Here’s the deal. There is a weekly meeting I co-facilitate with one of my colleagues of the staff we both supervise. The meeting is generally pretty jolly and the attendees profess to really enjoy it and consider it a “safe space” etc., (as safe as a space can get when your boss is present, anyway).
So my colleague is about to go out on maternity leave. The idea was hatched among the meeting attendees that we should all go out to breakfast on her last day instead of our regular meeting, as a celebration. I was fine with this idea but it turned out that my colleague preferred to be onsite at the office for her last day. Fine, supervisees said, we’ll order breakfast in. A menu was sent around, people placed orders, etc.
Well, long story short it gradually dawned on me that supervisees were expecting that the cost of the breakfast would be covered by the agency. Realizing what was happening, I did go to the program director and advocate to get the breakfast paid for as a shower celebration—however this was not approved by our boss (rationale was that later that same day the agency is providing a holiday lunch for the entire staff, so they would be buying this group both breakfast and lunch on that day, and this colleague had already had a shower with the whole staff—paid for by the agency—earlier in the week).
So I had to inform them that they had to pay for their own breakfasts. They immediately decided they didn’t want breakfast after all and the breakfast organizer was so despondent about the plan falling through he actually approached my colleague and asked that the meeting be cancelled altogether. He also complained that the catered holiday lunch is very skimpy,* as if that strengthened the argument for their getting a second meal that day. (This made us think the whole celebration idea was all a scam to get free breakfast. Bear in mind they have not arranged for decorations, or a gift, or anything, to honor my colleague’s baby—their getting provided breakfast was the whole plan.)
So the question is, is their pouting justified? I personally think it’s silly to be upset at not getting treated to breakfast but maybe it’s me that’s the grinch in the situation.
*this is very subjective because he’s a young man with a hearty appetite and I’m pretty much always on a diet but I can’t say I have found it so