DEAR MISS MANNERS: Our organization is having a holiday open house. The agency will have food, desserts, etc., for the entire organization and family members. Our smaller unit will also serve light refreshments and beverages in our conference room.
Last year, people loaded up on the deli sandwiches and we were left with not enough. Is it appropriate for us to limit the sandwiches to two per member until everyone has been served? We never know from year to year how many to expect.
GENTLE READER: Telling people that they have a strict sandwich allotment is unlikely to have the desired effect of spreading holiday goodwill -- or of limiting the intake.
But one thing offices have is staff. Place someone at the table who can help fill the guests’ plates. This will not discourage everyone from coming back for seconds, but Miss Manners is confident it will discourage enough. And it will have the added benefit that it will make surveillance look gracious.