The problem: The managers at work scheduled a staff recognition luncheon with at least a 30-day notice. The day before the luncheon, they sent us an e-mail indicating that the lunch was going to be canceled because not everyone could make it. After a week or so, we received an e-mail inviting us to have pastries, to which they allotted 30 minutes. Some of us want to boycott the paltry pastries event because we were downgraded from lunch-worthy to only pastry-worthy. Some on the team declined the calendar invitation; others just won't show up. What's the best way for us to give management the message that we feel slighted?

Low road: Tell the bosses that your entire group is doing the Whole 30. No sugar for you!

High road: Hmm, something doesn't sound right here. They canceled lunch because not everyone could make it? There's always someone who doesn't make it.

I'm wondering if, maybe, some overzealous intern overspent threefold on the lunch menu, and the boss caught on and canceled just in the nick of time. Or maybe a cherished staff member had a family emergency and it seemed uncharitable to proceed. Or maybe a less-than-cherished staff member was caught embezzling. No wasabi-crusted salmon roll for her! So, you got peanuts, in the form of doughnuts.

Step back for a minute. If you hadn't first been invited to a luncheon, might a pastry party have sounded fun? I think so. Luncheons, and the forced small talk they require, can feel endless. But 30 minutes of sweet-talking? Bring it on! Besides, you got to band with one another, laugh and complain together, and fight for your future rights to a Caesar chicken salad sandwich with chips and fruit. Thank your bosses for this splendid opportunity for team building.

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