it's my resources that are being spent, I think I should have the right to determine where my leftover stuff goes. (I prefer to give the leftovers to single Moms, first. There are quite a few single Moms where I work and I know that many of them consider those leftovers to be a blessing. After all the single Moms, myself included, are taken care of, everything else is up for grabs. Thoughts, anyone?