The glaring disparity between the expected grand gesture and the reality of this modest meal prompted a flood of reactions from everyone.
In the world of corporate employee appreciation gestures, there are those that leave employees feeling valued and cherished. Then there are those that inadvertently stir the pot of frustration and bewilderment. Recently, a Reddit user going by the name u/LabWizardry took to the r/mildlyinfuriating subreddit to share an incident involving his wife's "reward" for submitting safety occurrence reports. The post revolves around a photo that is equal parts absurd and well, infuriating.
The husband began the post with a captivating description of the peculiar scenario, writing, "Wife won ‘dinner for two’ at her workplace as a reward for submitting safety occurrence reports." The intrigue builds as one wonders what kind of sumptuous feast this "dinner for two" would entail. The twist comes in the form of a picture: a box of Kraft macaroni and cheese, two pouches of iced tea and a solitary Nature Valley granola bar–all carefully arranged to create a supposed "dinner for two." The juxtaposition of the expectation of a romantic or lavish dinner and the reality of this humble meal sparked a wave of reactions and comments from fellow Reddit users. As they say, the internet never disappoints when it comes to humor, satire and social commentary.
A lot of people left a lot of comments, enraged and offended. User u/Reddit_reader_2206 offered a clever suggestion on how to respond to this puzzling gesture, saying, "Your wife should post this, excitedly, to LinkedIn. Tag her CEO and the company and as many higher-ups as she can there. Say how honored she is to have won dinner for two, by just saving someone's life. What an incredible org she works for, that prioritizes safety, etc. Be very serious and praise this ridiculous prize. Go well beyond sarcasm into full facetiousness. Let the comments destroy her company and point out to mgmt what a dick move this is. I guarantee there will be a gift card for a steakhouse on her desk the next morning. Make someone else do the hard part. Donate that crap to the food bank." This suggestion hints at the power of social media and the fact then employees take such matters to the public eye, it can indeed push organizations to reevaluate their appreciation efforts and, as suggested, potentially replace mac and cheese with a more thoughtful gift.
Another Reddit user, u/teresedanielle, chimed in with a personal anecdote, further emphasizing the theme of corporate missteps in employee appreciation. They recounted an incident involving a principal who promised a salad bar for staff during teacher appreciation week. The result? An assortment of salad fixings accompanied by a mere three bags of premade salad mix. For a staff of over 35 people, this display of appreciation felt not only insufficient but also quite comical. This comment serves as a reminder of the importance of considering the size and needs of the workforce when planning such gestures.
User u/ImSoberEnough expressed sheer disbelief at the "dinner for two" photo, questioning whether it was some joke. In their own words, "Is this a joke? Like, do they often do pranks and silly things? This is extremely insulting that's worth like 2.25$ altogether. I would be livid."