I don't want anything to do with this tradition, but there's really nothing to do about it. You see, they actually schedule the potluck so that everybody is able to be there. I have in the past called in sick on the day, but you can only do that so much before your recurring illness is interpreted (correctly) as a deliberate snub.
Every day of the year I radiate a white-hot toxic hatred for all these people, but my coworkers' sensitivity to subtler social cues is clearly underdeveloped. Maybe it's just pure egotism. Maybe they find it impossible to believe that anyone would not like them and enjoy their company. But I truly believe that anything short of locking them all in the back storage room and setting the building on fire would be misinterpreted as a personal quirk. (I've run through that fire-setting fantasy a few times in my head. The last words I inevitably hear are my office neighbor 'Sandy' crying out in her Michigan accent, 'You poop!' That's what she calls me when I'm unamused by her cutesy jokes and emails. If Sandy were an inanimate object, she'd be a Thomas Kinkade painting or an embroidered sweater set.)
My office looks out onto a small courtyard where a few of the men are already congregating. I've closed my blinds so I don't have to see them, but they're nonsensical chatter occasionally crescendos so that the window seals are powerless to keep it out. When I'm daydreaming in front of a spreadsheet—like I was a few minutes ago—I try to determine which one of them I hate the most. I recall past incidents, parse data, compile the pros and the cons... but it's no use. Just as I couldn't pick a favorite animal, I couldn't choose a most loathsome coworker. Each has his or her own set of deplorable qualities—and these qualities are just too difficult to compare and contrast on a one-to-one basis.
I'm sure you all know what the upshot of today is, however. Because I have to endure this Thanksgiving potluck every year, I am all the more thankful for the four-day weekend which follows. I suck the marrow out of each of those days. I roll around naked, with complete abandon, in the non-presence of these horrible people. I even—to some extent—forget that this lousy place even exists. (What a cruel Monday is the Monday after Thanksgiving!)
I don't want you to think I'm one of those squirrely employees who sits around at his desk all day plotting a workplace shooting. I would never do such a thing. I'm not ambitious enough. I'm a lazy man... to say nothing of the pesky moral compunctions. I'll just continue to silently hate these stupid fucks like any normally repressed human being would—until one day the acids burn a hole through my stomach and leak into my body. These clueless saps won't even realize what they've done to me when I drown in my own bilious hatred.