So if you haven’t noticed, it’s the holiday season. I know, it’s kind of a surprise. But it’s actually here. If you ask the advertisers, it’s been here since about August, but that’s a different story for a different day.
As it’s the holiday season, you may have noticed some holiday events going on in your office. In a way, I’m lucky. I’m a federal employee, so while we do have a small holiday party, we have some pretty strict rules on gift giving and how much we can give. There’s a financial limit on gifts (I think it’s under $10, but I could be wrong). Of course, there are exceptions, such as if a baby shower is being thrown and that sort of thing. But I’m not expected to give gifts or pitch in for gifts for coworkers or supervisors, and I have to say, I really like that.
I was chatting with a friend yesterday who was venting about the fact that a coworker came around with a collection envelope, politely insisting that she give $25 for a gift for her supervisor. In addition, she was asked to contribute money to a party and to gifts for the administrative staff. While she didn’t mind contributing to the party and truly believed that the administrative staff deserved every gift they received and then some, she was a little miffed at having to contribute so much for a gift for her supervisor, someone she doesn’t even particularly like. Of course, she had the option to not contribute, but then her name wouldn’t go on the card, and the last thing my friend wanted was for her supervisor to know she hadn’t bothered to contribute to a gift for her.
It was definitely an uncomfortable situation for her. In the end, she did contribute, but she wasn’t happy about it. She much would have preferred putting in $25 for a donation to a local charity in her boss’s name. I believe they ended up getting the supervisor some sort of framed decoration for her office.
I’m not a fan of the forced gifting either. Gifts should be given because you want to give, not because you feel like you have to give. Has anyone else gotten trapped in a forced gifting situation?